Cars

"The Most Beautiful Car Ever Made"

It wasn’t the first sexy car made by the British marque, and it certainly wasn’t the last, but the E-Type is almost certainly the definitive Jaguar. With its high-tech construction (by 1960s standards) blending perfectly with its sleek lines and impossibly long hood, the E-Type had even its rivals awestruck by its beauty. Even Enzo Ferrari—who was, of course, no stranger to beautiful automobiles—proclaimed it “The most beautiful car ever made.” Not too shabby. And now, there's an outstanding example over at RM's Monterey auction.

If the exterior was gorgeous, the interior was possibly even better. It set a gold standard for what a luxurious-yet-sporty interior should be that stands to this day. The leather on the seats was made from cows raised in Norway, where they roamed free in a barbed wire-less environment, meaning they never were scarred. 

The chassis and body of the E-Type was in line with the best practices of the aerospace industry of the time, which meant they were very rigid, thus enabling Jaguar’s engineers to design a world-class suspension.

Of course, it's still a Jag. Having tools on hand is always essential.

With a zero-to-60 time at seven seconds and a top speed around 150 mph, no one would ever call the E-Type slow, but the handling was what really set it apart from most other cars. Truly, this was the last time Jaguar went toe to toe with the Ferraris of the world.

The 4.2 liter straight six puts out 265 hp, and is noted for being A) exceptionally smooth and B) insanely gorgeous.

As a whole, the car defined the Jaguar brand in a way no car has before or since. It took on all comers from a performance standpoint, and obliterated the field in the looks department. Songs about other cars even included the E-Type as the obvious competition for vehicles like Cobras and Stingrays. It’s little wonder, then, that Jaguar spent decades trying to recapture the car’s magic with rides like the XJ-S and XK8 before finally arriving at the F-Type.


Aaron Miller is the Rides editor for Supercompressor. While he’s driven every coupe Jaguar has made since, he’s never driven an E-Type. He remains committed to changing that some day.