Driving a Jaguar E-Type – Tips When Hiring a Classic Car

The Jaguar E-Type was an extremely advanced car at the time of its release, with a number of features not previously available on production road cars. Naturally, vehicle technology has moved on since then and classic cars are quite different to their modern counterparts. For this reason, we give our classic car hire customers a briefing at the start of their hire so they quickly find themselves at ease behind the wheel of our cars.

The main differences to note are listed below:


The E-Type was one of the earliest production cars to be fitted with disk brakes on all four wheels providing good stopping power. However the servo assistance is considerably less on classic cars than is common with most modern vehicles, requiring firmer pressure on the brake pedal. When first driving off, a few test applications will familiarise the driver with the feel of the brakes.

Rear Wheel Drive

Most modern cars are front wheel drive to save space, cost and weight but rear wheel drive has always been favoured for sports cars. This improves handling characteristics under acceleration but it does require some care. The E-Type engine has a considerable power output even by today’s standards and excessive acceleration under cornering will lead to the back of the car stepping out.


As with all classic cars, the gearboxes do not like to be rushed: changes should be smooth and relaxed. The Series 2 Jaguar E-Type has full synchromesh on all gears so double declutching is not necessary. Nevertheless a smooth gear change matching engine and gearbox speeds eliminates drivetrain snatch, giving a more rewarding and impressive result.


The most noticeable feature of the E-Type has to be the glorious bonnet, but drivers need to bear in mind that there is about a foot and a half of bonnet they can’t see from the driving seat and allow for this when manoeuvring.

With those caveats, the Jaguar E-Type is not a difficult car to master and customers regularly remark on how easy the car is to drive with familiarisation.