E-Type stole the show in Geneva 57 years ago

March 12th 2018

The Jaguar E-type was first unveiled at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show, and it caused an immediate sensation. By combining Malcolm Sayers’ design with Sir William Lyon’s styling, it was one of the most beautiful sports cars of the 1960s.

As the 2018 Geneva show approaches, this is the story of E-types iconic Geneva debut 57 years ago

The first E-type seen by public eyes was the hand-built prototype, and before its official launch the car was lent discreetly to a few journalists to prepare their road test features in the UK. But with the launch scheduled to take place in Geneva, these loans left precious little time to transport the car in good time for the show

To make the opening day the E-type was driven flat-out from Coventry, by Jaguar executive Bob Berry, to the Parc des Eaux-Vives in Geneva - arriving just 20 minutes before the big reveal. The E-Type received a quick clean before being positioned on the show stand and it ticked and sighed, cooling from the high-speed run…the bonnet warm to the touch.

Demand for test drives during the show was so high that Jaguar test driver Norman Dewis was told to ‘drop everything’ and deliver another E-type – open-top demonstrator 77RW – to Geneva. He drove through the night, arriving to great applause from the eagerly awaiting press. Another high-speed run completed with moments to spare.

Immediately after the Geneva launch, the show car was converted to right-hand drive and used, once again, as a UK press car – most famously for the Autocar road test in which it topped 150mph on the Belgian autoroute outside Jabbeke. As Autocar’s 1961 review said: ’the car offers what drivers have so long asked for.’ E-type had made a name for itself, and it all started in Geneva.

We want your classic car

Due to strong demand for E-Types in the latter half of 2017, we urgently require more vehicles to sell to our discerning client base.

If you are considering selling your E-Type, be it concours or in need of restoration, standard or upgraded we would be delighted to hear from you. E-Type UK are renowned for offering the very best prices when buying vehicles outright, or we can offer commision sales on a sale or return basis. The E-Type UK team is always available to discuss the best option for you and your E-Type.

To enquire after selling your E-Type please email marcus@etypeuk.com or call 01732 852762.

It’s not only E-Types we seek, our sister company DM Historics is always on the search for interesting classic cars, so please call us to discuss the sale of any vehicles from your private collection.