Jaguar E-Type 4.2 Coupe Driven

If ever there was one car that defined the very essence of what a classic car is all about it has to be the Jaguar E-Type, available as three series with 6 cylinder and V12 engines. The good news is that regardless of desirability of individual models, when sat behind the wheel there isn’t a bad one to drive, including this car, the entry level Jaguar E-Type 4.2 Coupe.

With prices starting at under £20K for project cars the Jaguar E-Type 4.2 Coupe is now surely the most significant E-Type on sale today. Let’s face it this is the one car in the whole range spread across all three series that many of us might one day be able to afford to buy. With early flat floor series 1 cars topping £250K at auction and with these available in like for like condition at a fraction of that cost, surely it must be time soon to jump on the band wagon. Think Aston Martin DB6 for example, prices now for those cars are on the climb after years of stagnation no doubt dragged up by there ears, or door mirrors perhaps, by the sky-rocketing £400K+ DB5. With Series 1 E-Types following suite could this soon also be the case for the Jaguar E-Type 4.2 Coupe?

Jaguar E-Type 4.2 Cioupe
Hard to believe this is the least valued of the whole range.

Climbing into a Jaguar E-Type 4.2 Coupe is no easy thing, even one with the extended 2+2 chassis. The ridiculously wide sills and narrow door openings ensure that dignity is left behind on the pavement as you shuffle your way in with garments rarely ending up where they were when you started out. Once installed what greets you though is a truly magnificent sight and not hugely different to those high flying early cars.

Immediately behind the sporty thin rimmed wheel are two glorious looking dials for engine and road speed accompanied by a fantastic array of supporting dials and switches in the middle of the dashboard. This Jaguar E-Type 4.2 Coupe has the later plastic toggle variety giving an incredibly modern look and feel. Something that translates into how the Jaguar E-Type 4.2 Coupe drives as well.

The very narrow chassis produces very little body-roll with the car staying flat around corners. The length of the bonnet is only a concern at junctions, when care definitely has to be taken, other than that once rolling it is the perfect companion and of course weather proof, a key consideration in the UK at least. The triple wiper blades on this Jaguar E-Type 4.2 Coupe are definitely an ice cool feature helping to bridge the gap to far more expensive models. A story that is very similar with the super 4.2litre six cylinder engine which provides a lovely light deftness during direction changes, a feature completely lost on later Series 3 V12 cars.

Jaguar E-Type 4.2 Coupe
Jaguar E-Type 4.2 Coupes are great place to begin your E-Type experience (Pictures: Julia Nichols)

The biggest surprise though is how easy a Jaguar E-Type 4.2 Coupe is to drive; you can literally get in and go with hardly any adjustment. The sophisticated suspension provides a ride that is brilliant at absorbing road imperfections and yet feels firm when lent on. The brakes, clutch and accelerator all respond as you’d expect any car to and the range from the engine is quite superb. So much so you will question why any more than four gears are needed.

Jaguar E-Type 4.2 Coupe
Rent or buy, this could be you.

The Jaguar E-Type is sublime and definitely a must drive before you die car. What makes the Jaguar E-Type 4.2 Coupe so special though is that you might even be able to afford to buy one as well.

How does this car make you feel?

In one word:  British

As a favourite meal:  Roast beef with all the trimmings

Anything Else: Sums up 1960’s Britain perfectly

Key Ingredients: Body styling, long narrow bonnet and uncanny modern driving feel

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With thanks to Great Escape Classic Car Hire.

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About Matt Nichols 142 Articles
Matt is serving a self imposed lifetime ban from owning and maintaining a classic car himself, after several failed projects. The question is, how long will that last in reality and will he crack in 2013...

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