- Owned since 1978 by Christian Jenny
- Delivered to Switzerland via Emil Frey in 1973
- A three owner V12 Roadster, described new by the Swiss press as having power as smooth and great as a ‘steam turbine’!
Announced in March 1971, Jaguar’s V12 gave an unexpected late-life shot in the arm to Coventry’s greatest car. Sales started strongly and customers loved it, even though – by general consensus – it had now crossed the line from visceral sports car to refined and super-fast grand tourer.
Only 12 E-type Series III V12 roadsters were officially imported into Switzerland by the long-time concessionaire STREAG. This is one of that select group, built in Coventry in 1972 arriving Switzerland in the spring of 1973. The first owner was a prominent Swiss dentist; you can, of course, just picture his big grin as he drove it away from the Emil Frey dealer’s showroom in Zürich, revelling in what the Swiss Automobile Revue magazine called the ‘steam turbine’ smoothness of its power delivery… and the disconcertingly aggressive acceleration at the slightest prod of the throttle pedal. The V12 E-type was a whole new breed of Jaguar.
The V12’s power output was 269bhp but it was the incredible torque figure of 288lb ft at 3500 rpm – a figure scarcely believable for the time – that made it such a long-legged machine. This power was available right from the lower revs, a characteristic that fooled people into thinking it was sluggish. It wasn’t. Performance was truly outstanding in comparison to any car of a similar price. Reaching 60mph from standstill took 7.4 seconds with the manual transmission.
Most cars sold in Europe, Switzerland included, were the 2+2 coupé, and in many way this helped pave the way for the later XJ-S.
This largely original and unrestored example changed hands once before its second owner decided to trade it in against a brand new Range Rover in May 1978. But before that deal could take place, the current owner stepped in and bought the car, chassis number 1S21170, and used it as the foundation stone for his whole collection. Never restored, matching numbers and loved by the whole family, this is a very original example.