Inside Jaguar: Making a Million Pound Car
Faster, prettier and half the price of the competition, even old Enzo couldn’t help but stare. It’s 1961. The average UK jalopy starts to wheeze around 60 mph, and at 70 mph, is dangerously close to an automotive myocardial infarction. And then the Jaguar E Type happened.
Its revolutionary engineering and design was born out of the company’s extensive motor racing experience. The iconic Jag could hit 60 mph in less than 7 seconds, its wonderful straight six snarling on to a top speed of a 150 mph.
The car was as fast as it was beautiful, and at 1230 kg – especially by modern standards – it was light. But, for the racing fraternity, light wasn’t quite light enough. A special lightweight edition of the E Type was developed using aluminium body panels and a highly tuned version of their XK engine with an aluminium head. 18 were planned, only 12 were built. Until now.
With a CV as extensive and varied as super-vet and petroleum-fuelled engineer (amongst other things), Mark Evans takes us inside Jaguar for an exclusive one-off special detailing the painstaking task of hand-building the remaining six lightweight E Types to the same exacting standards.
With scarce information on the original cars and the contentious issue of whether they can really be considered part of the original 18, the gents at Jag face an uphill struggle.
But if you’ve always lusted after a lightweight E Type equipped with a suitcase lined with the original blueprints made by the Queen’s luggage makers, plus an exclusive Bremont timepiece made from melted down aluminium offcuts from your very own car, then you best put your name down. You might be chosen.
Inside Jaguar: Making a Million Pound Car airs this Thursday 28th May on Channel 4 at 9pm. Mark will be tweeting live @markevanstv