The Midland-made Jaguar E-Typ e has beaten the likes of Bentley, Rolls Royce and McLaren to be voted the Best British Car Ever by classic car lovers.
The iconic sportscar picked-up its latest accolade at the inaugural Classic & Sportscar – The London Show, which ran from October 20 to November 1.
Show organisers conducted a worldwide poll to find the Best British Car Ever and the E-Type was declared the resounding winner.
It topped an impressive shortlist which also included the McLaren F1, Mini, Bentley Speed Six, Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost plus the original Range Rover and Jaguar’s own XKSS.
John Edwards, managing director, Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations , said: “This a fantastic accolade for one of Jaguar’s most recognisable models ever built.
“The Jaguar Heritage business aims to support loyal and passionate customers so that models such as the E-Type can continue to be maintained and enjoyed across the generations.
“The fact that it has captured the most votes in a global public vote is a testament to its status as one of the world’s most iconic sportscars and now, officially, as the Best British Car Ever.”
James Elliott, Classic & Sports Car magazine group editor, said: “The E-Type has it all, looks to stop traffic even today and a driving experience that has stood the test of time.
“More importantly than that, though, was that at the time you could not have bought more style and performance for the price. It is a car that seduces young and old and is a very worthy winner and rightly the Best British Car Ever.”
The E-Type remains one of the most sought-after classic cars ever made, and still has legions of fans almost 55 years after it was launched.
Mint condition fully-restored models fetch high prices at auction and even barn finds in poor condition are swiftly snapped-up.
The E-Type was originally developed as a racing car but Jaguar decided to put it into production as a road car and roadster and fixed-head coupe versions were developed.
It was designed by Malcolm Sayer, who had formerly worked in the aerospace industry, with Jaguar Cars’ supremo Sir William Lyons also having a fair measure of influence over the end product.
Launched in 1961 its production continued at Browns Lane in Coventry until 1975, its eventual demise coming in the wake of ever tougher US regulations.
The car went down a storm when it was unveiled at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show and it was not just its styling that won praise.
The original 265bhp 3.8-litre version delivered blistering performance, managing the 0-60mph sprint in 7 seconds and could reach a top speed of 150mph.
It was also lauded for offering excellent value for money, costing £2,097 for the roadster and £2,196 for the FHC, prices which were substantially cheaper than similar cars being sold by rivals like Ferrari and Aston Martin.
One of the display cars on the Geneva showstand in 1961 was an open-top version – 77 RW -- which was driven almost non-stop from Coventry to Geneva by Jaguar’s legendary test driver, Norman Dewis OBE .
Over the years many celebrities have driven E-Types, including the likes of Steve McQueen, George Best, Sir Jackie Stewart, Brigitte Bardot and Frank Sinatra.
Later in its life a larger 4.2-litre engine was fitted to the E-Type and a longer 2+2 version with rear seats was also developed.