THROWBACK THURSDAY. Time-lapse video shows just how Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations hand-builds one of the ‘lost six’ Lightweight E-Type
Earlier in the year, we spent an hour with Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations boss John Edwards, most of which focused on future rivalries with BMW M and Mercedes-AMG, the significance of electric powertrains across JLR’s portfolio, and, in particular, Project 7. It was, after all, the concept that proved Jaguar could raise the bar on its halo F-TYPE sports car, and demonstrated just what the SVO division could develop if given free reign. The ‘missing six’ E-Type and nine ‘lost’ XKSS’ would emerge in the following years.
One story that didn’t quite make the cut in our interview, but which this week landed on our publishing editor’s desktop, was how the ‘missing six’ Lightweight E-Type project actually came about. Cue John Edwards:
“When I first got the run of SVO, there was a young Irish guy – who’s still in my team – called David Fairbairn, who came banging on my door one day, saying ‘have I got a great idea for you’, and walked me through the lightweight E-Type idea. This went on for a couple of weeks, because he’d clearly thought hard about this and developed a detailed plan, all in his spare time. Eventually, David wore me down, and I just thought, ’sod it, let’s do it’.
We cannot display this gallery“It was slightly different, but I think it produced a growing confidence in our ability to take on new, more ambitious projects, even if there still some question marks hanging: we did our original business case and proposed to sell each of the six cars for £1.2million [$1.5 million] each. At the time, there was a lot of people internally, myself included, thinking, ‘Shit, can we really do that?!”
Turns out they can: “we’d sold all the cars pretty much before we announced it, and have since done so with the XKSS.” Hand-built with the same methodology as used during the original run in 1963, and with the same materials, the quality of the build is beyond reproach. You need only check out the above time-lapse video of the Jaguar Special Vehicle Operations team at work to see that.
- Technical specifications available on page 2