The latest look back at old classified advertisements features a Jaguar E-Type Lightweight offered for sale in the January 1979 issue of Hemmings for $49,000.
Jaguar built 12 E-Type Lightweights, consisting of an aluminum monocoque body fitted wrapped around a 300 hp 3.8 liter engine and considerably stiffer suspension and larger wheels. While competitive, they did not find the same success as their C and D-Type predecessors.
This particular Jaguar E-Type Lightweight is reported to be a “famous, full competition Lightweight E Type” driven at Le Mans by Peter Lumsden and Peter Sargeant. If accurate, this could be the same car that finished an amazing 5th overall at the 1962 24 Hours of Le Mans. The same duo also raced an E-Type Lightweight at Le Mans in 1964, although they retired with gearbox problems after 80 laps.
SCD estimates a Jaguar E-Type Lightweight driven to 5th place at Le Mans would attract top dollar in the marketplace. The Cars That Matter September – December 2008 price guide suggests a $1,180,000 – $1,520,000 range for an E-Type Lightweight, although we think this model’s storied history would help it exceed $2,000,000.
If you bought the Jaguar for $49,000 in 1979, then your investment would have returned approximately 13% over 30 years.