This 1965 Jaguar E-type Semi-Lightweight Roadster proves that having well-connected friends is important. When Sir Paul Vestey finished up his development of the ex-Protheroe E-type “CUT 7,” he needed a new project. Thanks to his connection s with Jaguar, he was able to procure a bare tub directly from the Jaguar factory. Vestey took that tub and paired it with a 3.8 liter wide-angle D-type race engine. The body was built solely of aluminum—the mix of a steel tub and an alloy body provides an excellent balance of light weight and stiffness. Vestey then painted the car in his signature colors, a deep blue with a white center stripe.
The car was raced in the 1966 National GTs. Vestey sold the car to John Lewis. Lewis drove the car to 17 victories on the track. By the mid to late sixties, the car had built up a record of 29 wins and six lap records. Lewis sold the car, but reacquired it years later and began again to win races with it. The car competed in the FIA Historic GT Championships backed by the Jaguar Works Team, becoming one of only two E-types ever backed by the factory. Wins in the FIA Championships happened in 1983 and 1987, with a class win in 1985. The car was retired when Bobby Unser had a small traffic accident, crunching the hood of the car against a parked bus. The car’s final race was the 1993 Tour de France.