Wednesday, 9 February 2011


The 50th anniversary year of Jaguar's iconic E-type got underway in London yesterday (Tuesday February 8th) when legendary test driver Norman Dewis, who this year celebrates his 91st birthday, and John Surtees, only man to win World championships on two wheels and four, unveiled a stunning 1961 E-type which has recently been restored.

The car has been loaned by Classic Motor Cars of Bridgnorth in Shropshire who approached the museum about having an example of the car on display to celebrate the 50th anniversary.

F1 Champion John Surtees, who travelled to the Jaguar factory at Brown's lane in Coventry to pick up his car said: "Up until 1961 people had associated motoring beauty with either Italy or Germany but here was a beautiful car which had been built and designed in the UK -it was a must have."

He added: "The E-type has the Jekyll and Hyde personality that every good sports car must have, fierce at one moment, and docile the next."

Standing in front of E-type 77 RW, Norman Dewis, Jaguar's test driver told journalists that he well remembered being on a test run in the car and getting a call asking him to "drop everything" and drive the car from Coventry to the Geneva motor show so that it could become a press car.

He added: "Coventry to Dover took me two hours and I completed the run to Geneva in just 11 hours I averaged 68mph - it was quite a drive. The E-type took the motoring world by storm and it was great to be its test driver and to be here today celebrating the E-type anniversary."

Also on special display just for the launch was the Jaguar Heritage Trust's E-Type 77 RW, which was one of the original press cars from 1961.

The E-type, manufactured by Jaguar between 1961 and 1974, and considered by many experts as one of the most beautiful cars of all time, became an icon of 1960s motoring with its revolutionary design and a combination of elegance, performance and competitive price.

Chassis No 94 will be on display at the Design Museum Tank until March 6th.

Source: Classic Motor Cars

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