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Car Tales: Nothing Better? The Jaguar XKE

The E-type Jaguar – known as the XKE in the United States – opened its commercial life with perhaps the ultimate accolade.
‘The most beautiful car ever made’ the legendary Enzo Ferrari is alleged to have decreed upon its launch on 15 March 1961.
1964 Jaguar XKE Roadster Right-Hand Drive for sale
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 Royal Mail.

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Meanwhile, when the Jaguar E-Type was unveiled in 1961, 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?
1964 Jaguar XKE Roadster Right-Hand Drive side view
So not a bad set of testaments to immortality, all in all, for this stunning and yet functional piece of art – hard not to think of it in the same terms of Enzo Ferrari, the most beautiful car that has ever been made.
The car was based on Jaguar’s D-Type race car, which had won the Le Mans 24-hour race three consecutive years, beginning in 1955. The E-Type employed what was, for the early 1960s, a novel design principle, 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 1,315 kg (2,899 lbs).
The E-Type was introduced as a rear-wheel drive grand tourer in two-seater coupé form (FHC or Fixed Head Coupé) and as a two-seater convertible ‘roadster’ (OTS or Open Two Seater). (A ‘2+2’ four-seater version of the coupé, with a lengthened wheelbase, was released in 1966.) An open 3.8-liter car, actually the first such production car to be completed, was tested by the British magazine Motor in 1961 and had a top speed of 149.1 mph (240.0 km/h) and could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 km/h) in 7.1 seconds. A fuel consumption of 21.3 miles per imperial gallon (13.3 L/100 km; 17.7 mpg‑US) was recorded.
We have a classic Jaguar XKE Roadster version at this very moment at Beverly Hills Car Club, an extremely sought-after right-hand drive 1964 Jaguar XKE Roadster, Series 1, featured with matching numbers, in Signal Red with a black interior.
1964 Jaguar XKE Roadster Right-Hand Drive rear view
The E-Type comes equipped with a 4-speed manual transmission, 3.8-liter engine, triple SU carburetors, toggle switches, wood steering wheel, soft top, covered headlights, 4-wheel disc brakes, wire wheels, spare tire, and jack. Also included are service documents and receipts copies dating from 1975 to 2020, totaling over $35,000 invested in the vehicle. This is a unique opportunity to find a rare factory right-hand drive E-Type Roadster that has had the same owner since 1985 and is mechanically sound.
The car we have is the first edition of the Series 1 car, those made between 1961 and 1964, which had 3.8-liter engines and (on all but the very last cars) partial synchromesh transmissions.
1964 Jaguar XKE Roadster Right-Hand Drive interior
The Series 1 was introduced, initially for export only, in March 1961. The UK domestic market launch came four months later in July 1961. The cars at this time used the triple SU carbureted 3.8-litre six-cylinder Jaguar XK6 engine from the XK150s. Earlier built cars utilised external hood latches which required a tool to open and had a flat floor design.
After that, the floors were dished to provide more leg room and the twin bonnet latches moved to inside the car. The 3.8-liter engine was increased to 4.2 liter (4,235 cc) in October 1964.
Brian Epstein, the manager of The Beatles, gave George Harrison a Jaguar E-Type Jaguar for his 21st birthday on 25 February 1964. The car was customized, including a dashboard-mounted record player.
Meanwhile, Peter Sellers, who played Chief Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther film series, purchased an E-Type Jaguar in 1967 for his spouse Britt Ekland. One of the very last Series 1 Jaguars, it was finished in Fiesta red with black upholstery and had specially designed sports exterior wing mirrors.
1964 Jaguar XKE Insta
Another Oscar-nominated actor who owned a series 1.5 E-type roadster was the very great Tony Curtis.
And the colossally successful musician Sir Elton John had a nice little hobby, collecting unique vintage automobiles, amongst which was a red 1965 Jaguar XKE 4.2-Liter Series I Roadster.
And we are not even mentioning The Big O, Roy Orbison. Or the superstar soccer player George Best, the French King of Rock’n’Roll Johnny Halliday, the divine Princess Grace Kelly, or the superb American actor Charlton Heston, all owners and lovers of the Jaguar E-type.
Wouldn’t you just love one yourself?
-Alex Manos, Owner
1964 Jaguar XKE rhd buyer Alex Manos

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