Jaguar Turns Eye to History with Collection Purchase, Continuation of 50-Year-Old Series

Jaguar will build the remaining six of a planned 18-car production run abandoned 50 years ago.

If you’re a fan of classic cars made across the Pond, sorry ’bout your luck. Jaguar just dropped a cool $170 million, beating you to the punch on the world’s largest collection of British classic cars. Consider us here at E3 Spark Plugs envious.

Included in the epic score were 130 of the company’s own cars, including a including a XK, SS, C, D and E-types, XJ as well as a few rare Land Rovers. The Jaguar division that bought the collection handles the company’s heritage museum and special projects and plans to use the cars to promote the brand and preserve its history.

Speaking of preserving Jaguar history, the company is plugging away at the recently announced 2014 Jaguar E-type lightweight – a half century after its original deadline. In February 1963, Jaguar began work on a small run of the re-crafted car, which featured aluminum bodywork, a 3.8-liter straight-six engine with an aluminum block, a minimized interior and lighter-weight side windows. Jaguar had planned an 18-car run, but only managed to turn out 12 before abandoning the project.

The cars had been designed with beating the formidable Ferrari 250 GTO on the race tracks. Jaguar aimed to build a competitor 250 pounds lighter, race prepped it with multiple modifications and fibbed a bit to regulators, claiming the cars were standard production roadsters with modified bodywork. Truth was, they were actually low-drag, all-alloy bodies built from scratch.

But in the end, it didn’t matter anyway. While the lightweight E-Types held their own on short-course tracks, they were simply no match for their Ferrari-built nemesis on the longer courses. The remaining six E-Types were assigned chassis numbers but never built.

Until now, that is. Perhaps fueled by nostalgia, Jaguar is completing those six forgotten cars to the exact specifications of the originals and they’re expected to fetch a fortune. Real Series 1 models run around $300,000 and Jaguar estimates those of the newly completed run will be in high demand. If you’ve got your heart set on one, you might be in for some bad news. The company is limiting sales to established Jaguar collectors only.


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