The Jaguar E Type, which routinely ranks in lists of the most beautiful or most classic car designs of all time, came to define the history of the marque. Jaguar, which had previously been known for absolute power on the race track, developed its E Type in the late 1950s and released production versions in 1961 through to 1974. The transition was obvious – the powerful, solid cars of the pre-war era had matured into a symbol quite unlike anything seen before on this side of the Atlantic.

It is notable that the Jaguar E Type is one of only two cars routinely referred to as “design classics” – in the same way that the archetypal Coke bottle is called a design classic and the epochal iMac from the early 21st century. The other car in the frame is the Ford Mustang, released just three years after the E Type in 1964. Both cars featured long, smooth lines and ferocious power; both were released as roadsters (convertible cars) as well as hard-tops; and both became emblematic of the style of their decade on either side of the pond.

Jaguar_E-type_Series_IE Type Jaguar gifts, then, are mementoes as much as presents. In some cases they take on the status almost of votive objects, which serve as a reminder of a time now gone: but a time that has shaped everything that came after it. Indeed, it’s not too much to say that the E Type, like the decade that produced it, was responsible for many things that came after. It was the first and most vibrant attempt by any manufacturer to blend real style with proper power – and the results were spectacular.

Even people who weren’t born when the E Type finished production know what it looks like – the long shark nose, which houses either a 3.8 litre or a 4.2 litre six cylinder engine; the flowing lines; the mesh wheels. Early E Types had flat floor pans and featured odd little clasps on the huge bonnet, which could only be opened using a specific Jaguar tool.

Now, original E Types in mint condition are extremely valuable. A flat floor E Type with the bonnet pins can fetch an extraordinary amount of money at auction – should anyone lucky enough to own one ever be foolish enough to sell one!

The vehicle has come to be seen as an emblem of a time when cars were truly beautiful – and like the Mustang, it has no equivalent even among the most superbly luxurious of its kind today. It is, though (like the Mustang, and like all older vehicles deemed classics), insanely expensive to maintain, difficult to drive in comparison to a power steering modern vehicle, and prone to rust and elemental damage.

In short, then, the E Type is a symbol of a time when things looked better but worked worse – not that anyone ever knew then that people would still be driving them 50 years on. For this reason alone, it should be celebrated.

Drusilla Anderson is a freelance content writer. She has an obsession for Jaguar cars and has written several articles on this classic car including the different range of E Type Jaguar gifts available in the market.

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The Jaguar E Type, which routinely ranks in lists of the most beautiful or most classic car designs of all time, came to define the history of the marque. Jaguar, which had previously been known for absolute power on the race track, developed its E Type in the late...