Jaguar Lightweight E-Type

Back in February of 1963, Jaguar set about making a small run of lightweight E-Types. It recrafted the bodywork out of aluminum, shoehorned in a 3.8-liter straight-six with an aluminum block, stripped out the interior, removed the chrome trim and fitted lighter-weight side windows. The result was a 250-pound reduction in curb weight and a commensurate increase in performance, especially evident on the race track. The company originally set about building 18 examples, but only managed 12. The remaining six were allocated chassis numbers, but were never built. That is, until now.

Fifty years since the last of the original 12 lightweight E-Types were completed, Jaguar has announced that it is preparing to resume production and complete the final six examples. The company has assigned its top craftsmen to the job, who will build the half-dozen continuation Lightweights to the same exact specifications as the original dozen. Former sister-company and perennial arch-rival Aston Martin undertook a similar task (or at least authorized Zagato to do so) when it sanctioned four continuation examples of the original DB4 GT Zagato based on original chassis numbers in 1988, and another two based on original body shells and stock DB4 chassis in 1992.

Jaguar has not yet announced pricing and availability for the continuation Lightweights, but the first old-is-new example is set to debut this summer, whereupon Coventry will release further details. You can bet, though, that each one will be snapped up rather quick at just about any price the British automaker cares to put on them.
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THE LIGHTWEIGHT E-TYPE IS REBORN

IN BRIEF
- Jaguar is to build six brand new 'Lightweight' E-types – the 'missing' six Lightweights that were never built from the intended 18-car series
- Jaguar's first ever 're-creation' project, the all-aluminium cars will be assigned the six remaining chassis numbers which were originally allocated in 1963
- All six vehicles will be built as perfect reproductions and to the exact specifications of the original 12 cars first produced in 1963
- The first new Lightweight E-type will make its public debut later this summer. Further information will be released at that point

IN DETAIL

(Whitley, Coventry – 14/05/2014). Jaguar is to build six perfect reproductions of the original, race-bred Lightweight E-type that was created in 1963. The new cars are the 'missing' six vehicles from Jaguar's Lightweight E-type project, which originally started in February 1963 with the objective of building 18 'Special GT E-type Cars'.

Only 12 of the aluminium bodied Lightweight E-types were eventually built, the last in 1964, the remaining six designated chassis numbers having lain dormant, until now.

The new cars will be hand-built in-house by Jaguar's finest craftsmen. Each car will be constructed to the exact specifications of their original 1960s forebears – including the 3.8-litre straight-six engine.

The Lightweight carried approximately 114kg (250lb) less weight than a standard E-type, thanks to its all-aluminium body and engine block, a lack of interior trim and exterior chrome work and a host of further weight-saving features including lightweight, hand-operated side windows.

Jaguar expects a high demand for the six Lightweight E-types. Established Jaguar collectors, especially those with historic race car interests, will be prioritised amongst those potential customers who express interest.