In 1963, Jaguar built only 12 of the planned 18 Lighweight E-Type cars. This
year, Jaguar's Special Operations department began to hand-build the remaining
Each of the six cars will be built to a specification originated from the last Lightweight E-type produced in 1964 and will be hand-crafted at the original home of the E-type, Jaguar's Browns Lane plant in Coventry, England. The cars will be sold as period competition vehicles and all will be suitable for FIA homologation for historic motorsport purposes.
The six new cars will carry the original, historic Lightweight E-type chassis numbers from 1963 that belonged to cars that were never built.
A race winner in the hands of a variety of famous drivers during its short competitive career, the car has achieved worldwide fame and original examples are now valued in the many millions. Jaguar expects the new cars to be just as desirable as the originals.
"Operating from a brand new workshop at Browns Lane - now open for the restoration and servicing of customer cars - the building of six new, meticulously crafted Lightweight E-type period competition cars by Jaguar Heritage is testament to the unique skills within the team. To know those same skills can also be utilised to the benefit of existing classic Jaguar owners means this is a very exciting time for Jaguar Heritage," said Derek Weale, Director, Jaguar Heritage Business.
A prototype Lightweight E-Type - 'Car Zero' - has been completed and will be revealed on August 14th at the opening reception of the Pebble Beach automotive weekend, the world's most prestigious classic car event.
The core component of the Lightweight E-type is its aluminum bodyshell. This material replaced the steel of the production E-type in the quest to shed weight - some 250 lb (114 kg) were saved compared with the standard car.
Despite the enormous advances in technology since the early 1960s, the decision was taken not to incorporate modern materials or fixing methods. While high-strength aluminum alloys and bonded structures would have been invisible, they would not have been true to the original design - and nor would they have conformed to the FIA's homologation requirements for historic racing.
Instead, today's advanced technology was deployed to ensure the highest quality and most faithful rendition of the Lightweight E-type's open two-seater body components. Using state-of-the-art scanning technology, the inner and outer surfaces of a Lightweight bodyshell were digitally mapped.
The resulting massively detailed scan, which recorded dimensions and shape down to a fraction of a millimeter, was then assessed by Jaguar's technicians to validate how the body was assembled back in the 1960s, how consistent the structure was side-to-side, and how it could be engineered today to produce the highest quality result for the Lightweight E-type project.
A roll-over cage is fitted as standard, and the body includes mounting points for a detachable front extension which is available as an extra. The cars are built in a form suitable for FIA homologation for historic motorsport purposes.