Jaguar Cars and the Design Museum are this summer celebrating one of the most innovative and influential cars ever to be designed in Britain – the Jaguar E-TYPE.
'The E-TYPE – Story of a British Sports Car' exhibition will be shown at the Design Museum in London from 1 August to 28 November 2004.
Featuring a line up of rare cars and memorabilia from the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust, the exhibition traces the establishment of the E-TYPE as a 1960s cultural icon and its evolution from Jaguar sports cars of the 1950s. These include the elegant XK120, launched by Jaguar in 1948, and the XK120 C-type and D-type racing cars which won the 24 hour races at Le Mans five times during the 1950s.
Unveiled to the public at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show, the E-TYPE Jaguar was a sensation. Speedy and stylish, with long, low lines and a voluptuous racing bonnet, it captured the glamour, dynamism and optimism of Britain in the early 1960s and was the chosen sports car of the Beatle George Harrison and superstar footballer George Best.
Ian Major, UK Marketing Director of Jaguar Cars, said: "We at Jaguar and the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust are tremendously excited and privileged to have been chosen by the Design Museum to help stage this auspicious exhibition of this 1960s icon. It truly reflects our heritage and is still today appreciated internationally by customers of our current range of beautiful cars."
Jaguar’s designer Malcolm Sayer and chief engineer William Heynes began work on the E-TYPE in the late 1950s under the supervision of the company’s founder Sir William Lyons. Sayer's calculations refined the sinuous silhouette of 1950s Jaguar racing cars into a sleek, sculptural form, which, thanks to Heynes’ engineers, achieved a top speed of 150 miles per hour. At £2,097 for a roadster, the E-TYPE offered sporting luxury to chic 1960s drivers at half the price of a Ferrari or Aston Martin. Jaguar produced over 72,000 E-TYPEs at its Coventry factory between 1961 and 1974.
Sayer’s sleek silhouette influenced the design of later models of the E-TYPE and has influenced Jaguar designs ever since.
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