Austin Powers famously zipped around the streets of London in a Union Jack-bedecked Jaguar E-Type – and like the sixties superspy, the legendary machine is set to be revived from its cryogenically frozen slumber and reborn in the year 2014. Well, sort of.
Expert Jaguar craftsmen will undertake a project that sees six brand new ‘Lightweight’ E-Types built, completing the 18-car series that was originally intended in 1963.
This is the first time Jaguar has embarked on a ‘re-creation’ venture of this scale; it plans to create six perfect replicas of the 12 original cars that were finished and sold over 50 years ago.
Jaguar’s competition department designed the ‘Lightweight’ E-Type in the early 1960s to dominate the early GT series and opted to shed 114kg of weight over its road-going counterpart, making liberal use of aluminium parts. The nimble vehicles were then homologated for competition by being designated as a standard car with a number of ‘race-ready’ options.
These included an all-aluminium monocoque, aluminium body panels, an aluminium hardtop and a fearsome 300bhp version of the 3.8-litre fuel-injected XK engine.
The Cat Came Back
Now, Jaguar’s team of in-house craftsmen will meticulously replicate these original cars to complete the intended run of 18, with each model boasting the six remaining chassis numbers that were allocated back in 1963.
Surprisingly, the historic recreations are not simply destined for a museum but will be sold to established Jaguar collectors and those with enough money to burn - although prices are yet to be discussed.
A testament to the original ‘Lightweight’ E-Type’s resilience is the fact that despite only 12 being built, a staggering 11 models are said to have survived years of hard racing by the likes of Jackie Stewart and Graham Hill. Though it's a safe bet that these new E-Types will spend more time being lovingly polished in a temperature-controlled garage than tearing up the track.