Monday, June 02, 2008

The Jaguar XKE: A Classic Car or a Piece of Art?

Considered to be one of the most beautiful classic cars in the world, the Jaguar XKE has the best of a multitude of worlds. Its performance matches that of a sports car. It has a great aerodynamic design that could perhaps match that of F1s. It has an elegant and professional luster and look. Its sleek and curvy body makes it look like a piece of art. And of course, it is a true collectable classic car.

The Jaguar XKE is also known as the E-Type. It was released in 1961 in a two-seater coupe form. The concept behind it was simple: create a sports car with a great engine and aerodynamic design, and make it look sweet at the same time.

The XKE became the trendsetter for sports cars, and has a look that was way ahead of its era. In fact, the XKE was so elegantly designed that even rival Enzo Ferrari made the comment that it is "the most beautiful car ever made."

From the D to the E
Back in the 1950s, the Jaguar D-Type was the king of all race cars. It was winning LeMans races almost every year, and with its sexy aerodynamic make, was drooled over by car enthusiasts and ordinary people alike. Sensing the market needed a D-Type that was tamed for the road yet retained that luxurious look and superb performance, Jaguar made the XK-SS.

The XK-SS was not received with a popular cheer, yet it wasn't designed to be widely received. Some has speculated that the XK-SS was a mere ploy, a diversionary tactic Jaguar has used for the real deal. The D-Type was ready to retire from the race tracks, since faster cars were springing up like mushrooms. Still, Jaguar was not ready to give this beauty up into the museum stands--the D-Type was still popular.

And so, by tuning down the D-Type's for-the-race-track design into a sleeker and friendlier look, the E-Type was born.

But of course, it wasn't as simple as that. The XKE went into two test stages: the E1A--which was a top secret, 286hp car reminiscent of the first generation XKEs; and the E2A--a basic remodeling of the D-Type, which was in fact used in a LeMans race.

A Classy Road Monster
The XKE is both the beauty and the beast. The third series is equipped with Jaguar's trademark V12 engine. The V12 is a 5.3L, 12-cylinder engine--which means that it could make its competitors eat dust.

And to top it all off, the XKE has new suspensions that Jaguar was experimenting with earlier on. The E-Type has independent rear suspensions, employing U-jointed halfshafts to take power from the chassis onto the wheels AND as upper control links.

The Jaguar XKE is no doubt an outstanding classic car. With design that encompasses functionality and aesthetics, this classic car is really worthy of being considered as the cream of the crop. And did we forget to tell you that it was the number one car in the top 100 most beautiful cars in the world?

About the Author
Visit and find the best deals on Jaguar XKEs. Classic Vehicle Auction houses more than a hundred listings of classic cars for sale, you'll surely find what you're looking for. Peter Grizzly is an age-old classic car enthusiast, and lives by being a classic car trader.

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