The registration number BUY 1 (buy one) has graced a number of historic Jaguars over the years, thanks to the activities of Jaguar tuner and garage-owner John Coombs. BUY 1 is seen here on a very early Series 1 E-Type roadster, while parked in the paddock of a race meeting (Crystal Palace?). Inspired by the previous decade's D-Type sports racing car, the E-Type was designed very much with road use in mind, although the lessons learnt in designing the D-Type had a major influence on the evolution of the E-Type.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size images.)
Coombs and the BUY 1 E-Type.
Reading around online brings up reference to an E-Type with the BUY 1 registration, seemingly the first E-Type to be delivered to a customer in April of 1961. The car was initially registered as BUY 1, but was soon swapped to 4 WPD, and was swiftly converted into competition car specification by the Coombs Garage. Over the winter of 1961/1962, after some competitive outings, this E-Type (chassis S850006) received a lighter-weight steel monocoque, and an aluminium bonnet and hardtop, in addition to a raft of mechanical updates, including the fitment of a wide-angle D-Type head. In 1962/1963 the car underwent yet more modifications and became the first Lightweight E-Type (in a similar vein to CUT 7).
Is this car, the first Lightweight, the same "BUY 1" as shown above, but in early standard form? Or another Jaguar that passed through Coombs' hands to wear one of his distinctive registration numbers? No doubt someone au fait with classic Jaguars, and E-Types in particular, will be able to confirm the exact history of the roadster shown above.
2. 1965 Series 1 E-Type CYN 746C.
This next shot shows a different Series 1 E-Type roadster, registration CYN 746C (1965). Fitted with wire wheels and the soft-top raised, this 4.2 litre E-Type looks to have had a light bump at the front corner. The indicator and sidelight have been damaged, and the wing has been dented. The wing has bowed out slightly, note the gap between the bottom edge of the bonnet and the sill. The front offside tyre looks badly scrubbed too, possibly tied in with the car's accident? This photograph was taken in 1969, a February 1970 tax disc can just be made out in the E-Type's screen.
A check of the DVLA site shows that CYN 746C is still on the road and taxed - where is it now? A recent photograph would be an interesting addition to pop on this page, if anyone out there knows this S1 E-Type's owner??
Early E-Types were fitted with Dunlop RS5 crossply tyres, but in 1965 the Jaguar buyer was offered the option of Dunlop SP Sport Aquajet radials, probably a better option for such a powerful car, and would go on to become standard fitment. The car shown above is still on crossplies.
3. Tom Jones and Tony Blackburn, both in E-Types.
My thanks to John now for the following two photographs of E-Types. Both were taken within a short time of each other, from a spectator area at the Brands Hatch motor racing circuit, in the mid-1960s. Two Series 1 E-Types feature, each carrying a well-known name from the world of 1960s pop music, one a singer and the other a disc jockey.
The first shows ex-Radio 1 (formerly Radio Caroline & Radio London) DJ Tony Blackburn perched on the back of a light-coloured Roadster, during a track parade.
Singer Tom (now Sir Tom) Jones made use of a darker Roadster for his ride around the undulating Brands Hatch circuit. If the
attire of the spectators is anything to go by, it wasn't a particularly warm day when this photo was taken. Does anyone know
when this parade took place? Although it was some time ago now, is the name of either or both Jaguar drivers known?
4. A dented E-Type Roadster in London.
Doing battle in London's traffic for the following Jaguar had certainly upset the purity of line usually associated with an early E-Type Roadster. The nearside front wing and bumper look slightly dented on this otherwise tidy example, photographed near Trafalgar Square in London during the mid-1960s. A selection of other cars are also in shot, mainly of British origin - bar a be-finned American. What is it though? My guess is 1962 Cadillac. My thanks to Kevin for sending it over.
5. A Modsports-era (BRSCC) E-Type racer.
A number of Julian Massey's motorsport-oriented photos have appeared across OCC over the last few years. Here's a snapshot of a magnificent Jaguar E-Type at the finals of the BRSCC championship at Silverstone, in 1973. There are echoes of lightweight E-Type about this much-tweaked Roadster - note the ventilation holes let into the hardtop's rear window, and also the hot-air extractor vents to be found on the bootlid, installed in a bid to keep the inboard rear brakes cool I imagine.
In the distance are a Lotus Elan +2 and a Mk1 Mini, wedged in close to a Commer PB van. Is the car furthest away a Rover P5B? A race-prep'd TR4 is in conversation with the
Jaguar, while parked facing the opposite direction is a decidedly-unsporty Volvo 145 estate.
Another photo of the E-Type racer (and a rare SAAB 99 EMS!).
Thanks to Julian again for another photo of the same E-Type racer entered into the BRSCC championship in 1973. Here, the low-slung and much-modified Jaguar is photographed from the front with the trailer now in the foreground.
Just as interesting as the E-Type itself, is the assortment of contemporary cars shown parked in the background within the Silverstone paddock area. As well as a "hot" Anglia 105E, there's a Ford Transit, a Mini (with L plate), and a very blue Hillman Avenger.
Rarest of the road cars in evidence though is a lone SAAB 99 EMS. Giveaways that this is a plush fuel-injected EMS rather than the more commonly-encountered 99L or 99GL, are the metallic silver paint, distinctive alloy wheels, and tinted glass. Until the arrival of the 99 Turbo, the EMS was SAAB's top-of-the-range 99 offering, and in fact the first 99 Turbos were referred to as 99 EMS Turbos. Few EMS 99s survive now.
Collection of Jaguar E-Type photographs.
In the video below I've gathered together a collection of photographs celebrating the E-Type Jaguar, from Series 1 to 3, inline 6 to V12, from concours to crusty.