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Published Date: 05/01/2016

First production E-Type recreates top speed attempt

The Jaguar E-Type was famously the first production car to record 150mph on a run in Belgium in 1961.

Autocar magazine took the E-Type to the Jabbeke-Ostend highway to verify Jaguar's claimed top speed for the car - and achieved it!

First production E-Type recreates top speed attempt

To celebrate 150 issues, Octane magazine attempted to recreate the event, using the first ever right-hand drive Jaguar E-Type Coupe.

The 54-year old car - Chassis 860001 - is owned by Peter Neumark, chairman of Classic Motor Cars Ltd (CMC), and the car was restored and prepared by CMC for the event, this time taking place on a stretch of unrestricted German autobahn, in deference to the modern-day speed limits in Belgium.

Taking the driving duties this time around was David Franklin. Franklin has been competing in motorsport since 1965, winning the British Hill Climb Championship in 1978.

Even with all of the preparation, Neumark wasn't confident that the 150mph mark would be reached, predicting his car would top out at 138mph. Franklin was more confident, but even the unrestricted autobahns of today are more congested than the roads of 50 years ago and traffic stopped play.

Keenly aware of the 1960s brakes, Franklin had to err on the side of caution and backed out before the target could be achieved. He did, however, reach 146mph and was sure that the car, with an uprated fuel pump and modern wheels and tyres was capable of beating the ton-and-a-half record.

His official top speed? 146.49mph!

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