After six months of voting by readers of Classic & Sports Car across 66 countries where the world’s most popular classic car magazine is published, the shortlist created by a panel of some of the industry’s most respected names has finally been whittled down.
Despite being over half a century old, the Jaguar E-type has come out on top, defeating a wide variety of British-built competitors for the triumph of a lifetime as the Best British Car Ever. Launched at the Geneva motor show in 1961, and initially offering 150mph with its 3.8-litre engine, the iconic E-type sold around 60,000 units in its Series 1 and 2 forms.
Initially envisioned as a race car, Jaguar took the track sensation to the road, as both convertible and coupé. Jury member Mark Knopfler commented on the triumph, saying ‘The E-type is the most beautiful car ever made – and that’s according to Enzo Ferrari’, who admired the Jaguar creation’s aesthetic beauty and undeniable magnificence that is still appreciated to this date.
The star-studded panel saw Gordon Murray, McLaren F1 designer, Russell Carr, head of design at Lotus, and Nick Mason, Pink Floyd drummer and noted car collector, select their top 10 ‘best’ British-built cars – and the interpretation of ‘best’ was left to them.
Cars were nominated for various reasons, including performance, historical significance and striking bodywork, pulling together an eclectic mix that truly represents the variety of the British motor industry.
Chris Eales, public voter, called the E-type ‘The best. Based on price, style, performance, driver experience, universal driver/public appeal, not only in Britain but worldwide. This applied in the sixties, now and every decade in between’.
To celebrate the achievement, the E-type joined a £30 million display of fellow British-built greats at the Classic & Sports Car Show.