Hop into your DeLorean, kids, we’re going on a time-travel adventure.
Set your clock to February of 1963, a time when the Beatles opened for Helen Shapiro, Mickey Mantle signed a $100,000 baseball contract and Jaguar built 12 special-edition E-Type Lightweight race cars.
The E-Type is, to many people, the most beautiful car ever made. The ultra-rare Lightweight version was crafted out of aluminum, got its power from a 3.8-liter straight 6-cylinder with an aluminum block, had a stripped-out interior, no chrome trim and lighter-weight side windows. Those modifications resulted in a 250-pound weight loss and an increase in performance, especially useful around a race track.
Legend has it that Jaguar was supposed to build 18 of the rocketships, but managed only 12. The outstanding 6 were allocated chassis numbers but never built. For the next 50 years their shells sat gathering dust while Jaguar marched ahead, hence the time machine to go back and get one or somehow convince Coventry to go ahead and finish the missing 6.
Lucky for us, we can keep the time machine parked and thank our lucky stars that Jaguar is going back in time for us.
Jaguar has announced that it’s preparing to resume production and complete the final 6 cars, some 50 years after the originals. The company has assigned its finest craftsmen to the job, who will build the 6 Lightweights to the same exact specifications as the original dozen, which means reproducing their infamous 3.8-liter fuel-injected straight 6.
Jaguar expects a high demand for the 6 Lightweight E-Types and can surely charge whatever it wants for the privilege of owning one. The company’s press release says,
Established Jaguar collectors, especially those with historic race car interests, will be prioritised amongst those potential customers who express interest.
Eleven of the original 12 are known to exist today, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the owners of those are the ones who bring home new sisters for their old toys.
Should more automakers build exact reproductions of classic cars?