When you walk into an art museum, what catches your eye? Maybe it’s a famous painting, maybe it’s that historic sculpture you’ve always wanted to see, or maybe this really unusual modern piece that everyone’s talking about, that makes you gravitate to a way or another towards it.
Art is a magical thing; it can evoke all kinds of emotions. It can elevate consciousness and it has the power to influence the way we think about culture, people and what is happening around us. It has the ability to educate us, to broaden our horizons and it can help break down social barriers. It can also help to unite us, because there are no barriers, everyone can appreciate it, and we can all relate to it.
Many artists are keen on conveying a message to their audiences through their art, which can be something they are passionate about or something they feel compelled to share. When you see a powerful work of art, it can lift your spirits, make you joyful, challenge your thinking, and fill you with admiration for its creator. It could be in the form of; a painting, a sketch, a sculpture, a photograph, a movie, a play, a song, a piece of crafts, or maybe even â¦â¦. a car.
When you think of a car as a work of art, there is a car that immediately comes to mind – the absolutely magnificent. Jaguar E-Type. Because it’s a car that definitely arouses our emotions, one that brings us joy when we see it, and one that we can all collectively marvel at. This incredible ride not only shapes our desires, it inspires us, as it has for many car designers in the past since its unveiling in the early 1960s. The Jaguar E-Type is simply exquisite.
It is like the Mona Lisa painting, absolutely captivating to look at, a true masterpiece, except of course that it is not hung in the Louvre.
A work of art
So there is therefore an argument that the E-Type is a work of art. It is a visual object that has been carefully crafted by what we can quite easily describe as “an artist”. The artist in this case is a man named Malcolm Sayer, the “Stylist” designer of Jaguar, who was commissioned by William Heynes, technical director and chief engineer of Jaguar, to design the body shape of this superb car.
Before joining Jaguar, Malcolm was an aeronautical engineer. He was able to leverage his experience in aircraft design and his knowledge of math and aerodynamics to bring us the iconic Jaguar E-Type body design. An artistic shot that could well be likened to a wingless Spitfire plane. The one that adorns the wall of every young boy’s room, since his first posters were printed. Malcolm drew the famous curves for what is perhaps the ‘the most beautiful car ever made‘(apparently in the words of Enzo Ferrari), which should allow him the status of artist.
But our appreciation must also go to William Heynes, who was in charge at the time. He oversaw the design of the car. Like a former art teacher, he guided Sayer and other designers to produce the first iteration of the wonderful E-Type art form, a prototype they called E1A. After Jaguar’s triumphs at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the Type D, the company made the decision to build a road-approved sports car, replacing the XK150 model. The new car was to be based largely on the construction of the Type D and its XK engine. The ‘E‘represented’Experimental‘at the time, but Jag also saw it as the natural succession of’ D ‘, so the name stuck.
When they completed the artwork (technical drawings) and sculpted a second iteration (prototype car), the E2A, in 1960, the new car had an aluminum body and a steel chassis. That’s when they started to realize that they were really into something. You have to keep in mind that at that time in the 50s these guys were drawing everything by hand. There was no CAD software or fancy computer design tools, they used good old pencils and paper, real artists, who like Leonardo da Vinci probably had no idea how good they were. were brilliant.
More history on the E-Type
On March 20, 1958, the very first E-Type was tested at the automaker’s test center in Nuneaton, UK. It was 14 feet 2 feet long (five inches longer than the D-type) and had a center unibody hull with a huge forward-opening hood. It was originally loaded with a 2.4-liter, dual-carburetor XK engine, and the car looked great, but gave a lot of rocking in testing. A year later a revised model, mostly with pop riveted bodywork, was vigorously put to the test, and, well, the rest is history.
Early production models received a 3.8-liter, three-carburetor XK engine, which produced 261 hp, giving this truly incredible car a top speed of just under 150 mph. When this magnificent sculpture was first unveiled in 1961, at a cost of around $ 5,000, it was an instant success and demand soared. Today, there are probably less than 4,000 of these sensational cars still on our roads. Cars that can now easily reach six digits, even in poor condition.
E-Type Jaguars aren’t just classic vehicles, they’re historic works of art. And unfortunately, too many are hidden in private garages and temperature-controlled boxes, where they lead lonely and lonely lives. These increasingly rare art forms deserve to be properly preserved, pampered by curators in an art museum, and made available to the public, so that they can be fully appreciated. Safeguarding these unique works of art will ensure that our future generations can also enjoy them for many years to come.
But, we have to be real. Paintings and sculptures are inanimate objects, which undoubtedly are intended to collect dust in a room full of admirers. While type E is much more than that. It’s something to climb in, light up, and drive. And enjoy.
So, to all those happy E-Type owners, those with a rare piece of art stuck in their garage, we ask them two things. Please take care of it, as you are the curators of the art museum and the responsibility for looking after these rare pieces rests on your shoulders. And second, can you share them, because by sharing them you have the power to bring joy and unite people, so that the incredible work of Malcom Sayer and William Heynes can endure and continue to inspire. future generations of automotive designers (artists).
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