‘Most beautiful car ever made’ wins UK’s most prestigious engineering heritage award
25 November 2011
The Jaguar E-type will be presented with an Engineering Heritage Award by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers today.
The classic car, which Enzo Ferrari called ‘the most beautiful car ever made’, will join the world’s first railway locomotive, the Vulcan Bomber and Bletchley Park’s Bombe code-breaking machine on the list of award winners. The E-type will become the first and only automobile to win a Heritage Award, which celebrates Britain’s greatest engineering feats.
Professor Isobel Pollock, President Elect of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said:
“The E-type is truly one of Britain’s greatest engineering triumphs, defining a decade and putting the Midlands car industry on the world stage.
“This award is in honour of those Coventry engineers and designers that produced the fastest, most advanced sports car in the world on its release. We also want to give recognition to Jaguar, which continues to act as a standard-bearer for UK manufacturing to this day."
Mike Beasley, former Managing Director of Jaguar and Trustee of Jaguar Heritage, said:
"Fifty years after its launch the E-type remains one of the most iconic cars ever made and its design and engineering continue to inspire the Jaguars of the future. It is a great honour for it to join such illustrious company by winning this award."
The most advanced sports car in the world upon its release in 1961, the Jaguar E-type became one of the most enduring symbols of the Swinging Sixties, with celebrities from Tony Curtis to Brigitte Bardot among its 72,000 owners.
The engineering behind the E-type is equally impressive. Designed and manufactured in Coventry, the car could reach speeds of up to 150mph – unrivalled for a car on sale to the general public – and its sleek, curvaceous design was shaped by the emerging field of automotive aerodynamics.
The E-type also pioneered breakthrough engineering technology – its combined monoque spaceframe would later be adopted by Formula One.
The award ceremony, at which a permanent plaque dedicated to the E-type will be unveiled, will take place at the Jaguar Heritage Museum in Coventry. Attendees will have the chance to go for a ride in one of several classic E-types on display.
Professor Isobel Pollock will present the award to Mike Beasley and 90 year old Norman Dewis, the legendary Jaguar test-driver.