Jaguar’s original plan was to build 18 E-Type lightweights, but ultimately only 12 were built. In the years since, 2 were converted to low-drag bodywork and one is (currently) considered too damaged to rebuild. That makes 9. For fifty years, those 9 cars had to be enough and today they are among the most coveted GT racers in the world. A handful of workshops have made a decent business of reproducing lightweight specification parts—and even turnkey replicas. Now Jaguar has decided to finally follow through on the original build order and make the remaining “missing” 6 lightweights.
When I say original build order, I mean it. Jaguar intends for these to be perfect continuations of the build—down to using the 6 reserved chassis numbers from the original run. That means that right now there are craftsmen at Jaguar assembling full aluminum monocoques, dropping an alloy version of the 3.8 liter straight six fitted with a D-Type wide angle cylinder head, and mating it to a 5-speed ZF gearbox. There are Jaguar employees fitting aluminum bonnets and hardtops and vented bootlids.
So now there will be 6 more. Do they have the same provenance? No. Will they be as hotly desired as their older sisters? Nope. But none of that matters. What matters to me is that sometimes the original manufacturers show the same enthusiasm for their motorsport heritage that the rest of us have.