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Beautiful Jaguar XKE photo article worth looking.



Jedi Hopeful
1971 Jaguar E-Type 4.2
Bridge of Sighs


Growing up in Scotland, Bob Tracey hung on the success of Ecurie Ecosse, the fabled Scottish privateer team that campaigned Jaguars with distinction in the 1950s. After moving to the United States and settling in Poughkeepsie, New York, Tracey was impressed with the diversity of the cars that populated the American roadways.

He may have been impressed, but he wasn't moved. In the tail-finned and tricolored automotive landscape of his new home, Tracey maintained an allegiance to Jaguar. After spotting a Signal Red 1971 Jaguar E-Type roadster in a Honda dealer's showroom, of all places, his lifelong obsession was somewhat eased when he bought the car in 1983.

Tracey was not the first to have his head turned by a Jaguar E-Type. Debuting on the sports car scene in 1961, the E-Type was a road car with a racing lineage, its predecessor D-Type having won the Le Mans 24 Hour in 1955, '56 and '57. As heady as its promise of performance was the new car's sexy shape. Slightly shorter and wider than the car it replaced, the E-Type was lowered a dramatic seven inches, and it had a sleek, slingshot shape that was at once elegant and purposeful.

The new Jag raced early and often, claiming victory at the first race it was entered in: a GT Trophy race at Great Britain's Oulton Park, Graham Hill at the wheel. It saw action at Silverstone, Le Mans and Sebring, though ultimately, the sweet two-seater never matched the racing résumé compiled by the D-Type.

Tracey's 1971 Series II car was a transitional model, bridging the gap between the sleek, first-generation E-Type and the larger, more complex Series III that followed. Subject to advancing regulations, the aesthetics and performance of the Series II suffered in the interests of greater safety and cleaner air. Headlights lost their covers and the lamps were repositioned in a more upright stance. Bumpers fore and aft were beefed up, the intake mouth was widened, the taillights super-sized. Engine power declined.

Despite the regulatory pressures, the Series II exhibited considerable grace and what has proven to be a timeless design. Sporting a new interior, rewired, and with some mechanical sorting, Tracey's roadster has become a fixture on the summer show circuit in the Northeast, picking up more than 100 trophies along the way. Aside from its winter hibernation, Tracey also uses the Jaguar for pleasure drives. Since its restoration, the car has needed nothing more than maintenance and general upkeep. It is still stunning, having aged with an ease no one has a right to expect.

As with all E-Types of this era, getting in and out of the car is half the fun, or half the battle, depending on your perspective. Door sills are wide, footwells narrow and dimensions generally snug. Fold yourself into the cabin, twist the key and the 4.2-liter six burbles to life. Blip the throttle, slip the clutch and you're soon swallowed up by a wonderful sound, courtesy of the car's Monza-tipped dual exhaust.

A turn at the wheel evokes Jaguar's competition heritage. There is a balanced feel to everything in this car, from steering to stopping to shifting action. The twin-carbureted 4.2-liter has good low-end pull, but the engine really wakes up in mid-range. And while the power output of the Jaguar six was trumped by the V12 E-Type that follow-ed, the added muscle of the Series III came at the expense of more weight and a loss of balance.

On a sunny Sunday in New England, if you follow the sounds of a distinct Scottish brogue, you may still catch this E-Type sitting pretty on the grass, surrounded by its admirers.


A nicely written article.

The most beautiful production car ever made, I think.
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