Lot Number
54
1963 Jaguar E Type Series I Roadster


Offered Without Reserve

CHASSIS NO: 879215
• Concours-quality restoration in factory original colors
• Exceptionally desirable matching numbers example
• Original data verified by Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust certificate
• Original LHD, U.S.-delivery example, sold new in Detroit
• Long-term ownership by Lincoln designer Frederick J. Beamish

3,781 cc DOHC inline six-cylinder engine, triple SU carburetors, 265 HP, four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with torsion bars, double wishbones and anti-roll bar, independent rear suspension with coil springs, four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes; wheelbase: 96"


Reporting from the March 1961 Geneva Salon, Autosport magazine’s correspondent enthused, “The E Type Jaguar has made its electrifying appearance, and at one stride Britain takes the lead in the Grand Touring market of Europe.” His statement was certainly no exaggeration, with the new Jaguar quickly following up its Geneva triumph by stealing the show in New York, with the sexy new Jaguar accompanied by Marilyn Hanold, the equally statuesque Playboy model. Alternatively known as the XKE in America, the E Type was universally praised for its design excellence, race-bred performance, and stunning beauty – all at a surprisingly affordable price point. Continuing to captivate all onlookers today, the E Type is also renowned as one of only a few automobiles permanently displayed at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

Based upon a competition-style rigid steel monocoque bodyshell with the front suspension and powertrain on a removable subframe, the new E Type clearly followed Jaguar’s glorious, Le Mans dominating D Type sports racers. The E Type’s advanced and effective independent rear suspension was elegantly designed by Jaguar engineer Bob Knight and proven on the E1A development “mule,” also known as ‘XKE-101’. The promising E2A sports racer campaigned by Team Cunningham at Le Mans in 1960 also provided a glimpse of the new sports car to come for 1961.

A highly functional and sporting interior treatment and the well-developed 3.8-Litre DOHC ‘XK’ engine inherited directly from the XK150S made the E Type an ideal two-place Grand Touring car. Delivering breathtaking performance matching its sleek appearance, the E Type gained immediate fame as the world’s first series production sports car capable of nudging the magical 150-mph speed barrier. E Type production began with cars for Jaguar’s crucial export markets in March 1961, followed by vehicles destined for the UK Home Market commencing a few months later in July 1961. While the E Type evolved through three distinct models, the early 3.8-Litre Series I cars are particularly coveted for their unadulterated performance, purposeful aircraft-type switchgear, sleekly covered headlamps, and elegant front and rear bumpers.

Numbered 879215 and accompanied by a Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust certificate confirming original data, this Jaguar is an exceedingly desirable matching numbers, original left-hand drive example. It left the Jaguar works on March 25, 1963, finished in Carmen Red over black upholstery with a black convertible top, the outstanding color combination it retains today. Following assembly, 879215 was dispatched to the United States via Jaguar Cars, New York on April 22, 1963 and sold in Detroit, Michigan to first owner P. Kurtz. In 1969, the E Type was purchased by Frederick J. Beamish, also of Detroit, who is believed the Jaguar’s second owner. Interestingly, Mr. Beamish was a former Packard stylist who joined Ford Motor Company as a member of the team responsible for the Continental Mk II of the mid-1950s. A man with an obvious sense for great design, Mr. Beamish eventually retired to Arizona and he retained the car until the early 2000s, when it was acquired from his estate by collector Ray Skillman of Indiana.

While having traveled only some 27,000 miles at the time of purchase, Mr. Skillman commissioned a multi-year restoration, with receipts forming part of the dossier accompanying this example at auction. He opted to have several of the polished aluminum pieces on the engine chromed, enhancing an already gorgeous engine bay. A set of factory-finish pieces is also included with the sale of the car, should the new owner wish to reinstall them. Since being purchased in 2012 from the Skillman collection, this Jaguar has been a mainstay of two private collections. In late 2015, it was thoroughly refreshed including a complete bare-metal repaint in the original Carmen Red. 879215 is accompanied by exceptional documentation from new. It has been well-sorted and presents in strong mechanical condition, ready for grand touring in refined elegance, in a fashion that only provided by a Series I E Type.

1963 Jaguar E Type Series I Roadster
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