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Car Tales: Most Beautiful Ever, Jaguar XKE V12 Roadster

During World War II, as vehicle production switched to aircraft manufacturing, engineering development had continued at the UK’s Jaguar plant. Importantly, Jaguar boss Sir William Lyons and his team worked on a new engine to power his vision of a mass-produced sporting saloon car.
1973 Jaguar XKE V12 Roadster for sale
The XK engine was completed in 1948 and launched in a supposedly one-off concept sports car to help draw attention to it. This succeeded far better than was envisaged and both became an overnight sensation, globally. The XK engine went on to power all Jaguars until the introduction of the series 3 E-Type introduced the Jaguar V12 engine in 1971.

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The E-Type Series 3 had this new 5.3 L Jaguar V12 engine, uprated brakes and standard power steering. It was a distinctive update for ‘the most beautiful car ever made,’ as the legendary Enzo Ferrari is alleged to have decreed upon the launch of the Jaguar XKE on 15 March 1961.
For the XKE series 3 an automatic transmission, wire wheels and air conditioning were available options.
1973 Jaguar XKE V12 Roadster side view
The V12 was equipped with four Zenith carburetors, and produced 203 kW (272 hp), more torque, and a 0–60 mph acceleration under seven seconds. The short wheelbase FHC body style was discontinued, with the Series 3 available only as a convertible and 2+2 coupé.
The final production E-Type OTS Roadster was built in June 1974.
The new longer wheelbase offered significantly more room in all directions. The Series 3 is easily identifiable by the large cross-slatted front grille, flared wheel arches, wider tires, four exhaust tips and a badge on the rear that proclaims it to be a V12.
A splendid example of these fabulous V12 cars is what we have at the moment at Beverly Hills Car Club, a 1973 Jaguar XKE V12 Roadster featured with matching numbers. The car is finished in white, complemented with parchment, and the chrome accents, including the front grille and bumpers, add a touch of sophistication and luxury to the overall design.
This Series 3 XKE is equipped with an automatic transmission, V12 engine, four Zenith-Stromberg carburetors, Smiths instruments, power steering, convertible soft top, quad exhaust, slatted front grille, front-wheel disc brakes, ‘V12’ badging, three-spoke steering wheel, uncovered headlights, bonnet louvers, rocker switches, Firestone tires, wire wheels, jack, and a full-size spare.
1973 Jaguar XKE V12 Roadster rear view
Convenience features include air conditioning, manual-crank windows, dual-side rearview mirrors, an armrest center console, a glove box, AM/FM radio, and a passenger dash grab handle.
1973 Jaguar XKE V12 Roadster interior
In addition to its timeless design, this Jaguar comes with a collection of receipt copies totaling over $24,000 that have been invested into the vehicle from November 1981 through May 2022.
This demonstrates the care and attention that has been given to this vehicle, ensuring its optimal condition and longevity for years to come.
If you’re in the market for a classic Jaguar that exudes style, elegance, and performance, look no further than this extremely desirable last series E-type that is mechanically sound.
As its point of origin the XKE-type was based on Jaguar’s D-Type racing car, which had won the Le Mans 24-hour race for three consecutive years, beginning in 1955.
The E-Type employed what was (for the early 1960s) a novel design, with a front subframe carrying the engine, front suspension and front bodywork bolted directly to the body tub. No ladder frame chassis, as was common at the time, was needed and as such the first cars weighed only 2,899 lb.
The E-type Jaguar (XKE in the US) opened with perhaps that ultimate accolade from Enzo Ferrari.
1973 Jaguar XKE V12 Roadster engine
Meanwhile, in 2004 Sports Car International Magazine had the E-type at number one on their list of Top Sports Cars of the 1960s. And in 2008 the British newspaper the Daily Telegraph placed the Jaguar E-type at number one on its list of ‘100 most beautiful cars of all time.’ In 2013, the Jaguar E-Type featured on a ‘British Auto Legends’ postage stamp issued by the UK’s Royal Mail.
When the Jaguar E-Type was unveiled in 1961, almost as the ultimate accolade, Frank Sinatra is reported to have said, ‘I want that car, and I want it now.’ Having a Jaguar E-Type was the ultimate status symbol, so how could the king of swing be denied one?
Not a bad set of testaments to immortality for this stunning and functional piece of art.
Hard not to think of it in the same terms as Enzo Ferrari, ‘the most beautiful car ever made.’
-Alex Manos, Owner
Jaguar XKE S3 buyer Alex Manos

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