The Jaguar E-Type, heralding a new age of speed and automotive styling, is introduced on March 15, 1961, in Geneva.
The first E-Type viewed by journalists and the public was hand-built prototype 9600 HP. The E-type prototype was driven from Coventry, England, by Jaguar executive Bob Berry, to the Parc des Eaux-Vives in Geneva -- arriving just 20 minutes before the reveal, on the eve of the Geneva auto show.
The Jaguar XK-E, as it was known in North America, was an instant success with journalists and car enthusiasts. By combining high technology, sweeping beauty, refined performance and competitive pricing, it proved to be one of the most stunning sports cars created in the 1960s. Enzo Ferrari called it "the most beautiful car ever made" and the first year's production sold out within days.
The E-Type was initially designed and shown to the public as a rear-wheel drive grand tourer in two-seater coupé form -- FHC or Fixed Head Coupé -- and as a two-seater convertible -- OTS or Open Two Seater. A 2+2 four-seater version of the coupé, with a lengthened wheelbase, was released several years later.