Rarely does an automaker’s promise come to fruition as satisfyingly as it has with Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Operations Division (SVO).
The customization branch, which launched in June, is “completely focused on enhancing and personalizing the relationship our most discerning and enthusiastic customers have with our brands,” said to John Edwards, SVO Managing Director.
Jaguar Heritage, which operates within the automaker’s special ops wing, has decided to do just that. The historically-minded outfit is bringing the classic Lightweight E-Type back from the dead, building just six examples of the featherweight sports car.
Why just six? The original run of featherweight E-Types was meant to be 18 vehicles in total, however only 12 were produced. Thus, six unused chassis codes have lain dormant since 1964, oft overlooked, forgotten by many … until now.
Each of the six cars will be hand-built to the exact specs of the original E-Type, aluminum body and 340-horsepower XK six-cylinder and all.
RELATED: Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe first drive
Normally, this would be the part where I say something like, ‘The Jag may be a classic, but it will be chalk-full of today’s technology,’ but I can’t. Yes, the entire body was digitally mapped down to the millimeter, but the ‘new’ E-Type will not use modern materials or construction methods in the building process.
The grades of aluminum used to build the car are nearly identical to those used in 1963. The engine will be carbureted. Even the brakes are the same, although the front discs are slightly larger than before.
The Jag will shake. It will rattle. It will cough. And I think I speak for all classic Jaguar lovers when I say I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Whether it’s the unpainted aluminum that graces the sports car’s interior, rack-and-pinion steering, or retro 15-inch ‘perforated’ wheels, this car is the perfect homage to the legendary E-Type because it is the legendary E-Type.
A ‘Car-Zero’ prototype has been constructed and will be showcased on August 14th at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. There will be countless automotive beauties and technological wonders at the event, but I have a feeling that this ‘old’ Jag might just steal the show.