Images are from the brochure collection of Hemmings Motor News, courtesy of Bruce Zahor
No, there’s nothing racy about the above photo, just a wholesome young lady and her car…
Okay, so you don’t have to be Freud to see that the American branch of Jaguar Cars was selling more than basic transportation in 1969. But sex appeal has always been part of the Jaguar mystique, a key part of the high-value sporting/luxury equation that this automaker has pulled off so well for so long.
That year would represent real change for Jaguar and the E-type, or as its U.S. marketers dubbed it, “XK-E.” 1969 was the first full year of Jaguar being part of the newly formed British Leyland, which saw it, Daimler, Austin, Austin-Healey, MG, Morris, Riley, Rover, Triumph, Vanden Plas, and Wolseley all under one corporate roof.
Jaguar’s sports car received a minor redesign in response to U.S. safety and emissions regulations, with 1969 models representing the Series 2. The most visible changes were up front, with exposed headlamps that sat farther forward in their housings, larger front indicators, and the addition of side marker lamps. A wider air inlet was bisected by a higher-set, heavier chrome bumper, and the rear bumper and larger taillamps were likewise fitted. Available power steering and air conditioning showed the eight-year-old car was becoming more civilized.
The 4.2-liter straight-six engine remained under that impossibly long bonnet, although it was fed by two Zenith-Stromberg carburetors rather than triple SUs. Still, power was more than adequate, with 246 hp and 263-lbs.ft. of torque available to go through a four-speed manual or (in the 2+2) optional Borg-Warner three-speed automatic.
The E-type was still available in as a “Roadster” (Open Two-Seater), “Coupe” (Fixed-Head Coupe) or 2+2. Production wasn’t high, with just 9,943 E-types of all stripes built for 1969- the breakdown included 4,287 Roadsters, 2,392 Coupes and 3,264 2+2s.
Click on the images below to enlarge.