Forty one years on, Jaguar is finally set to complete its 18-car Lightweight E-type series. In 1963, only 12 of the aluminium-bodied race-bred vehicles were built, with the remaining six never seeing the light of day. Until now.
The automaker has announced that it is to build the remaining six Lightweights to finish the run. The brand new cars will be built as perfect reproductions and to the exact specifications of the original dozen, and will be assigned the six remaining chassis numbers which were originally allocated when the project was begun in February 1963.
The new cars will be hand-built in-house by Jaguar’s finest craftsmen, and each will be constructed to the exact specifications of their original 1960s forebears, including the 3.8 litre straight-six engine.
The E-type was produced between 1961 and 1975, with over 72,500 built. The Lightweights were commissioned as a ‘Special GT E-type’, homologated for GT competition by being designated a ‘standard’ roadster E-type fitted with a number of options and being 114 kg lighter than the road version.
Options varied from car to car, but the main modifications included all-aluminium monocoque and aluminium body panels, an aluminium block, wide-angle head, dry-sumped 3.8 litre XK engine with fuel injection as well as an aluminium hardtop. All chassis numbers in the series carried an ‘S’ prefix.
Of the original 12 Lightweights, 11 are believed to survive today. No doubt, Jag collectors will be eyeing the upcoming half dozen very intently.