The Eagle Lightweight GT May Be the Ultimate Jaguar E-Type
Even outside the Porsche 911 community, classic car restomod builds are extremely popular. So much so, that a few automakers have built continuation models of their own iconic models. That includes Jaguar’s special lightweight versions of its iconic E-Type. But if you couldn’t get it, British company Eagle offers a version that might be better than the factory one.
Eagle and the Jaguar E-Type
Eagle actually has an extensive history with the Jaguar E-Type, Petrolicious reports. The company got its start in the 1980s by restoring E-Types to meticulous standards, Road & Track explains. Then, a few years ago, Eagle decided to take Jaguar’s famous sports car one step further.
The result was the Eagle Speedster and Spyder GT convertible. Both cars start off as original Jaguar E-Types, Motor Trend explains, which are then ‘brought up to date.’ The cars have new, wider aluminum body panels, as well as new wheels and tires. The suspension is also updated, with anti-roll bars and Ohlins dampers. The 4-wheel disc brakes are modern, too, supplied by AP Racing.
Eagle also gives both cars a modern engine. Under the hood is a 4.7-liter Jaguar six-cylinder, rated at 330 hp and 340 lb-ft. Which is plenty in a car that only weighs 2269 pounds, R&T reports. With rear-wheel drive and a 5-speed manual, the Eagle Spyder GT can go 0-60 in under 5 seconds.
In-between releasing the Speedster and Spyder GT, Eagle also released the Low Drag GT coupe, Car reports. Like the other 2, it’s based on an existing Jaguar E-Type, but with bodywork based on Jaguar’s own Lightweight E-Type coupes. Evidently, though, after seeing Jaguar’s own continuation models, Eagle wanted to take another crack at it.
The result is the new Eagle Lightweight GT.
The Eagle Lightweight GT
Like its other models, the Eagle Lightweight GT starts off as a Series 1 Jaguar E-Type. The shop then strips it down basically to the bare chassis, R&T reports and gets to work.
The floor pan and rear bulkhead are modified, to make the coupe roomier and safer than the original E-Type. These mods also lower the center of gravity, for better handling. The car is then fitted with modern aluminum body panels, which take 2500 hours to hand-shape, Hagerty reports. The car’s sills are also enlarged to improve rigidity, Automobile reports.
Although they may look original, the Eagle Lightweight GT’s wire wheels are actually modern magnesium recreations, Autoblog reports. The car also uses modern tires and adjustable Ohlins dampers. And in addition to the weight-saving magnesium wheels, the 5-speed transmission has a magnesium housing, and the car uses a lithium-ion battery. Plus, sprinkled around the restomodded Jaguar E-Type are various components made of titanium and Inconel steel.
At 2242 pounds, the Eagle Lightweight GT doesn’t seem that much lighter than the company’s previous models. However, that’s because, unlike Jaguar’s continuation Lightweights, the GT is still a usable, daily-drivable car. It has leather upholstery, additional insulation, and even A/C.
But even with all that, it’s still roughly as light as Jaguar’s continuation Lightweight E-Type, MT reports. Only it’s actually more powerful. The E-Type’s 3.8-liter six-cylinder only makes 340 hp. Meanwhile, the Eagle GT has a 4.7-liter six-cylinder rated at 385 hp and 375 lb-ft.
Pricing and availability
Getting an Eagle Lightweight GT, or indeed, any of the company’s other Jaguar E-Type restomods isn’t easy. Or, for that matter, cheap. Eagle only makes 2 Lightweight GTs per year, and the price is firmly in the ‘upon application’ range. But for comparison, when it came out, the Low Drag GT started at roughly $864,000.
And that price doesn’t include the Series 1 Jaguar E-Type, which, on average, goes for $100,000 on Bring a Trailer. However, that’s still cheaper than Jaguar’s own Lightweight E-Type. Only 6 continuation models were made, with a price tag of around $1.6 million. And an original Lightweight can go for as much as $7 million at auction, Hagerty reports.
So, in a way, Eagle’s ultimate Jaguar E-Type is almost a bargain in comparison.
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