Coventry Classics Lightweight E Type

As soon as the new E Type appeared in 1961 privateers besieged Jaguar for factory prepared racing versions. One of the first E Types went to the legendary Coombs Racing Team. Initially registered as BUY1 and then later on as 4WPD, this car was effectively a factory development racer during 1961 and 1962. Using knowledge gained from its extensive campaigning, 12 true factory lightweight roadsters, (including a transformed 4WPD), were constructed by Jaguar Cars Ltd with full aluminium bodies, alloy block dry sump engines and 5 speed ZF gearboxes. The lightweights, never fully developed by Jaguar, were nevertheless very competitive. All 12 still exist, many of them still being exercised vigorously today in historic racing.

The lightweight E Type’s aluminium monocoque was not redesigned at the time for the lower strength of the aluminium. Jaguar simply pressed out sets of aluminium panels on the same tooling used to build the production steel bodies. To add strength to the lightweight bodies, stiffening plates were riveted into critical areas. As a racing car this might be acceptable but for every day use one needs a stronger solution and also an engine that can be relied upon.

Coventry Classics can build you a replica of the first version of 4WPD using a steel tub and aluminium panels or a full aluminium version incorporating an extended steel sub-frame and a safety cage for safety and durability. The steel tub version is far more durable and versatile on track and off.

The Coventry Classics Lightweight E Type


  • To build a lightweight E Type that can be raced at weekends, driven home afterwards and be used for comfortable long distance touring.

Recommended attributes

  • A steel monocoque base for strength and safety clothed in lightweight E Type aluminium body panels to the correct dimensions
  • Serious performance, braking and handling using the correct lightweight components
  • Durability, reliability and drivability
  • A car built to a very high standard, fast but one that can be lived with
  • Based around a factory Jaguar E Type donor vehicle thus retaining the original factory identity

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