The Jaguar E-Type debuted in 1961. Given the marque’s legendary racing history, it was almost inevitable that the well-received model—a charismatic expression of performance and beauty—would find its way to the racetrack. A month after the car’s introduction, a pair of E-Types, driven by Roy Salvadori and future Formula 1 champion Graham Hill, were already competing at England’s Oulton Park circuit. A similar destiny awaited this E-Type in America.
The first-series E-Type roadster offered here was produced on 1 March 1962 and dispatched to Kjell Qvale’s British Motor Car Distributors in San Francisco, California. Upon arrival, the cream-over-black E-Type was immediately turned over to Joe Huffaker, one of the most successful race car constructors of the time, to prepare it for SCCA A-Production road racing. The work included modifications to the 3.8-liter inline six—cylinder head and camshaft work within the rules of the time—to enhance performance.
Once readied for the track, it was one of the first E-Types to race in North America. Competing primarily in San Francisco Region SCCA events in 1962 and 1963, drivers Frank Morrill and Merle Brennan made the white #66 a familiar sight on the podium at venues such as Laguna Seca, Cotati, and Candlestick Park. Overall victories included the June 1963 Laguna Seca SCCA Championship production car race, as well as the fourth annual RDC 4-Hour Enduro. The lithe Jaguar often held its own against the likes of Allen Grant’s 289 Cobra, Dick Guldstrand’s Corvette, and Bev Spencer’s Ferrari 250 GTO, among a host of others.
The #66 E-Type proudly retains and displays its racing heritage. Its ownership from new is well-known and features a series of performance-focused owners. In 1966 the car was sold to SCCA Regional Executive Bob Bennett, and in 1968 it was purchased by well-known SCCA racer Larry Albedi, who continued to race it actively. There were two additional transfers before the current owner acquired the car in 2007.
In 2011, he disassembled the racing E-Type, stripped it to bare metal, and meticulously restored it to period-correct standards, including a repaint to its original cream color. Of particular note are the new “original” wire wheels, hubs, and spare wheel and tire. The cockpit boasts two Naugahyde racing seats. The current racing engine was rebuilt in 2016 by Joe Huffaker, Jr., son of the original racer modifier, and has only 80 minutes of time on it. The car also features a four-speed Moss Gear transmission and a limited-slip differential with a hard-to-find 3.77 ratio. It is track-ready (subject to normal pre-race preparations) and competed in the Monterey Reunion as recently as 2017. This remarkable racing E-Type is titled in California and could be made street-legal depending on the next owner’s desires.
This E-Type’s important competition history was widely recognized when it captured the Jaguar Heritage Trust award for Best Presentation of the Featured Marque at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. It is an accomplished show car, a Jaguar class winner at the Concours d’Elegance at Serrano, and a two-time entrant at the Quail. Best of all, the #66 E-Type is documented with an extensive file of historical material, including period photos, home movies, newspaper clippings, race programs, and more. A Jaguar Heritage Trust certificate is also included.
It’s not often that a racing Jaguar of significance is made available—this is the first time this remarkable car has been offered for public sale. The fortunate purchaser will have the choice of enjoying the car on the track or on display—perhaps both. In any case, #66 E-Type is an instantly recognizable and rare Jaguar with an impressive history.
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