2021 Jaguar E-type 60th anniversary

2021 Jaguar E-type 60th anniversary

Shelsley Walsh marks six decades of this wonderful sports car

Hundreds of enthusiastic visitors celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Jaguar E-type in fine style over the weekend of 12-13 June, with around 400 examples of the car and 60 specialist exhibitors. The event, organised by the E-type Club, took place under the sunniest skies of the year at the historic Shelsley Walsh hill climb, the world’s oldest motorsport venue to still use its original course.

A highlight for many was the incredible reunion of the 1961 Geneva Motor Show trio, the first time these three cars have been seen together for 60 years. They included the show exhibit itself (885005), displayed by Swiss specialist Georg Dönni, the oldest surviving E-type – a Gunmetal fixedhead coupe (885002, registration 9600HP – and the first production open two-seater (850003, 77RW), both the latter being used for demonstration runs around Lake Geneva. 77RW is now part of the Jaguar Heritage Collection.

Heritage also displayed the final E-type – a black V12 roadster, HDU 555N, which was produced in June 1974 – which meant the entire production history of the car was represented.

Our own Paul Walton drove HDU 555N up the hill climb on the Saturday, which you can read about in a future issue of Jaguar World.

Other model highlights included several important competition cars, such as the unique E2A prototype that raced at Le Mans in 1960, which is a forerunner of the eventual production car, and 4WPD, the first Lightweight E-type, which raced extensively throughout the early Sixties. The EGAL, a Ford Galaxie-engined E-type, which racer Rob Beck modified six decades ago and that has only recently been imported back to the UK after several years State-side, also thrilled visitors.

A non-stop entertainment schedule included regular hill climb action – both timed and demonstration runs – as well as engaging talks on the stage by E-type experts such as SNG Barratt’s Julian Barratt, while former Jaguar designer and JW columnist Keith Helfet discussed the car with Mary, the daughter of the car’s creator, Malcolm Sayer.

There was a particularly raucous tribute to the 1969 film The Italian Job, as a replica of the film’s green Alfa Romeo Giulia police car chased two E-types – one being 848 CRY, the actual red open two-seater that appeared in the film – and a trio of Minis around the paddock.

It was a truly remarkable event and the perfect way to celebrate 60 years of this evergreen sports car

The three 1961 Geneva Show cars together for the first time in 60 years A demonstration of the last E-type produced – HDU 555N – on the hill climb

ABOVE: The Italian Job E-type – 848 CRY – takes part in a chase around the paddock

BELOW: The unique E2A prototype, from 1960

The remarkable Ford Galaxie-engined EGAL

ABOVE: SNG Barratt’s Julian Barratt steams u the hill in the company’s E-type

LEFT: The first Lightweight E-type, 4WPD Stirling Moss’ XK 120 FHC was on display

An E-type Series 1 FHC heads up the famed Shelsley Walsh hill climb

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