Ridiculously cool then. Even cooler now.
The UK has churned out many wonderful cars over the decades, but there are only a few true standouts. Among them on the shortlist are the original Mini Cooper and Range Rover, Bentley Speed Six, Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, and, of course, the McLaren F1. But none of those were just voted as the Best British Car Ever in a recent worldwide poll. That honor belongs to the Jaguar E-Type. The poll, run by the inaugural Classic & Sportscar – The London Show, which runs through today at Alexandra Palace in Whitley, Coventry, UK, took into account thousands of votes.
The E-Type even beat out Jaguar's own XKSS to win the top honors. According the Classic & Sports Car Magazine editor, James Elliot, "The E-Type has it all, looks to stop traffic even today and a driving experience that has stood the test of time…it is a car that seduces young and old and is a very worth winner and rightly the Best British Car Ever." Revealed at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show, the E-Type was an instant hit, but Jaguar initially planned to use it solely for racing, Jag's test driver at the time, Norman Dewis, drove the show car nearly non-stop from Coventry to Geneva in order to make the show in time. 55 years later, Dewis was present for the E-Type's honor. In fact, the oldest surviving open-top E-Type was displayed at the award ceremony.