1964 Jaguar E-type (XKE) Series 1 Fixed Head Coupe
“You don't have to feel honored, its just an old car!”
This is what the widow said to me after I stated that I was honored to represent this iconic car. I had just sold and delivered two 1969 Jaguar Series II Roadsters and now to my great joy, I am looking at a 1964 Series I Coupe! I know from the years of research and learning that this is even more coveted than the Series II. In 1964 only 7,670 E-Type Series 1- 3.8 Coupes were produced. But this is NOT just a car... this is a piece of art! Drivable, working and enjoy the heck- out- of- life at 140mph with its double overhead cam 265 hp 6-cylinder engine!
David Shepard purchased this British Racing Green (with Green Leather bucket seats)in the early 70's. Living and working in the Berkeley, California area, he loved driving this incredible fixed-head, 2-seater coupe. It was more aerodynamic than its roadster counterpart and thus faster coming within 10ths of a second to its arch nemesis of the day - Ferrari.
I'm not sure if the Moss 4-speed transmission had a synchromesh in first gear, but the engine would have had 3 SU HD-8 Carburetors with a manual choke, also called a Tri-Carb. You see, Mr. Shepard decided after enjoying this car for 20 some years, that he wanted to preserve it and restore it to its original luster. Thus, he painstakingly removed all 463 parts (or less), labeled and bagged or boxed it. After World War II, the government decreed that no car could have more than 463 parts and that ruling stayed in effect for 38 years. Today, a car can take up to 30,000 parts! I came on to the scene when the son contacted me while on sabbatical to help his mother part with some of her late husbands possessions. My first stop was to the old stone home here in Pennsylvania built around 1780. Descending down through the outside storm door stone stairs thru thick walls and dirt floor, I photographed and viewed the contents of boxes labeled -Pistons- Misc head Fittings- Lenses –Timing Parts and on and on.
Then to the garage where I photographed the engine block on an engine hoist, numbered- RA7100-9.
Lastly to the storage unit a few miles away... and there was the beautiful body covered in dust with the transmission sitting upright in the drivers seat
At the Geneva Motor Show in 1961, Enzo Ferrari stated that the E-type (known as the “XKE” in the U.S.) was the most beautiful car ever built. Aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer, designed the E-type meaning to make it faster and more aerodynamic. But with its glass covered headlights, long bonnet, short rear deck and sensuous curves, it came out stunningly beautiful! In the early 60's with a 0-60 time of around 7 seconds and a 150-mph top speed, the Series I E-type was near the top in speed in the early 1960s. It was quicker than numerous sports cars with a higher price tag.
I am glad Mr. Shepard never completed this project. I'm thrilled that I was able to see the guts and the under-makings of this car. I was able to photograph the craftsman’s initials -THB scrawled under the seats on the seat rail. I also photographed the repeated number 8414 1) on metal behind seats 2) behind the rear door paneling 8414 USA and 3) 8414 Green 03 behind the speedometer console. Turns out on the metal ID plate inside the engine compartment, 8414 is engraved as the Body No.
A car is only original once! In someways, when you see a car in this beginning state, it brings you closer to its birth and its provenance.
Please contact Suzanne Dayton 610-444-2222 Bavarian Motorsport www.bavarianmotorsport.com