E-TYPE Iconic Celebration
Sir William Lyons, founder of SS Cars (subsequently renamed Jaguar after WW2) recruited William “Bill” Heynes in 1935.
Bill Heynes was appointed as Technical Director and Chief Engineer in 1946 and created what is arguably the most iconic engine in British motoring history – the original Jaguar XK. This sensational straight-six used a nearly indestructible block with a twin-cam cylinder head and produced 125 hp in its original form. Wrapped in gorgeous bodywork, the original Jaguar XK120 debuted to stunned crowds at the London Motor Show of 1949. Never had such a potent, complex engine been turned loose in a production car to the enthusiastic British masses.
Heynes’ scintillating six solidified Jaguar’s immediate reputation as a serious performance car. The glory years of the C- and D-types in international competition were rooted in the superior performance of the engine he created. Heynes won at Le Mans 24 Hour 5 times in the 1950’s.
Heynes and the engineering team later commenced design and development of the Jaguar E-Type in 1957 which launched to world acclaim at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1961. The icon of 1960s motoring was called “The most beautiful car ever made” by Enzo Ferrari. Production ran from 1961 to 1975 culminating in the Series 3 with its V12 engine. The early 3.8L “Flat Floors” are considered the most desirable and pure version of the E-Type.