The Economist, Babbage | The Difference Engine: Birth of an icon, Jaguar E-Type at 50.

Dec 10th 2010, 9:30 by N.V. | LOS ANGELES

PETROL-HEADS of a certain age may have noticed that the 50th anniversary of the Jaguar E-Type sportscar is imminent. Within the motoring world, it will be the cause for much ballyhoo and dewy-eyed nostalgia. But before getting caught up in all the hoopla, your correspondent—wizened enough to have been around when the iconic car made its debut at the Geneva motor show in 1961—would like to contribute his two-pennyworth of personal experience on why the E-Type really was the most innovative piece of automotive machinery of its age. 

Most surprising bit: when the car came out in 1961, it only cost £2,100.

What would 2100 UK pounds from 1961 be worth in dollars today? I’m having trouble finding what the exchange rate was back then, but if we assume $2 per pound & round a bit, then it looks like $4k in 1961 would be worth around $30k today, which is around the average going price these days for an average “nice but not all that extravagant” car, e.g. a Prius tops out around that price range.

I thought these were in the six-digit price range with Ferraris & the like, but apparently not. Fascinating.


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