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Collectors May Claw for This Rare 1971 Jaguar E-Type at Auction

The Series III coupe is the only one of its kind with left-hand drive and a 6-cylinder engine.

On November 15, the English auction house H&H Classics will sell a 1971 Jaguar E-Type that’s a curious cat indeed. It is the only Series III E-Type 2+2 seater Jaguar that is both left-hand drive and fitted with a 4.2-liter XK engine.

“Of the Series III left-hand drive coupes, Jaguar made 5,183 with a V-12 engine and one with a 6-cylinder engine. That’s the one,” says Damian Jones, head of sales for H&H Classics. “It’s a unique car.”

The quirky Jaguar E-Type was produced during a transitional time for the marque. It was readying its V-12 engine for its debut, but Jaguar officials commissioned a handful of Series III cars with the tried-and-true straight-6 engine, just in case. Because this particular vehicle was destined for America, it was fitted with left-hand drive.

Side view of a rare 1971 Jaguar E-Type.

The iconic profile presented by the 1971 Jaguar E-Type being sold through H&H Classics.  Photo: Courtesy H&H Classics.

It spent several years in the possession of the Whitehead family—Graham Whitehead served as president of Jaguar Cars North America—before it was privately sold to a Briton in 1986 and subsequently dropped off the radar. It is well-kept and in remarkably original condition, still boasting its Warwick Grey paint job and red upholstery. H&H gives it a presale estimate of £100,000 to £150,000 ($131,000 to $197,000), which is far higher than the £40,000 to £50,000 ($52,500 to $65,500) estimate it would assign to a more common Series III E-type.

“It’s not a milestone of Jaguar history, but it’s certainly an interesting footnote,” says Jones, noting that its odometer reflects 53,800 miles and it comes with the JAG UR vanity plate that it once wore in New Jersey. The sale will take place at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, England.

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