As Alan Partridge, Steve Coogan refused to drive a Rover 100 (“They’ve rebadged it, you fool!”) and lusted after a Lexus (“the Japanese Mercedes”). Later, as Tommy Saxondale, he cherished his Ford Mustang Mach 1, but drove a Renault Kangoo (“Grab a pew in the Kangoo”) for work.
In real life, Coogan has rather more refined taste. His car history includes a Ferrari 328 and F355, two air-cooled Porsche 911s, an Aston Martin DBS V8 and a tuned Mazda MX-5. He’s also custodian of the rare Jaguar E-Type seen here, which is now up for sale.
If you have between £300,000 and £350,000 to spare, this concours-winning Jaguar is a wonderful – and blue-chip investible – classic car. So what makes it so special?
Knowing me, knowing you
Coogan’s E-Type roadster is chassis number 62, a very early example and one of 56 originally used by Jaguar dealers as demonstration cars.
It’s also a sought-after ‘flat floor’ model, plus one of only 92 E-Types with outside bonnet locks. Nerdy details, perhaps – but for serious Jaguar collectors, this stuff matters.
The car was registered to its first owner on 8 September 1961 and spent most of its life in Scotland. Steve Coogan added his name to the V5 in 2016 and swiftly commissioned a nut-and-bolt restoration.
This task, taken on by XK Engineering, took two years and was fully documented in Classic Cars magazine. The result is one of the best E-Types… in the world (“Not my words, Carol, those are the words of Top Gear Magazine”).
Life in the past lane
The Jaguar was repainted in its original colour of Sherwood Green, with green leather upholstery and a French Grey roof.
Period details such as the bonnet louvres and split throttle linkage were also restored to as-new condition, along with those all-important bonnet latches.
Crucially, the car retains ‘matching numbers’ – meaning it has the same body, engine, gearbox and differential as when it left the factory. A full service history and Jaguar Heritage Certificate are also included as part of the sale.
Taking a trip
The E-Type will be sold by Silverstone Auctions in a forthcoming online auction. Prospective buyers can arrange a viewing beforehand: call 01926 691141 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nick Whale, MD of Silverstone Auctions, said: “This really is a fabulous car of the highest quality. The history that accompanies it is just perfect, the restoration speaks for itself and has been fully documented. Steve has kept this car in pristine condition in his own personal collection.
“This is a very special opportunity to own one of the earliest and rarest of Jaguar E-Types with the external bonnet locks. A real collector’s car.”
If you fancy recreating Coogan’s driving and culinary adventures in The Trip (“Duck fat lolly? Well, why not?”), we can’t imagine a more stylish or pleasurable way to do it.
• Tim Pitt works for motoringresearch.com