Why is the Low-Drag is the Ratest E Type?


In 1962 a Lightweight aluminium E Type bodyshell was pressed using the same presses as they used for their steel-bodied E Types by Jaguars Experimental Department, so rumours continued to circulate that Jaguar Cars were preparing to return to Racing but the project was shelved.

 With the elevation of the GT class to Manufacturers’ Championship status for 1963, speculation once again grew among motor racing fans & press that Jaguar may return to the racing circuits and prompted Jaguar to develop a small batch of very special lightweight cars to challenge Ferrari.

So a limited run of 12 aluminium Lightweight E Types were made by using a loophole in FIA’s regulations for the Gran Turismo category where it stipulated that a minimum of 100 cars had to be built to be eligible, & would permit & allow coachwork modifications, thus enabling Jaguar to claim that its 12 aluminium Lightweights were standard E-types fitted with altered bodywork. (This is the same loophole exploited by Ferrari to get the limited edition 250 GTO homologated, by claiming that they were re-bodied 250 GTs).

However, In fact, all 12 Lightweight E-Types constructed in the period were built from scratch with aluminium bodies, though they were all invoiced & sold as a new standard road car with additional modifications & numbered in the normal production sequence, albeit with an ‘S’ chassis number prefix they were all sold to privateer racers who wish to race the E Type competitively.

To create the 1963 Lightweight version, the E-Type’s steel monocoque tub & outer body panels were re-manufactured in aluminium and the engine dry-sumped and fitted with an alloy cylinder block, ‘wide-angle’ head and Lucas mechanical fuel injection, producing in excess of 300bhp. The production four-speed gearbox was used initially before a ZF five-speed unit was adopted towards the end of 1963. ’4 WPD’, the work’s development Jaguar E-Type racer campaigned by John Coombs and driven by Graham Hill, was converted to lightweight specification & served as the prototype.

Of these 12 Lightweight E Types of which 2 were sold to privateer racers who both took delivery in May of 1963 with Peter Lindner & Peter Nocker having chassis no: 850662 the fifth Lightweight made & Peter Lumsden & Peter Sargent taking delivery of chassis no: 850663 the sixth.

The 2 Low-Drag’s that were ever built, both were Independently developed by these 2 privateer racing teams from the original Lightweights they had purchased.

Whilst Peter Lindner who was the main German distributor for Jaguar Cars received some help from Malcolm Sayers & Jaguar Cars, Peter Lumsden & Peter Sargent couldn’t even buy an aluminium bonnet from Jaguar Cars.

With lack of support from Jaguar Cars Lumsden & Sargent appointed Dr Sammy Klat as a consultant for their project, who became an integral part of their team in streamlining their Lightweight Racing Jaguar.

Both Peters owners of chassis no: 850663 weren’t enamoured with the way the hardtop just stuck on their Lightweight & not having the same relationship as Peter Lindner with Jaguar Cars Dr Sami Klat their consultant who carried out many supervised test runs on the M1 when speed limits were unlimited & of 70 mph speed limit wasn’t introduced until the late December 1965 proved to be their test track while testing his bodywork designs, he made considerable changes to improve its shape & reduce its drag.

Which resulted finally producing his own version of a Low-Drag roof-line which was flatter than Lindner Nockers Malcolm Sayer’s design as well as extending the bonnets nose & modified the rear panels to achieve 174mph down the Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans in 1964.

Indirectly Dr Sami Klat development of the Low-Drag discovered a phenomenon which they didn’t fully understand at the time, but later became known as the ‘ground effects’ & some fifteen years later was to change the face of Formula 1 Racing.

Of these 2 Low-Drags it was the Lindner Nocker design that was considered to be the prettiest of the two designs & for discerning Jaguar enthusiast who wishes to enjoy driving a fast road-going version of one of the rarest of all Jaguar E-Types then please contact Lanes Cars to discuss purchasing one of our handcrafted/ built, turn of the key fast road-going Low Drag replicas.