50 Years of an Icon « Jaguar » www.interactivejaguar.meFriday, February 18th, 2011 , Blog Editors Picks , Post a Comment
This year marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most famous and desirable cars in automotive history – the Jaguar E-Type. A car so stunning that even the late great Enzo Ferrari admitted it was “the most beautiful car in the world” upon seeing it.
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Jaguar will mark the anniversary at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show and go on to celebrate at Goodwood’s Revival and Festival of Speed, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the Nurburgring Old Timer Grand Prix and a host of Jaguar customer, dealer and lifestyle events worldwide.
When it was launched in 1961, the appeal of E-Type transcended the automotive world. Such is the inherent rightness of its proportions, stance and purity of line, that it is a permanent exhibit in New York’s Museum of Modern Art. The E-Type was first presented to the world’s press at the restaurant du Parc des Eaux Vives in Geneva on 15th March 1961. Such was the media excitement and clamour for demonstration runs up a nearby hillclimb that Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons instructed chief test driver Norman Dewis to drive through the night from Coventry to bring another model to Switzerland.
The now iconic E-Type set new standards in automotive design and performance when it was launched in 1961. Its influence is still apparent in Jaguar’s modern range: cars that offer a peerless blend of performance, comfort, cutting-edge technology and award-winning design.
“Half a century of progress has not diminished the significance of the E-Type,” said Mike O’Driscoll, Managing Director Jaguar Cars and Chairman Jaguar Heritage. “It was a sensation when it was launched, and remains Jaguar’s most enduring and iconic symbol. The E-Type is simply one of the most exciting cars ever created and a legacy to the genius of Jaguar’s founder, Sir William Lyons.”
“It is impossible to overstate the impact the E-Type had when it was unveiled in 1961,” said Ian Callum, Jaguar Design Director. “Here was a car that encapsulated the spirit of the revolutionary era it came to symbolise. The E-Type is a design that even today continues to inform the work we do in styling the Jaguars of the future.”
A car that was capable of achieving 150mph, but costing a fraction of the price of rivals with similar performance, it was the affordable supercar and became an instant icon – remaining on sale for 14 years, selling more than 70,000 units, making it Europe’s first mass-produced sports car.
TAGS // 50th, E-TYPE, featured