Jaguar’s First XKE Back In Production After 60 Years
A UK company called Helm has started producing a modern version of the Jaguar E-Type Series One. known as the XKE it was first produced 60 years ago. And just like that, Jaguar’s first XKE is back in production after all those long 60 years. And it looks as contemporary as it did in the day.
Helm uses about 30% of an original XKE
Starting off Helm uses about 30% of an original XKE and then builds it out using modern components. But it retains a lot of what makes an XKE an XKE. Features include vented brakes, a 3.8-liter straight-six cranking out 300 hp, stainless steel exhaust, five-speed manual transmission, adjustable suspension, and speed-sensitive electric power steering. It’s a mashup of new and old making for an improved 1960s XKE.
While the bare shell of an original XKE is the basis for the modern version, the hood and doors are aluminum. The doors also incorporate a soft-close latching system. The windshield is heated as well.
Bill Amberg Studio takes care of the leather interior. Hand-crafted aluminum door panels see a combo of semi-aniline leather and calf suede. Included in the transformation are hand-stitched toggle switches.
The Helm XKE features LED lighting, with an air conditioning system
LED lighting is utilized throughout, with an air conditioning system, Bluetooth audio, and a new non-Lucas wiring system. A bonus is the addition of two handmade “Rocket” weekend bags and not one but two briefcases. It’s almost too much to fathom.
This has been in the works for over 10 years. Chedeen Battick sourced XKE coupes with an eye toward providing custom-made Jaguar E-Types. The goal is for Helms to create the owner’s personal specifications. No two will be alike. Around 3,800 hours are devoted to each Helms XKE.
3,800 hours would equate to almost $400,000. Plus parts
In the US many specialized shops charge $100 an hour. So 3,800 hours would equate to almost $400,000. Plus parts. So, you can see that this is going to be an XKE costing over half-a-million. Or more. While a modern vehicle that looks like an XKE seems like an excellent idea if you spend over half-a-mil for it how comfortable are you to take it into town? Or anywhere for that matter.
So all of the modern features and accouterments make for a usable transportation vehicle. But how easy is it to take it for a stroll downtown or out into the country when it costs you that much? From a perusal of first-gen XKEs, it looks like $250,000 will get you a nicely restored coupe. It may not have air-conditioning and Bluetooth but it’s cheaper and original. So we’re sorry to say this venture all sounds like folly. What do you think?