This was the first left hand drive 2+2 E-Type ever made, it was presented to the press by Sir William Lyons to showcase the new model for the American market. After this it was delivered to its first owner – Gary Fairmont Filosa, the author of “The Surfer’s Almanac.”
The 2+2 version of the E-Type was introduced in 1966, it had a nine inch longer chassis and a higher roofline that allowed seating for four and some additional trunk space. Almost immediately the 2+2 became the most popular version, outselling the roadster and the coupe.
Fast Facts – The Jaguar E-Type 2+2
- The original Jaguar E-Type is widely regarded by many as the most beautiful car ever made. It was offered over three series in three different forms, the roadster (convertible), the coupe, and the 2+2 coupe.
- From early on in the E-Type’s production Jaguar boss Sir William Lyons had wanted a more practical version, with seating for four and more interior space. With the release of the 2+2 in 1966 he got his wish.
- Some have complained about the looks of the 2+2 E-Type over the years, and the larger, longer roof isn’t quite as aesthetically pleasing as the regular coupe or the roadster. That said, the 2+2 outsold both its stablemates as it was more practical.
- The car you see here is the first left hand drive 2+2 that was built, and one of the first extant. It was destined for the US market – Jaguar’s most important export market – and some how, many decades later, it ended up partially disassembled in a Dutch barn.
The Jaguar E-Type 2+2
The Jaguar E-Type, known as the Jaguar XKE in the North American market, was first shown to the world’s motoring press in 1961 at the Geneva Motor Show. The caused a sensation, it was one of the fastest production cars in the world and it was priced at just £2,097 – the equivalent of £32,882 ($38,900 USD) in 2022.
Above Video: This episode of Jay Leno’s Garage is all about the E-Type and it’s remarkable impact on the automotive world of the 1960s.
Upon seeing the new Jaguar Enzo Ferrari is said to have called it “the most beautiful car ever made” and a slew of celebrities placed their orders including Frank Sinatra, George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Tony Curtis, and Peter Sellers.
The secret to the extraordinary performance of the E-Type came from its sports racing car heritage, it was developed using lessons from the multiple Le Mans-winning C-Type and D-Type Jaguars, and it used a variant of the same Jaguar XK engine.
By the standards of the early 1960s the Jaguar E-Type was lightyears ahead of its competition, it had a steel monocoque body with a separate front subframe, fully independent front and rear suspension, disc brakes front and back, race car-bred handling, excellent aerodynamics, and a top speed of 150 mph.
The car proved to be a best-seller for Jaguar, they initially offered both roadster (convertible) and coupe versions of the car. Jaguar boss Sir William Lyons insisted that a larger and more practical version be developed, with two small rear seats for children and some additional trunk/rear cargo space.
This car, called the E-Type 2+2 was introduced in 1966 and it immediately became the best-selling E-Type variant.
The 2+2 E-Type chassis was nine inches longer the windshield and roof were two inches higher, and longer than the standard coupe to make room for the rear seats. Though it wasn’t quite as aesthetically perfect as the roadster or coupe variant, the 2+2 more than made up for it in practicality, and it made the car an option for families with children.
By the time the Series 3 E-Type had been introduced in 1971 the 2+2 had completely replaced the coupe – Jaguar offered just the roadster or the 2+2 for the Series 3 production run that ended in 1974.
The Jaguar E-Type 2+2 Shown Here
The car you see here is undoubtably one of the most consequential 2+2 E-Types ever made. It’s the very first left hand drive version and one of the first production examples from late 1965.
This car was used by Sir William Lyons to demonstrate the new model variant in the USA, it was later sold to its first owner there, a well-known writer.
Over the years the car would change hands a few times and its historic significance was forgotten until the story was uncovered more recently due to research into the car’s VIN.
For many years this E-Type has been sitting in a partially restored state in a barn in the Netherlands, it’s now being offered for sale with its matching-numbers engine for €40,000 which is approximately $40,026 USD.
If you’d like to read more about this car or enquire about buying it you can visit the listing here. It’s being offered for sale out of Oirschot in the Netherlands.
Images courtesy of Car & Classic
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.