Desirable early 'External bonnet lock' example 1961 Jaguar E-Type Series...
1961 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 3.8-Litre 'Flat Floor' Roadster
Chassis no. 875364
Engine no. R1403-9
• One of only 385 built in left-hand drive
• From the estate of the late Louis 'Wiet' Huidekoper
• Magnificent Opalescent Dark Green over Suede Green interior
• Matching numbers chassis & engine
• Extensively restored between 2018 and 2019
There have been few better summaries of the Jaguar E-Type's manifest virtues than John Bolster's, penned for Autosport shortly after the car's debut in 1961. Introduced in 3.8-litre form, the E-Type caused a sensation when it appeared, with instantly classic lines and a 241km/h top speed. The newcomer's design owed much to that of the racing D-Type: a monocoque tub forming the main structure, while a tubular spaceframe extended forwards to support the engine. The latter was the same 3.8-litre, triple-carburettor 'S' unit first offered as an option on the preceding XK150. An optimistic 265bhp was claimed, but whatever the installed horsepower, the E-Type's performance did not disappoint; firstly, because it weighed around 227kg less than the XK150 and secondly because aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer used experience gained with the D-Type to create one of the most elegant and efficient shapes ever to grace a motor car. Taller drivers, though, could find the interior somewhat lacking in space, a criticism addressed by the introduction early in 1962 of foot wells, alongside more minor modifications such as inside bonnet locks. The 'Outside bonnet lock' examples remain the most sought-after of all the Series I E types. Only 500 'outside bonnet lock' cars were made, of those, 385 were left-hand drive roadsters, 20 left-hand drive coupes, 91 right-hand drive roadsters, and 4 right-hand drive coupes.
The example offered here is such an early 'flat floor' car with the desirable external bonnet locks and welded-in bonnet louvres.
Left-hand drive chassis number '875364' was built on 4th September 1961 and delivered to Jaguar Cars, New York, USA. The E-Type was originally finished in Opalescent Dark Green with Suede Green interior and French Grey soft-top, and was registered in California as 'GUN610'.
In 2007 the E-Type was purchased by Dutch racing car designer and engineer, the late Louis 'Wiet' Huidekoper, from a Mr Philip C Milton of Rohnert Park, California, USA. Wiet Huidekoper enjoyed a lengthy career in motor sport, working for racing car constructors Royale and Reynard among others before joining Lola Cars in 1990, for whom he designed their new T92/10 Group C sports-racer. Leaving Lola, he founded Vector Racing Cars together with Chris Fox of Fox Racing Developments, and then moved on to Porsche where he was deeply involved in the design and construction of two Le Mans-winning cars: the Dauer Porsche 962 (1994) and the Porsche GT1 (1998). After a spell with Dallara he took up the post of technical director of Opel Performance Center, being responsible for developing their DTM cars.
This 'Outside bonnet lock' E-Type Roadster joined Wiet Huidekoper's collection of special historic racing and rally cars, such as Austin-Healey 100 S, Aston Martin DB4, Jaguar E-Type Lightweight, and Lancia Flaminia Sport Zagato. In 2008 the car was imported into the UK through R I Johnson of Chapel End Cars and restored under Wiet's supervision. The restoration works were shared between Jaguar experts Racing Jaguar Panels Ltd of Bulkington, VBE Restorations of Flecknoe, and Wiet Huidekoper's personal mechanic Mr Bob Peacock.
In 2018 the E-Type was imported into the Netherlands when Wiet Huidekoper moved his collection there from the UK. The car was registered in the Netherlands on 7th September 2018. Since then the E-Type has been serviced by Dutch classic car specialist Cees Cardol and more recently by Jaguar specialists André Nout in Holland. The car has covered approximately 6,000 kilometres since restoration and has not been driven since the last service in July 2023.
The professional inspection/valuation report (dated 20th June 2019) remarks on the fact that the car had been restored 'in a very professional way with an eye for originality, quality and durability without any form of cost savings' and that it was 'in very good and well-kept top condition with minimal signs of use'. The car also comes with a JDHT Certificate, a copy of its old California title and an extra set of keys.
This E-Type is very fast and an absolute joy to drive. Every top collection should have a Series 1 E-Type, and this matching-numbers 'Outside bonnet lock' is undoubtedly one of the most attractive you will find.
Today, the E-Type's graceful lines live on in modern Jaguar sports cars, and there can be little doubt that William Lyons' sublime creation would feature in any knowledgeable enthusiast's 'Top Ten' of the world's most good looking cars of all time. Indeed, even Enzo Ferrari felt obliged to concede that the E-type was 'the most beautiful car ever made'. But of all the versions of Jaguar's long-lived and much-loved sports car, it is the very early 'Flat Floor' 3.8-litre cars built prior to February 1962, which, for many enthusiasts, remain the most desirable.