E-TYPE - Behind the wheel of the legend
High School Sweetheart
There are automobiles that are mere transportation; then there is the Jaguar E-TYPE. It is one of the rare marques that rises well above the ordinary. Though out of production for almost four decades, it never ceased to stir emotions and turn heads.
Bob Barrett had such an encounter when he was in high school. He begins, “I was sitting there and all of a sudden one drove by… and I said, ‘One day I want to have one of those, but it took me like 40 years to get it!’”
One of ‘those’ is a concours-condition Series 2 1970 E-TYPE Convertible with 120,000 miles on the odometer.
The E-TYPE was a shot across the bow to the automotive industry. Technologically advanced for its time, it was among the first sports cars with disc brakes, independent front and rear suspension, and a strong 265hp engine. And it was a performer. 0-100km/hr? In the seven-second range. Top speed? 240km/hr.
He describes one of his high-speed forays this way, “It’s aerodynamic and you don’t hear anything. But you get the rumbling.” Then he considers the reality, “Hey, this car is like 40–50 years old and if something snaps at this speed, I won’t be around, so I backed off.”
Rear wheel drive, no traction control and no modern amenities make this a fair-weather ride. Nevertheless, Barrett’s E-TYPE makes regular appearances at Ontario Jaguar Owners’ Association (OJOA) events held in and around the greater Toronto area. Barrett is the organization’s current membership director and treasurer. Started in the sixties as an exclusive, by-invitation-only club, it has since evolved into an owners’ and enthusiasts’ club. Jaguar Canada was there at the beginning and remains very actively involved.
Early in the millennium, Barrett was invited to an exclusive Jaguar Canada-sponsored event to introduce and celebrate the F-TYPE concept. Barrett was awed by what he saw: “It was gorgeous. It was just a magnificent vehicle. But they didn't introduce it.”
The F-TYPE Barrett and the world saw many years ago was based on the road-ready concept XK180 that originally debuted in 1998. Built at an estimated price of 1,000,000£ (1998), only two XK180 cars were ever built. One currently resides at the Jaguar Heritage Museum.
Indeed, it would take over a decade for the next F-TYPE to arrive.
This new F-TYPE shares a number of attributes with its concept-car predecessor: all-aluminum construction combined with well over 300 horsepower will make the F-TYPE a legendary performer in the spirit of the E-TYPE. Best of all, it will be available at a fraction of the XK180’s hefty price tag.
In Jaguar Global Brand Director Adrian Hallmark’s words: “I like to describe it as not worshipping the ashes of Jaguar’s past, but passing on the flame to Jaguar’s future.”
Like all Jaguar faithfuls, Bob Barrett too has been following the latest F-TYPE. He’s thoroughly impressed by what he’s seen. “We did see some videos of the pre-production F-Type going around tracks. It’s going to have good performance. I really want to see the styling.”
Barrett is committed to his Jaguar and the brand. In his words, “It gets me some place and back safely and not expensively. Nothing will turn my attention. Other than the F-TYPE.”
Jaguar Land Rover Canada graciously thanks Mr. Bob Barrett and the Ontario Jaguar Owners’ Association. ________________________________________________________________________
About the OJOA
Serving over 260 members, the OJOA’s mission is to encourage interest in the preservation, ownership and operation of Jaguar automobiles. Club activities include regular social events, recreational rallies, an annual sanctioned Concours D’Elégance, and many others.
Both Jaguar owners and fans are welcome. Learn more.