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by David Zalstein

Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations has unveiled the first of six ‘new’ hand-built Lightweight E-Type racers, completing a planned production run started over 50 years ago.

Originally intended to be built and raced in 1963 as part of an 18-car ‘Special GT E-Type’ project, the newly-created Lightweight E-Types mark the first recreations to come out of Jaguar Heritage’s new Browns Lane facility – a plant that will now also look after warrantied servicing and restoration of classic Jaguars.

First announced back in May, the Lightweight E-Types are powered by 253.5kW/380Nm dry-sumped 3.8-litre straight-six XK engines that are near identical to the units used in the original 12 Special GT E-Types.

Each is assigned an originally allocated chassis number, and the six recreated E-Types are around 114kg lighter than the standard production road car, thanks to an aluminium body shell, hardtop, bonnet, trunk lid and doors.

Jaguar Lightweight E-Type - 2

Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations managing director John Edwards said while the Jaguar E-Type is an iconic car, the Lightweight E-types are “the most desirable of all.”

“To be able to complete the intended production run of 18, some 50 years after the last Lightweight was completed, was an opportunity we couldn’t miss,” Edwards said.

Though only 12 of the initially planned 18 Lightweight E-Types were ever built – the last being delivered in 1964 – the six ‘new’ cars, all fitted as standard with roll cages, will be sold as period competition vehicles suitable for historic motorsport homologation.

A Lightweight E-Type engineering prototype dubbed ‘Car Zero’ has also been completed – though does not carry an original chassis number – and will be on display at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance from August 14.




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