Presented by RM Sotheby's - In 2014, Jaguar picked up where they left off in the 1960s and produced an additional six examples of the revered Lightweight E-Types. However, that number did not include this E-Type, “Car 0,” the first such Lightweight built for promotional use by Jaguar Classic. Not “replicas,” these were brand-new cars built as the originals had been, using the original engineering blueprints and designs as well as much of the original materials and methods. Further, the cars were given chassis numbers not utilized in the original production—thus “completing” the Lightweight E-Type model run. Needless to say, the project drew a great deal of attention, and the Jaguars were eagerly snapped up by private collectors.
The new Lightweight E-Type (LWE) was based on a unibody built by JLR of Whitley, England, and fully wrapped in aluminum panels, which reduces its weight by 250 pounds over the production steel bodies; the shell was reproduced using detailed scans of an original lightweight body. The grade of aluminum and the forming methods were both the same used in the 1960s. It is important to note that while techniques such as high-strength aluminum alloys and bonded structures are now available and could have been used, they intentionally were not, as they would have invalidated the cars for historic racing events. To that end, a roll cage was mounted as standard equipment. The only components uprated have been for safety and durability, such as later oil and water temperature gauges and Willans safety harnesses.
The engine is a Crosthwaite & Gardiner–built 3.8-liter inline-six with an aluminum block with steel liners, significantly reducing weight over the front wheels, and featuring a “wide-angle” aluminum head, dry-sump lubrication system, and either fuel injection or three Weber 45DCOE carburetors. Jaguar quoted over 300 horsepower and 280 foot-pounds of torque at 4,500 rpm, delivered to the rear axle via a close-ratio, fully synchronized four-speed transmission and single-plate clutch. Additional lightweight mechanical components included the radiator, oil cooler, and expansion tank for the coolant. The suspension was fitted with upgraded shock absorbers, controlling the front torsion bars and rear coil springs, while steering is handled by a stock E-Type rack-and-pinion system. Larger 12.25 in. brake discs were mounted at the front, while the perforated 15-inch-diameter wheels were correctly cast of magnesium.
CHASSIS NUMBER S 851001
The LWE offered here, chassis number S 851001, was equipped with a 3.8-liter, six-cylinder engine with triple Weber carburetors and “wide-angle” cylinder head. This car, dubbed “Car 0,” was utilized by Jaguar Classic as a North American press car, widely seen in promotional materials and magazines as well as at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion on the Jaguar Special Vehicle Operations stand. Afterward, it was returned to the factory and rebuilt to “new” condition prior to delivery to its first owner. Today, offered from just its second owner, it has been only gently and occasionally used and now has only 718 miles recorded at time of cataloguing. It will place its next custodian in a very small club indeed, one of only seven persons who can enjoy the reborn Lightweight’s unbelievable, evocative performance, worthy of the legend.
RM Sotheby’s is thrilled to announce the expansion of its Monterey auction this year with a third auction night dedicated to the incomparable Paul Andrews Estate Collection. Offered almost entirely without reserve, the impressive collection will kick-off RM’s flagship auction weekend on Thursday, 12 August.