1961 Jaguar E-type S1

When you have a good thing going, it’s best not to mess with it. Jaguar took an extremely successful formula from their D-Type racers—a big inline six cylinder stuffed will advanced engineering—and slipped inside a lithe form styled by aerodynamicist Malcom Sawyer. But while the D-Type was designed to race, the E-type was intended to wow, and when Jaguar pulled the wraps off the car in 1961, Geneva show-goers on hand rushed to order the car. The result was that Jaguar was swamped with more orders than they could fill. In retrospect, that’s not surprising, because for the equivalent of the price of a mid-level executive sedan, buyers of the E-type were treated to what was essentially a supercar by the standards of the time. A complicated new fully independent rear suspension makes the E-type quite nimble (it was so successful that Jaguar used the design for decades), and the powerful 3.8-liter inline six makes the coupe considerably faster than contemporary car in its price range. The original E-type, the S1, became an enduring symbol of the zenith of the British auto industry, and one of the most iconic Jaguars ever. All of the history and accolades shouldn’t obscure the fact that the E-type is also quite enjoyable to drive—in particular, nothing else on the road sounds quite as sweet as the burble of a DOHC Jaguar six.

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