SOLD 04/18

1962 Jaguar
XKE Lightweight Conversion by Zealia Engineering

Remarkable Conversion to LW Spcs. Dry Sump 3.8L on Triple Webers, 5-Speed, Titled and Road Registered in the USA.

  • VIN878631
  • Exterior ColorSilver
  • Interior ColorDark Blue Leather
  • Mileage15214 Kilometers
  • Engine3.8 Litre 6-Cylinder
  • Engine no.R8874-9
  • Transmission5-Speed
  • StatusSold
  • StockFJ1962


1962 Jaguar XKE Lightweight Conversion by Zealia Engineering
s/n 878631 Engine no. 7B641111-8
Silver with Dark Blue Leather

The E-Type was unveiled in March of 1961 at the Geneva Motor Show, following the famous 11th hour disorder (one of the cars was driven to the show from England with just hours to spare). The car was an immediate sensation: its specification was state of the art, its bodywork arrestingly gorgeous, and the price surprisingly affordable. It embodied William Lyons' values beautifully and it is no surprise that the E-Type has become such a legendary part of automotive history. The specification clearly demonstrated Jaguar's racing experience and included semi-monocoque construction, independent suspension all around (at a time when Ferrari was still using live rear axles), disc brakes all around (inboard at the rear to reduce unsprung weight), and of course Jaguar's legendary twin cam inline-6.

While widely regarded as one of the 1960s most elegant road cars, they proved to be immensely potent competition cars as well. In the Grand Touring class for production sports cars the E-Type proved competitive in-period right from the start, Graham Hill celebrating the model’s racing debut by winning at Oulton Park on April 3rd 1961. Relying on their nimble, lightweight nature, fully independent suspension, and highly aerodynamic body shape, E-Types made short work of much more powerful but less sophisticated cars such as the 289 Cobra, Corvettes, and Shelby GT350s, particularly on tighter tracks where handling and braking was the deciding factor.

The elevation of the GT class to Manufacturers’ Championship status for 1963 prompted Jaguar to develop a small batch of very special factory original lightweight cars to challenge Ferrari. However, just twelve of these original cars were built by the factory for the use of competition-orientated Jaguar dealers, or specially selected private entrants. Today, conversions in the style of this rare competition variant are among the most popular and sought after of E-Type Jaguars. This particular example is offered for less than what it would cost to construct today, and is far more affordable when compared to other conversions by Eagle, or RS Panels.

According to the Jaguar Heritage Trust Certificate on file, this particular E-Type was sold new in late 1962 as a standard roadcar, and was originally black with tan hides. Sometime in the 1990s, the car returned to the United Kingdom where it underwent a remarkable conversion to Lightweight-style specification by Jaguar Specialists Zealia Engineering.

This build was incredibly comprehensive in nature, and included nearly all mechanical, structural, and cosmetic aspects of the car. A 3.8 liter belt-driven dry sump engine has been built by renowned racing Jaguar expert, Rob Beere with 9.1 pistons, wide blade rods, a larger water pump, a Zealia custom aluminum radiator, and 45 DCOE triple Weber carburetors. Zealia reports achieving 250 horsepower at the wheels, fed through a Getrag 5-speed transmission and a 3.31 final drive ratio rear end with limited slip. The car sits on original pattern lightweight magnesium wheels, 7.0” fronts and 7.5” rears with three-ear knock offs. The standard configuration E-Type suspension was retained, with higher spring rates, and Koni shocks front and rear. Girling XJ brakes are used, in the rear, whereas the fronts are based on Willwood 4 pot Superlite 11s with alloy calipers with separate discs and hats, using 11.3” discs and a non-servo set up. The body is comprised of a new Series I type base, floor, and bulkhead with a lightweight works type gearbox tunnel to accommodate the 5-speed Getrag unit (can be serviced without the removal of the engine!), and the standard front chassis trunnions and “picture frame”. All the remaining panels, including the rear fenders and tail section, doors, boot lid, hardtop, and engine cover are composite, employing Lightweight dimensions to include mildly flared rear arches. A 2” FIA specification roll hoop fits snuggly beneath the hard top. Other features include an alloy outside fuel filler, vented boot lid and hard top, Spartan interior with correct Series I seats, Luke 4-point harnesses on the driver’s and passenger’s side, a Moto Lita steering wheel, Vicarage speedometer and tachometer, a dash mounted kill switch, and a removable fire bottle. The side and rear windows are Plexiglass, and the windscreen is glass. Attractive outside bonnet and boot latches are featured front and rear, and Lucas PL lights illuminate the late night trip home from the pub, the track, or both.

Once the conversion was completed, the car was actively exercised in race events at Brands Hatch, Mallory Park, Donington Park, Oulton Park, and Silverstone by the owner at that time, Mark Wright. The car proved immensely competitive with several poles and victories achieved by Mr. Wright, as well as fastest laps. Copies of results, scrutineering cards, and event programs are included within the documentation binder for this very potent E-Type. During this time, Mr. Wright held the car on a V5 UK registration document, suggesting he may have driven it to and from the various events! Later, the car was owned by Aldo Vinzio of Switzerland, who applied for and was granted a FIVA identity card in 2001, and a color copy of this accompanies the car.

While this Lightweight Conversion clearly has competition orientation, it is currently titled and road-registered in the United States, having been re-imported here in recent years. The driving experience is certainly visceral, but not so aggressive or raw that it could not be enjoyed on road focused rally or tour events, or for spirited jaunts in the countryside. Indeed, the present owner, while a talented racer in his own right, has enjoyed this example solely as a road car. The engine has mild enough cams to use pump fuels, and the 5-speed transmission offers wide enough ratios to cruise on the freeway, yet still supply brisk acceleration. The suspension is compliant enough, and the brakes stop the car with confidence. Very recently, the carburetors have been tuned and synched, and it is awaiting its next driving adventure with its new custodian.

Cosmetically, the car has a pleasant patina, which would lead any onlooker to believe it could be an original factory lightweight. There are use marks and age evident in the paintwork on several panels, and light wear on seats, but it does not detract from the overall presentation. The engine bay and underside are generally clean and in good mechanical and structural order, just not detailed to concours show standards. Many attractive and correct features are present such as an original-type window washer bottle.

The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.

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