Everything you need to know about the lightweight Jaguar E-type
Six new Jaguar E-type Lightweights have been built by the factory, completing the original 1963-64 run of cars. The new cars aren't strictly replicas, but are reproductions of the original, race-bred Lightweight E-type, which are better described as 'continuation' cars.
The cars are described by Jaguar as the missing six vehicles from the company's Lightweight E-type project, which originally started in February 1963 - with the objective of building 18 ‘Special GT E-type Cars’. In the end, only 12 of the aluminium bodied Lightweight E-types were built, the last in 1964. But the remaining six designated chassis numbers remained unused. Until now.
Here's an insider's guide to the cars.
The most important bit is the car’s aluminium bodyshell, which is used to save weight – 114kg in total compared to the standard car.
But despite the enormous advances in technology since the early 1960s, the old ways were the best. So while high-strength aluminium alloys and bonded structures would have been invisible, they would not have been true to the original design – and nor would they have conformed to the FIA’s homologation requirements for historic racing.
Instead, today’s state-of-the-art technology was used to make sure the car was a faithful rendition of the original with inner and outer surfaces of a Lightweight bodyshell digitally mapped.
Approximately 75 per cent of the panels are made in-house at Whitley, with just a few very large pressings being supplied by external specialists using Jaguar-designed tooling.
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