Aluminum-bodied 1963 Jaguar E-Type swings into Jay Leno’s Garage

Jay Leno’s Garage brought one very cool cat onto the show in a recent episode. A 1963 Jaguar E-Type swung into the studio, but this is no typical E-Type. It’s a different animal.

Not to be confused as a kit car or a tribute to an original, this is a factory Jaguar E-Type, except Jaguar Classic has replaced the body panels with aluminum. At the end of the 3,000-hour-long restoration (1,500 of which were spent fitting the body to better-than-original specification), the car is about 400-500 pounds lighter than a steel E-Type. The car weighs only about 2,200 pounds, even though a massive 35-gallon fuel cell and a roll cage add weight.

Going with aluminum was a bold move, considering that this was a numbers-matching E-Type, but the owner wanted Dan Mooney and his Jaguar Classic team to build a tribute to the 1963 lightweight racers.

The goal was to create an E-Type to be driven, and the man who owns the car apparently likes to drive his cars very hard. Under the hood sits the original mechanicals save for a wide-angle head. The engine is a 4.4-liter inline-6, stroked from its original displacement of 3.8 liters. Mooney, who appears on the show as Leno’s guest, shares that it makes about 360 pound-feet of torque but doesn’t give a horsepower figure. The car is so happy to rev that the restoration shop slapped a limiter on the car at 6,200 rpm, though it was apparently still building power at that point on the dyno. Shifting duties are handled by a 4-speed synco-mesh manual from a later-model Jaguar.

With the goal set for a driver’s E-Type, Jaguar Classic took great care to ensure it was easy to maintain as well. Thus, it doesn’t share exactly everything with a regular E-Type, or the Lightweight model it’s meant to emulate. The engine, for example, features a wet-sump oil system, not a dry-sump for extreme racing. The steering rack is also a replica of the original, but it makes the car easy to drive and maneuver around town, even with meaty tires underneath.

Want a car like this? Mooney, a former Scotland Yard detective who now lives in Texas, can build one for about $450,000.

As usual, Leno gets a turn behind the wheel at the end of the episode, and boy, the British cat sounds glorious! Have a look at the full episode in the video above.

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