Daily Mirror, 29.01.2004
by Emma Britton
The classic British E-Type Jaguar is the nation's favourite car of the past 50 years, a survey revealed yesterday. The 1961 'cat' beat off the Audi Quattro from 1980 and the McLaren F1 super car unveiled in 1992.
The E-Type became familiar to a new generation of fans thanks to the Union Flag-liveried version driven by Mike Myers in his role as spoof spy Austin Powers. But before that it was well known as the sports car of choice among celebrities such as George Harrison, Dean Martin and Charlton Heston, who all owned them in the 1960s.
In the poll, it beat off faster and more expensive vehicles from Ferrari, Porsche and Lamborghini as well as much loved standards such as the VW Gold and Morris Minor.
The original 60s Mini and the 2000 remake by BMW both feature in the full list. Four different kinds of James Bond's favourite make, the Aston Martin, are included the DB4, DB6, DB7 and DB9.
Nearly 2,400 motoring fans took part in the survey to promote this year's Motor Show Live in May. They were given a list of cars from each year of the past 50 and asked to vote for their favourite. For 1961 the E-Type polled 81 per cent of the vote, the highest proportion of any single year.
There are five Ferraris in the half century hall of fame, four Lamborghinis, four Porsches, a trio of BMWs three from Lotus, another three Jaguars apart from the E-Type and three Bentleys. The Quattro dominated the poll in the 80s, while the McLaren F1 was top motor for the 90s and BMW's Mini is the favourite for the current decade.
But the sensually-crafted E-Type retains a special place in the heart of style-loving Britons. When it was launched 43 years ago, it cost £2,100 and had a top speed of 150mph. At the time the average speed of a saloon car was 70mph so Jaguar tested the E-Type on the newly built M1. More than 72,000 were made up to 1974.
The E-Type is now one of the most collectable cars in Britain, with prices averaging about £30,000 to £35,000 for an original model in good condition. Some can be picked up for as little as £20,000 less than a top of the range Ford Mondeo.
But a former model used in competition by racing legend Stirling Moss is currently being advertised for £98,000.Andrew Andersz of Motor Show Live said: 'We all know that the British are a nation of car lovers. 'And it seems that the cars we love best are sporty and eye-catching rather than fuel efficient, practical and with plenty of room for a baby seat.'
Lotus Esprit World's Comments
I've added this article to Lotus Esprit World from today's (29th Jan 2004) Daily Mirror as for one it lists the Lotus Esprit as top car for 1976, which of course was it launch year and was still in peoples minds from the James Bond film 'The Spy Who Loved Me'. The other reason is the comparison with the Jaguar E-Type. Read the article and it give the production figure for E-Type's as 72,000 over it's 13 year production run. The Esprit will have had a production run of 28 years once it finishes this year (over double that of the E-Type) and Lotus will have made only 11,000 examples. And you though E-Types were rare!
Personally I don't think much to the survey as only 2,400 voted, but I don't doubt that the E-Type would be a likely winner in a more comprehensive poll. It was nice to see the Esprit mentioned in a Daily newspaper though.