In 1961, the Jaguar E-Type made its debut in Switzerland, and it revolutionized the automotive industry. And for the first time, three original Jaguar E-Type launch cars have been reunited at the home of their maker, Sir William Lyons, as part of the car’s 60th anniversary celebration.
The car is the combination of Sir William Lyon’s ideal elegant style and Malcoln Sayer’s aerodynamic design. It is the epitome of the innovation and glamour of that era. The cars had numerous innovative racing design principles that were inspired by the Jaguar D-Type racing car which had monopolized the 24 Hours of Le Mans for three consecutive years. It had a marketed top speed of 150mph and a starting price which was roughly half the price of its more exotic counter parts, at only £2,097, it wasn’t long before the E-Type dominated the market and became the favorite of both racing drivers and celebrities.
After six full decades, the famed 9600HP, 77RW (used for the Geneva Motor Show press drives), and chassis number 885005 (original static car that was displayed on the Motor Show stand) have all been photographed in series of gorgeous commemorative images that were taken at the long-time home of Jaguar’s founder Sir William Lyons. What makes it doubly special is that on September 4, is also the 120th year anniversary of Sir William Lyons.
Pendine Historic Cars founder James Mitchell shared, “The E-Type is without doubt one of the most iconic and loved classic cars in the world. A big part of our business is to curate car collections for some of the biggest car collectors, many of which are conducted under the radar, and as a result we have access to classic vehicles with significant provenance as well as some famous locations, such as Wappenbury Hall. We wanted to have some fun and create some images of the vehicles reunited at this brilliant home to give something back to the owners of the three cars, as well as something to make E-type fans all over the globe smile.”
In the 60 years since the three cars were showcased in the launch, they have had a few owners. They have also been part of a number of prestigious collections that it was almost virtually impossible to bring them together again. Knowing the importance of both the 60th anniversary of the car’s debut and the 120th anniversary of Sir William Lyon’s birth, Pendine Historic Cars took it upon themselves to achieve what other people wouldn’t think to be possible, to bring the three legendary cars together again.
“When 9600HP arrived at the Geneva Motor Show, Sir William Lyons famously said to his executive Bob Berry ‘Good God, Berry. I thought you were never going to get here!’, and I would like to think Lyons would say the same now as 9600HP reunites with 77RW and Chassis 005 at his former estate, and I’d like to thank the owner of the Hall and the owners of the vehicles for making this all possible,” Mitchell added.
Lyon was talking about the almost legendary story of Bob coming from Geneva driving the 9600HP at breakneck speeds to be able to reach Geneva on time and arriving at the event only 20 minutes before the Motor Show started. When it arrived, the demand for test drives of the 9600HP were so numerous that they had to call on Jaguar test driver, Norman Dewis and told him to ‘drop everything’ so that he can bring another E-Type to the event. He drove a British Racing Green roadster, the 77RW, driving it through the night to have the car delivered the very next day.
Today, Jaguar Daimler Heritage trust owns the 77RW, Jaguar expert and International E-Type Club founder Phillip Porter owns the 9600HP, and famed Zurich Jaguar collector Dr. Christian Jenny owns Chassis 005.
A couple of weeks back, they had a secret photoshoot at Wappenbury Hall, which was bought by another Jaguar enthusiast and collector Scott Shearman. Award-winning automotive photographer Jayson Fong shot the pictures.