Time for Tea? Jaguar E1A

After waiting more than 35 years for a true Jaguar E-Type successor, the emergence of official F-Type pictures this week deserved some recognition. Moreover, the F-Type is a 21st century intepretation of its legendary forebear, so it seems appropriate to celebrate with some 1950s film.

Now, there's lots of E-Type footage on YouTube from events such as the Goodwood Revival and Silverstone Classic. Very nice much of it is too, but perhaps a little predictable for discerning PH viewers.

So how about some footage of the first E-Type prototype? Having been built in 1957, E1A was scrapped long before the first production car emerged from Coventry; consequently, little is known of it. Even this clip has attracted less than 1700 views in two and a half years.

But it really is a fascinating car and story. The full details can be discovered in the video, but E1A was two-thirds the size of the first production E-Type, and incorporated exisiting ideas from the D-Type with the new design ideas of Malcolm Sayer. It resembles something of an E-Type embryo; the basic shape is there but it's bereft of the final details and still needs to grow.

The clip also documents the opinions of legendary Jaguar test driver Norman Dewis, who famously drove an E-Type from Browns Lane to the Geneva Show in about ten minutes. Apparently, E1A felt "very twitchy" and "like it was being steered from the rear". Watch the vid of it on the test track and you'll see what he means. Lairy oversteer appears to be its default mode on anything other than a ruler-straight road. Clearly, while the styling was nearly there, the E-Type's handling still required some finessing in the late 1950s...

Take a seat and brush up on your Jaguar history. For those of you lucky enough to be contemplating an F-Type, here's where it all began.




Comments (19) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Vocal Minority 24 Sep 2012

    joe58 said:
    brett84 said:
    I LOVE E Types, but cannot believe the price of some now though, £229K anyone http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1967-JAGUAR-E-TYPE-LOW-D...
    Not all are like that, that's a 'special' Low Drag.
    Low drags and lightweights are worth a fortune now.

    However, with a lot of e types, just because the seller wants say £80k, it doesn't mean it is worth it. I have seen a few auctions with pristine examples, with the vendors/auction houses pricing at £80 - £100k and had bids fizzle out at around £50k.

    Sellers are trying to drive the market on them at the moment.

  • Carsie 23 Sep 2012

    This is the advertisment I'm referring to


  • esv683 23 Sep 2012

    Carsie said:
    Tell me more.. Is this anything to do with the advertisement for the pre-production E Type that is advertised as "very expensive"?
    Not sure about the advert i have not seen it,however i have spoken to Bob Watson and he tells me that he found the cut up remains of E1A in a scrapyard called Stickleys in 1991,apparently all the scrap from jaguar was sent there.
    This is also quoted in Peter Wilsons book "Cat out of the bag".

    Edited by esv683 on Sunday 23 September 17:13

  • Carsie 23 Sep 2012

    esv683 said:
    E1A Found again by Bob Watson in a coventry scrap yard.

    Edited by esv683 on Friday 21st September 18:53
    Tell me more.. Is this anything to do with the advertisement for the pre-production E Type that is advertised as "very expensive"?

  • RichB 23 Sep 2012

    nicanary said:
    The voice-over said they were cooling ducts for the rear brakes, although I can't see why it would need to be the whole width of the rear deck.
    Would that have had inboard rear discs? I don't know enough about Jag evolution to know from when they would have featured but if so perhaps that's why?

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