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HomeEventsJaguar’s E-Type Geneva trio reunited at William Lyons’ home

Jaguar’s E-Type Geneva trio reunited at William Lyons’ home

Original 1961 show cars at photo shoot staged as part of cars’ 60th anniversary

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In 1961, Jaguar used the Geneva Motor Show to unveil the stunning design of the E-Type. As part of the celebration of the E-type’s 60th anniversary, the three cars that were displayed in Switzerland were reunited recently at Wappenbury Hall, the long-time home of Jaguar founder William Lyons.

The event marked the first time the cars have been together at Lyons’ home. 

The E-Type’s coupe and convertible design was done by Malcolm Sayer, inspired by the Jaguar D-Type race car that for three consecutive years had won the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Jaguar claimed that the cars, powered by inline-6-cylinder engines, could hit 150 mph, yet priced at only £2,097, about half of what exotic cars from Italy and Germany were costing.

Jaguar E-Type

“The E-Type is without doubt one of the most iconic and loved classic cars in the world,” said James Mitchell, founder of Pendine Historic Cars, which arranged for the reunion and photography session at Lyons’ home. Pendine is based at Bicester Heritage.

“A big part of our business is to curate car collections for some of the biggest car collectors, many of which are conducted under the radar, and as a result we have access to classic vehicles with significant provenance as well as some famous locations, such as Wappenbury Hall. 

“We wanted to have some fun and create some images of the vehicles reunited at this brilliant home to give something back to the owners of the three cars, as well as something to make E-Type fans all over the globe smile.”

“In the 60 years following the launch, the three vehicles have had various owners and formed part of prestigious car collections making it almost impossible to bring them all together,” Pendine said in its news release. 

Jaguar E-Type

“However, to mark the 60th anniversary of the car’s launch and the 120th anniversary of Lyons’ birth, Pendine Historic Cars set about bringing the cars together again in their spiritual home, something that nobody in the world has ever managed to achieve before now.”

The cars are 9600HP, 77RW, and 005, owned respectively by the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust; by Phillip Porter, founder of the International E-Type Club; and by Swiss doctor Christian Jenny. Wappenbury Hall is owned by Jaguar enthusiast and collector Scott Shearman.”

“When 9600HP arrived at the Geneva Motor Show, Sir William Lyons famously said to his executive Bob Berry ‘Good God, Berry. I thought you were never going to get here!’, and I would like to think Lyons would say the same now as 9600HP reunites with 77RW and Chassis 005 at his former estate, and I’d like to thank the owner of the Hall and the owners of the vehicles for making this all possible,” Mitchell noted.

Jaguar E-Type

Lyons was referring to the fact that Berry was driving the car from Coventry to Geneva for the show and arrived just 20 minutes before the show was to open.

Interest in the cars was so great that Jaguar test driver Norman Dewis was instructed to “drop everything” and hurry to deliver the 77RW, a British Racing Green roadster, to the show venue. He left England, drove through the night and arrived in Geneva the following morning.

Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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