Jaguar will at last complete the original 18-car program of its special Lightweight E-type racing cars, of which only 12 were ever built.
Developed to take on the likes of Ferrari at Le Mans, the ‘Special GT E-type’ Lightweight cars saw little success, but never failed to ignite the passions of the model’s devoted fans.
Built with an extensive use of aluminium and powered by a 224kW 3.8 litre aluminium-block straight six, the special racers weighed around 114kg less than the standard E-type - thanks also to a lack of interior trim and exterior chrome accents.
The last of the 12 existing Lightweight E-types was built in 1964, but the cars will return this year when Jaguar builds - 'brand new' - the six remaining cars of the original 18-car program.
Kicking off Jaguar’s first-ever ‘re-creation project’, the last six cars will be built to the exact specifications of the original racers, produced in-house by Jaguar’s own craftsmen.
The company says it expects a high demand for the final six cars, and ‘first dibs’ will go to established collectors - particularly those with an interest in historic motor racing.
"The E-type is an iconic car, and the Lightweight E-tpe is the most desirable model of all," Director of the Jaguar's Heritage Business arm, Derek Weale, said.
"To be able to complete the intended production run of 18, some 50 years after the last Lightweight was completed, is an opportunity we couldn't miss".
Will we see one of these six cars in Australia? Bob Jane found great success on the track with an E-type, and a Peter Briggs-owned Lightweight is known to have lived at the York Motor Museum in WA until it was sold to an overseas collector in 1999 for around $1 million in today’s money.
Perhaps one of those gents will snap up one of the six new offerings…
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