Behind the scenes as Lightweight E-type no. 15 is presented to journalists and VIP guests in a special event at Stratstone Jaguar's Mayfair showroom.
Monday May 9th, 2016 - A small crowd of specially invited journalists and VIP guests has gathered in Stratstone's Jaguar showroom in the heart of London's glamorous Mayfair. The Berkeley Street venue has played host to some special car launches from the leaping cat in recent years, but this evening's event is for the unveiling of a Jaguar that is truly one of a kind.
This is the official handover of Jaguar Lightweight E-type no. 15 from Jaguar to its new owners, Stratstone. It's also the first opportunity for members of the public to see the car in its finished Gunmetal Grey form. As our host, racer and TV presenter Amanda Stretton, asks for the car to be revealed from under its covers, it's to a rapturous round of applause.
The Lightweight E-type has been the subject of much discussion in motoring forums around the world since its announcement in early 2014, but with only six cars of the reborn run having been made, the chance to see one in the flesh comes with the weight of expectation. Well consider that expectation met.
Under the bright lights of Stratstone's VIP showroom, Lightweight E-type no. 15 looks every bit the classic E-type, but one that has come straight from Jaguar's production line. Which is exactly the case for this reborn icon - one of the "Missing Six" from Jaguar's originally planned 18strong run, that has been exactingly hand built by the Jaguar Classic team to the original Lightweight E-type specification.
As Trevor Finn, CEO for Stratstone's parent company Pendragon PLC explains, the intention for this particular Lightweight E-type is not for it to remain hidden away.
"Our intention for this very special Jaguar is that it will serve as a living and dynamic ambassador for Stratstone across the UK and Europe," he says. "A passion for cars and motorsport is ingrained in the heart of Stratstone and its illustrious heritage. This car brings its own legacy and we're delighted to be a part of its story. It was a pleasure to have the chance to work with Jaguar's Special Vehicle Operations to secure it. We feel privileged and proud that at least one of the 'Missing Six' will call the UK home. Lightweight E-type no. 15 is the UK's E-type, and our plan is to give as many people as possible the opportunity to see it."
As Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations' Managing Director, John Edwards adds:
"Special Operations' remit is to indulge our most discerning and enthusiastic fans' passion for our cars - and I think it is safe to say, given our 30 year history together, that Stratstone certainly fits that criteria. The E-type is an iconic car, especially in London, so to be able to complete this intended production run of 18, some 50 years after the first Lightweight was completed, and to deliver it to its new home right here in the heart of the capital, is really something quite special."