The Most Beautiful Car Of All Time
- Geneva. The collective jaws of the motoring press dropped to the floor. Elegant, beautiful, sleek, formidable - the superlatives could go on. That it continues to take out most surveys when people are asked to nominate the car they think to be most beautiful says it all really. Jaguar had departed from the traditional design of the XK120
when it developed the D-Type
, however this car was strictly a racer. Few thought it would form the basis for a new type of sports-car, probably many thought it not possible.
But the lads at Jaguar stuck with the D-Type’s formula, that being a central steel monocoque with front subframe supporting the engine and independent front suspension. The engineers ensured the centre section was extremely strong so that torsional rigidity would not be compromised. The only real down side to all of this was the cost of repairs. By using the driveshaft as an integral part of the suspension, the Jaguar designers were able to maximise the rear space. But the beauty of the car was up front, with the long curvy single-piece bonnet that draped the competition XK150s performance engine.
While the original cars used a less than friendly non-synchro 4 speed gearbox, importantly the inboard mounted rear disc brakes
used on the D-Type were carried over. (An unfortunate side-effect with early E-Types was overheating brakes
under extreme conditions). The E-Type was originally available as either a Fixed Head Coupe or Roadster. In 1964
the car underwent it’s first upgrade, which included the introduction of a larger 4.2 litre engine and, thankfully, a “Moss” all-synchro gearbox. In 1966
Jaguar released a 2+2 Coupe, necessarily longer, it is arguably a little less elegant than the DHC.
The Series 2 was introduced in 1968
, the new model featuring quite a number of upgrades, most particularly so that it could meet the ever stricter safety and emission regulations. It was the safety requirements of the day that deemed the covered headlamps to be a hazard, and so this makes spotting a Series 2 quite easy, as they will have open headlights.