Nothing in the motoring world is unique these days. Japanese cars are looking more European, American cars are looking more Japanese and the Germans, well they remain distinctly German in their approach (with the exception of Mercedes’ new C Class). The industry gives birth to new segments every 9 months now but these niche segments quickly grow into A-type crèches with look-alike-children running around everywhere.
Let me wipe that frown from your eager face. Let’s take a look at the new Lexus luxury sedans, they still have that sharp Samurai look about them but if you put an Opel or even a Mercedes badge on them, it wouldn’t completely look out of place. And just three years ago we stared at the BMW X6 like it was an anomaly and it was. Bulky, awkward and not really practical, it seemed like a fish out of water. No sooner had we started to accept it, had Mercedes, Audi, and other manufacturers responded with natural competitors. They even went a step further with their smaller GLA and Q3 derivatives prompting BMW to develop the X4. The same can be said for Audi’s A5 which necessitated the release of the 4 series and the CLA. While manufacturers battle it out for profit margins by attempting to offer something in every segment, you are left wondering what your hard-earned cash should be spent on. In their defense, most manufacturers are offering really beautiful designs with truckloads of standard equipment and technology to humble most geeks but at the end of the day, it is much of a muchness.
You want something more, something that has a presence, something that turns heads and that will speak to your very soul. Something classic yet visionary, absolutely timeless. Enter the Jaguar E-Type. This is the iconic car which inspired the much-loved F-type that has become every rich oke’s beautiful mistress. Said to be the most beautiful Jaguar ever, its long hood, handsome eyes and confident smile give it an air of aristocracy. Manufactured between 1961 and 1975, its large capacity engines boasted power and speed that shames many modern cars. It even has a rich racing heritage but this is not a car for speed, it’s a car for cruising, a car that quietly makes a statement about the man you are. Simply put, this is a car that will grab the attention of both the ordinary man on the street and the billionaire in the chauffeured Rolls Royce driving alongside you.
Fortunately, there are a few of these beauties in South Africa, mostly in four-seater coupe form but the rare two-seat convertible is the one you should hold out for. The 1971 coupe doesn’t look as handsome from some angels but the convertibles are gorgeous from wherever you choose to admire its curves. It retails for anything between R300 000 and R3 million depending on the condition of the car and the year model. The upside as illustrated is that you will have an amazing emotive machine that not only speaks to you but also speaks of you to the next person. The downside is that it will be expensive to maintain, and being a true classic, is short of some modern luxuries such as air-conditioning, abs brakes, etc. The other downside is that the company is considering releasing a brand new limited edition E-type much like Ford did with the GT40. This will likely decrease its value despite the fact that the concept for the modern version is a true spiritual successor and just as beautiful from just about every angle. This type of car will remain valuable as long as it is in original form but should you feel compelled to add modern touches to it, there are after-market garages that may be able to assist. The braking system, minor tweaks to the engine and an air-con are probably the only modern additions you would get away with anyway.
Having said that, why would you want to mess with perfection?
Writer: Katlego Modipane