Jaguar E-Type turns 50

The Jaguar E-Type, a car some believe is the greatest ever made, turns 50 in 2011.

The iconic British sports car, which was once named number one by Jeremy Clarkson in his top 100 cars list, was launched in 1961.

Jaguar claims that its appeal 'transcended the automotive world' at the time it was launched. Whether that's true or not, the car certainly found instant success and has enjoyed a legacy that's endured for half a century.

The first formal event of Jaguar's celebrations will be at the Geneva Motor Show - exactly 50 years after the car's unveil at the 1961 event - followed by those at the Goodwood Revival and Festival of Speed, the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and the Nurburgring Old Timer Grand Prix.

Current Jaguar design director Ian Callum said: “It is impossible to overstate the impact the E-Type had when it was unveiled in 1961.

“Here was a car that encapsulated the spirit of the revolutionary era it came to symbolise. The E-Type is a design that even today continues to inform the work we do in styling the Jaguars of the future.”

Some facts about the Jaguar E-Type:

1. Celebrity owners have included George Best, Brigitte Bardot and Steve McQueen.

2. Ferrari founder Enzo Ferrari called it “the most beautiful car in the world.”

3. It was the fastest production car in the world, capable of 150mph with a 3.8-litre engine producing 265bhp.

4. In 1961 it cost £2,256, the equivalent of around £38,000 today.

5. It was produced until 1975. More than 70,000 were sold in those 14 years.

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