In October 1964, Jaguar introduced a significant upgrade to its sensational E-Type sports car, featuring a 4.2-liter version. The new model boasted a larger, more powerful engine, a user-friendly gearbox with synchromesh on first gear, and an improved Lockheed brake servo.
Though externally unchanged, the car received various detailed improvements to its cooling and electrical systems, adopting an alternator and negative ground for industry-standard norms. The interior showcased a matte black dashboard and better seating arrangements.
The 4.2-liter E-Type maintained a top speed of around 240 km/h, but its larger engine resulted in improved acceleration. Enzo Ferrari described the E-Type as “The most beautiful car,” and it became a coveted symbol of 60s glamour and excitement. Embraced by the jet set, icons like Princess Grace, Steve McQueen, Tony Curtiss, Charlton Heston, and Frank Sinatra were among the proud owners.
In 1966, a 2+2 coupe variant on a longer wheelbase joined the roadster and coupe forms. However, in 1968, all three versions underwent major revisions to meet US safety and emissions regulations.
Interior changes included a collapsible steering column and rocker switches, while the primary exterior modification was the introduction of open headlights to improve visibility and prevent condensation issues.