1970 Jaguar E-type Series 3 V12 2+2 WHP 205J

1970 E-type Series 3 WHP 205J
racing RAF Jaguar fighter

WHP 205J was one of the earliest E-type V12 cars, built in August 1970, the tenth right-hand drive 2+2 coupé by its chassis number, and the Regency Red car was originally part of Jaguar’s press fleet.  It had its moment of fame when it was used to ‘race’ a Jaguar jet fighter aircraft and some dramatic photos resulted!  It has been retained as part of the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust collection ever since.

The Jaguar V12 engine had been designed already during the early 1960s, by a team of engineers including Walter Hassan, Claude Bailey and later Harry Mundy.  In its original form, the engine had twin overhead camshafts per bank, and was intended for the XJ13, the stillborn Le Mans challenger with which Jaguar contemplated a return to racing.  While the XJ13 was shelved, Jaguar continued the development of the V12 engine for production cars.

The original 5 litre racing V12 with fuel injection had developed no less than 502 bhp.  It was decided to simplify the production engine, by using only a single overhead camshaft per bank.  Despite this, in its final 1970 production form the 5.3 litre V12 fitted with four Zenith-Stromberg carburettors still developed 272 bhp.  Although Sir William Lyons was insistent that he wanted the new V12 for the XJ saloon, in a parallel to 1948 launch of the XK120 it was decided to fit the new engine in a sports car first, and only afterwards in the saloon.  The XJ12 saloon was launched in 1972.

Meanwhile, the E-type became the first car to receive the new engine.  The Series 3 was launched on 29 March 1971, and had an immediate impact.  The top speed as measured in an independent road test was 146 mph (235 km/h; less for US specification cars), and was effectively on a par with the original Series 1 E-type, despite the Series 3 being the bigger and heavier car.

The longer wheelbase, first introduced on the 2+2 coupé in 1965, was now also found on the open two-seater.  An automatic gearbox was now an option on the open car, as well as on the coupé.

Registration Mark: WHP 205J

Chassis Number: 1S50010

Owner: The Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust

Inventory Number: 069/J.29