This car isn't an original Lightweight XKE, but in many ways the homage on show is actually better
Jay Leno frequently has special cars visit his well curated garage, and this week it is the turn of this exceptional Jaguar XKE restoration. It pays homage to the lightweight racers of the 1960s and was created by a company called Classic Jaguar.
Classic Jaguar president Dan Mooney details the far from typical XKE that his company created in the video. The beautiful bodywork of regular XKE sports cars were made from steel, but the lightweight racers featured aluminium bodies to improve performance on track. This car is not an exact replica of the period racing cars, but their influence is clear to see.
The car actually started life as a numbers matching 1963 E-type Roadster, the drivetrain of which it retains. The 3.8-liter engine was bored out to 4.2L, and a four-speed manual gearbox from a 1965 model was fitted to cope with the added torque. Modifications such as modern brakes add to the cars endurance on track and overall reliability. All in all, this project took over 3000 hours to complete.
"Roaring out on to the open road, this car sounds incredible!" Jay remarks "I always tell people that this is my favourite era because it’s exactly the halfway point in the development of the automobile. Fifty years earlier, that’s the beginning. Fifty years to where we are now." Leno loves how analogue and mechanical in feel the car is in comparison to its modern-day counterparts.
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Speaking about the glorious engine in this XKE, Dan says "If they’re built properly, they’re bombproof. We thrash these things! We’re probably building more of these Jaguar engines than anyone else in the world right now I’d imagine. We have our own in-house engine shop."
Classic Jaguar’s next XKE project will be a homage to the beautiful Low Drag Coupé. Going by this 1963 effort, we can’t wait to see it!
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