Car of the Week: An Ultra-Rare 1964 Jaguar E-Type Re-Creation Is Now up for Grabs

During its launch at the 1961 Geneva Auto Show, the Jaguar E-Type reputedly inspired Enzo Ferrari to remark that it was “the most beautiful car in the world.” While Il Commendatore’s opinion might be debated by some Ferraristi, it’s hard to argue in the context of history. After all, in the 65 years since the E-Type debuted, few—if any—cars have eclipsed Malcom Sayer’s design for the XK-E, as the model was known stateside.

Yet a voluptuous automotive shape doesn’t necessarily translate to the most efficient aerodynamics, and as a successor to Jaguar’s capable D-Type race car, the E-Type needed a little fettling to be ultimately competitive. Jaguar’s “Lightweight” E-Type was the answer, 18 of which were planned and a dozen of which were built in 1963 (the remaining six have been newly constructed by Jaguar to original specification and use the original assigned VINs).

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A re-creation of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type Low-Drag Coupe.
A re-creation of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type Low-Drag Coupe.

Prior to building the all-aluminum Lightweights, though, Jaguar began to hone its street car to gain the competitive edge as an even more curvaceous “Low-Drag Coupe.” Three examples were built, one campaigned in period by privateer-driver Dick Protheroe. Now owned by Viscount Cowdray, it appears occasionally at the Goodwood Revival.

All three Low-Drag Coupes were slightly different, and one of them, No. 49FXN, was the aesthetic reference for fabricator Marco Diaz, who painstakingly replicated the long-gone original. Diaz engaged surviving members of the original design and production team, including aerodynamicist Dr. Samir Klat, to spearhead the re-creation, supported by original blueprints, documents, and photographs to ensure accuracy in the reimagined racer.

The interior of re-creation of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type Low-Drag Coupe.
Every component in the cockpit, which is dressed in blue leather, is handcrafted.

Two cars resulted from the project: the left-hand-drive “OWL226,” built to street-car specification, and UK-spec “13FXN,” now at Goodwood. “OWL” debuted at the 2019 Quail Motorsports Gathering, garnering accolades for its masterful and accurate artistry. The original E-Type’s aluminum clamshell hood is one of the most complicated in the history of the automobile, and it has been meticulously replicated here by UK-based RS Panels. Under the hood is Jaguar’s 3.8-liter, inline-six engine. Far from ordinary, it’s fitted with components from Croswaithe & Gardiner, and built by Ed Pink Racing Engines of Van Nuys, Calif.

Jaguar's 3.8-liter, inline-six engine in a re-creation of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type Low-Drag Coupe.
Under the aluminum clamshell hood is Jaguar’s 3.8-liter, inline-six engine.

The car’s output is 380 hp, a significant increase over the road car’s huge-for-the-day 265 hp. An upgraded five-speed manual transmission stirs more smoothly than anything encountered in the era of the unsynchronized Moss gearbox, where only expert heel-and-toe shifters need apply. The suspension from Croswaithe & Gardiner uses custom Koni shocks, and the car rides on 15-inch magnesium wheels with triple-ear knock-offs, adding substance and style to the performance equation.

Luxurious improvements are immediately apparent when slipping into the cockpit. The original Low-Drag Coupe was a utilitarian device, paying no heed to creature comfort. But in creating “OWL,” Diaz civilized the driver experience.

A re-creation of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type Low-Drag Coupe.
This car has only 766 miles on it.

Every component within the interior, which is dressed in blue leather, is handcrafted. Tipping a hat to Britain’s aviation heroes of World War WII, the dashboard incorporates switches salvaged from RAF fighter aircraft. Resplendent in Titanium Gray paintwork and showing just 766 miles on it, this unique E-Type re-creation is now offered through the team at Canepa, a Northern California–based restoration specialist, and its pricing is available upon request.

Click here for more photos of this re-created 1964 Jaguar E-Type Low-Drag Coupe.

A re-creation of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type Low-Drag Coupe.
A re-creation of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type Low-Drag Coupe.

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