March 16, 2006

Today in Automotive History

1961 New Jaguar debuts

Jaguar Cars Ltd. introduced the XK-E, or E-Type, at the Geneva Auto Show. Th E-Type was the successor to the C- and D-Type Jaguar that had earned the company's reputation for racing excellence. The D-Type, with a top speed of 170mph, captured first place at the 24-hour race at Le Mans in 1955, 1956, and 1957. In 1956, Queen Elizabeth II knighted Sir William Lyons, Jaguar's founder, to recognize his achievement in bringing Jaguar to the heights of the international sports-car world. In 1957 a massive fire at the Jaguar factory halted the further development of Jaguar race cars. The disaster left many wondering whether Jaguar Motors had not already seen its best days in the successful 1950s. The release of the E-Type in 1961 signaled an impressive return by the British racing giant. The E-Type did everything the D-Type had done and more. With a top speed of 150mph and a 0 to 60 time of 6.5 seconds, the E-Type engine growled loudly. What's more, the E-Type averaged an unheard of 17 miles per gallon. By the mid 1960s, the E-Type had become the most famous sports car in the world; today the E-Type is cherished as a car of beautiful lines and precision engineering.

Posted by Quality Weenie at March 16, 2006 11:22 AM | TrackBack