1961 Jaguar E-Type Series I 'Flat-Floor' (1961)

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1961 Jaguar E-Type Series I 'Flat-Floor'
CHASSIS NO: 875856
• Rare early Jaguar XKE ‘flat-floor’ example
• Equipped with rare, welded bonnet louvers and straight rear bullhead panel
• Complete matching numbers for chassis, engine, body, and gearbox

3.8-litre inline six-cylinder engine, triple SU carburetor, independent coil spring rear suspension, front torsion bars, four-speed transmission and partially synchronized Moss gearbox, four-wheel disc brakes; wheelbase: 96”

The Jaguar XKE, known as the E-Type in the United Kingdom, is the British sports car all others are still measured against 60 years later. Its frenzied debut released the perfect storm – unparalleled beauty, ideal performance, and shockingly competitive pricing, but the days of catching that taxi are gone. The E-Types remain the most desirable street cars Jaguar has ever produced; this fact simply cannot be overstated. Spanning a 14-year reign and three series, it is the Series I examples that continue to be the most valuable and clamored for. Of those cars, the introductory, “flat-floor” E-Types are the most sought-after, and chassis number 875856 is one of those.
The Series I flat-floors were the earliest E-Types manufactured. Less than 2,000 flat-floor units in total rolled off the production line in Coventry that, sadly, came to an end before the year was out. During the latter half of the E-Type’s release year in 1961, the floors were dished to give taller drivers more legroom and maneuverability around the pedals. The earlier flat-floor models also had welded bonnet louvers, which were changed to pressed louvers later that year as well. This particular flat-floor XKE is a left-hand drive that is one of the production of only 1,400 in total. The rarity of these Series I XKE flat-floor versions makes them all the more desirable today, but this isn’t the first time E-Types have triggered dramatic longing and swoons. They seem to have been born into it.
In a brilliantly orchestrated flurry of public excitement, Jaguar announced upon the E-Type’s premiere that the reasonably priced dream-cars would be initially released for export only. The domestic launch would have to wait five months. People were downright desperate to get their hands on one. The XKE’s long, graceful hood, soulful eyes, and elegant slope from every conceivable angle, were no stylistic accident. Their inimitable look was actually conjured up by something of a mathematical and aerodynamic-engineering genius by the name of Malcolm Sayer who worked with aircraft before the war. His design vision was created by his pilgrimage for the lowest drag and best aerodynamics. The sheer profundity of what he created would land the XKE a rare spot in the Museum of Modern Art over three decades later. His designs would spawn an icon that would forever alter the look of sports cars, and they performed every bit as well as they looked. Underneath the seductively sloping bonnet, was a 3.8-litre inline six-cylinder engine with four-speed gearbox and triple SU carburetors. The engine and partially synchronized Moss gearbox and four-speed gearbox would change in 1964 to 4.2-litres and a fully synchronized gearbox, but the top speed of 150 MPH and 265 horsepower would remain the same; only the torque would increase by 10%. Regardless, the 3.8-litre XKE delivered the performance of a racer for the price of an everyday driver and the world simply went wild for it. Times have changed. The world is still going wild for this car, but values just continue to rise.
We have the distinct pleasure of offering Chassis Number 875856, manufactured on October 20, 1961, and carrying with it complete matching numbers for the engine, body, and gearbox. Delivered to T. T. Tuford via Jaguar of Eastern Canada, Montreal, this 1961 Jaguar XKE Roadster (OTS – Open Two-Seater) boasts under 50,000 miles. A striking driver quality example that maintains its storied authenticity, it is draped in an elegant red finish with a black soft top and newly upholstered maroon leather interior and wearing redline tires. This authentic Series I has recently received a thorough tune-up, oil change and is ready for immediate enjoyment or as a blue-chip investment that will only escalate with time.

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Specs

Essentials

  • Mileage: 49,769
  • Year: 1961
  • Doors: 2
  • Body type: Other
  • Transmission type: Manual
  • Fuel type: Diesel
  • Colour: Red

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