Jaguar 1960 period saw the company grow dramatically. The E-type was a massive success and Lyons expanded the operation to the Browns Lane site on the edge of Coventry, a transaction that he would count among his most satisfying achievements.
In 1960 the company introduced a series 2 car based on the E-type, which included a two-seater Fixed Head Coupe and Roadster and a more practical two-door 4+2 Coupe with rear seats. The cars retained the same basic bodyshell as the earlier models but now featured a longer wheelbase to allow for rear passenger space. The 3.8-liter six-cylinder engine was the same as before but now delivered slightly more power.
During this period, the Jaguar enjoyed mild popularity as a sports car. Beach Boy Carl Wilson drove one in the ’60s and Jimi Hendrix received a ’63 model as a gift from Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones.
Jaguar’s Golden Decade: The Timeless Classics of the 1960s
Towards the end of the 1950s, Lyons began looking into building a larger Jaguar for the American market. The prototype E1A of 1957 used a chassis design similar to the earlier Mark IX but showcased the new independent rear suspension layout that was to become the hallmark of future production models.
In 1961, a special competition version of the E-Type was created. The car was named E2A and, like the C-Type and D-Type racers that preceded it, was intended to compete in the LeMans 24-hour race. A total of 12 cars were built, sold to private teams for racing, and some were fitted with a special lightweight body (including ducts to cool the rear brakes) developed by the Jaguar Competition department.