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Retro

Jaguar Classic’s new E-Type ZP Collection cars come as a pair

Restomod E-Types pay tribute to the E-Type’s first race wins, and you can’t just buy one

Published: 06 Jun 2023

“With the greatest respect, forget everything that’s gone before. When you look back to those cars, [the brief is] don’t try to emulate them, don’t try and do a retrospective pastiche, because that’s not credible. It has to capture the essence of ‘a copy of nothing’.” Those were the words of creative boss Gerry McGovern when speaking about the future of Jaguar recently.

So, what’s the first product that Jag unveils after setting out its plan to launch into a whole new world of electricity and non-retro design? Why of course it’s a restomodded E-Type. Oh dear.

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Although hang on, because this isn’t just one restomodded E-Type. The ZP Collection actually features a pair of classic Jags that celebrate the E-Type’s first two race wins just months after the car’s introduction in 1961. And aren’t they just stunning?

Of course this is the work of Jaguar Classic, and we’re told that seven pairs of ZP Collection cars will be available, with each individual ZP (those were the letters allocated to the original racing E-Types project) taking 2,000 hours to complete.

As you’ll have noticed, the cars in the ZP Collection include an Oulton Blue drophead coupe and a Crystal Grey fixed-head coupe. Now, all of the original ZP racers were drophead coupes, but if you’re buying a modernised pair of tributes then why not have one of each style, right?

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So, to each car. The blue drophead celebrates the E-Type that Graham Hill drove to victory at Oulton Park on 15 April 1961. The shiny grey fixed-head coupe pays tribute to the car – driven by Roy Salvadori – that came third in that race, although Salvadori would then go on to win at Crystal Palace on 21 May.

Both modern interpretations get white racing roundels and white lipstick, as well as chrome bumpers and wire wheels. Plus, the bar across the grille is removed to match the original racers.

There’s red leather inside the Hill tribute and dark navy in the Salvadori coupe. Both get a special bit of artwork mounted on the transmission tunnel too, as well as a modern infotainment system with DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity and sat nav.

Both cars are powered by the 3.8-litre straight-six that’s making 265bhp, and there’s a new close-ratio five-speed gearbox to make the restomods slightly easier to drive compared to the originals.

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Whether any of the seven buyers actually choose to drive their tributes is another matter, but we’re told that the lucky folk will also have the chance to buy a matching limited edition F-Type that will be unveiled later this year.

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