Like any other classic car magazine – be that printed on paper or on the vast world wide web – we here at ViaRETRO will from time to time dig deep into our archives and reuse something from earlier. Dust it off, spruce it up and apply some new and cunning angle. That’s how – not too long ago – the Jaguar E-type had yet another appearance on ViaRETRO’s Facebook page.
And to be honest, as a reappearing act, the E-type is quite brilliant. It is an icon; bigger than almost all the others. It is known by everyone and there is of course a sea of great period and current pictures of the famous British sports car. I had come across an old sales advert for the E-type where a red FHC (fixed-head-coupé) posed alongside an OTS (open-two-seater) or convertible, if you will. To me, the ad was new and the red cars looked nice and fresh. A perfect fit for a Facebook update – I quietly thought and added the short text: “Convertible or Coupé? Which one do you choose?”
I’ll confess that my expectations for the comments favoured the OTS, as I was sure that the majority would choose the open version for the usual and obvious reasons. Namely, it has always been the most popular variant of the E-type. Admittedly, the coupé’s insanely beautiful lines have always been hailed by a smaller group of aestheticians, while the convertible has clearly appealed more to the greater public. Until a handful of years ago, prices for the E-types remained relatively low compared to the car’s position on the popularity barometer. And at the time, the coupé was significantly cheaper than the open variant.
But it appears that this is all changing now. Prices have been on a significant hike northbound, and during that process the coupé has caught up with its open sibling so that the two models now achieve very comparable prices. The convertible probably still draws the longest straw from a broad group of enthusiasts, but on the current market, a coupé in good and original condition moves faster with the growing group of purists. The comments we received in our little survey on Facebook no doubt confirmed this trend. In fact, the support for the coupé was so overwhelming that, at times, it almost resembled a right lynching of the innocent convertible.
“Beautiful, blistered and the Coupe edition is the most “real””
“Look like Clown shoes…I definitely can’t see the beauty, sorry…”
“The OTS looks like a bath tub on wheels and are missing the beautiful lines… ”
“The e-types, on the other hand, are deeply overrated misdeeds…”
– just some of the comments submitted by ViaRETRO readers on the E-type.
Frankly, I was a little surprised at the trend of the answers. Now, I obviously know very well that our group of loyal readers don’t necessarily form a perfect representation of the broader population – neither nationally nor internationally. But even so, there is a clear trend forming. With a little imagination and goodwill, one might interpret it as: The coupé is the new boy in class and mega popular, while the open E-type is increasingly viewed as being boring, too predictable and somewhat prêt-à-porter.
Damn it!!! – might be your first thought if you were planning on purchasing an open E-type sometime soon – or worse yet, already have one. Do you have such poor taste? Are you about to throw good money out the window by buying an OTS? Is it even acceptable any longer to drive such an open E-type in public?
Take a deep breathe, relax… find courage. The open E-type will return again. That is my clear and unambiguous advice. The more opinionated are merely on the war path for the time being, but they’ll soon tire and find themselves a new victim to attack. The open E-type is an evergreen – and not just in the classic British Racing Green either. Besides, there were some supportive opinions on the matter too:
Proportions are better on the soft top for sure. The coupe windscreen rake is too steep and the cabin too far back / nose too flat and long. (From a styling perspective).
– comment from a UK reader about the E type.
P.S. Needless to say, this article is by no means objective or factual. Rather, it’s better viewed as an expression of the frustration and state of mind that a Jaguar OTS owner may feel after being targeted and mocked on the superficial social media.