- The Washington Times - Friday, October 18, 2002

The radically designed aerodynamic Jaguar XK-E was introduced in 1961, the same year Dave Michel was a Cat the University of Missouri at Rolla.
When the young student saw a picture of the new Jaguar XK-E in a magazine he thought, "I love that shape."
With the price of a Jaguar about equal to the cost of his four-year college education, ownership of the sleek British car was out of the question.
The dream, however, wasn't dead merely hibernating.
Over the years Mr. Michel did his homework and decided the Jag for him was the second-generation coupe, of which only 6,073 were manufactured.
The total number produced and the years of manufacture are:
1964 ………………….358
1965 ………………..2,146
1966 ………………..1,648
1967…………………1,000
1968…………………..921
He started looking in the mid-1990s for a low-mileage, unrestored example. Most of the survivors he found were either very pricey, over-restored cars or at the other end of the spectrum, rusted-out and worn-out cars.
In early 2001 Mr. Michel found a 1967 Jaguar XK-E coupe for sale in Metairie, La., near New Orleans. As fortune would have it, a trusted friend who was knowledgeable about E-Type Jaguars was about to make a business trip to that area. As a favor to Mr. Michel he inspected the Jaguar and gave it a clean bill of health.
"The real trick to finding a good Jaguar E-Type," Mr. Michel said, "is a good body." The sills were straight with no signs of rust, so, though looking impending retirement in the eye, he bought the car in March 2001.
"It's the epitome of the teardrop shape," Mr. Michel said.
The Warwick gray Jaguar coupe has aerodynamically covered headlights mounted in the lengthy one-piece hood perforated with two parallel rows of 14 louvers.
Twelve colors were offered on the Jaguar in 1967. Beneath that L-O-N-G hood is a 4.2-liter, twin-overhead cam, six-cylinder engine fed by a trio of S.U. carburetors.
From a collector's fleet he purchased the Jaguar with just 60,000 miles on the odometer. Mr. Michel said he is the fourth owner of the visually stunning original car.
"The car is remarkably complete and remarkably functional," he said.
According to documents that came with the car, it was exercised regularly.
Mr. Michel had his Jaguar trucked to a trusted mechanic's garage near his home, where it underwent about three months of routine moving-part maintenance and inspection. All the hoses, gaskets and belts were replaced, along with all the fluids. A new clutch and pressure plate also seemed to be in order as well as a brake system overhaul.
With the car up on a lift, Mr. Michel reports, "The underneath is spectacular."
With a thumbs-up from the mechanic he drove the eight miles to the garage to claim his Jaguar. Firing up the car, Mr. Michel said, "It sounded great and it runs great." He drove home, taking the scenic route of about 60 miles. "The acceleration is phenomenal," he reports.
The all-original interior has a gray headliner over the red-leather seats, red carpeting and black dashboard adorned with six toggle switches.
Centrally located in the dashboard is the cigar light, directly above the ashtray.
Behind the bucket seats is a red-carpeted cargo area with five longitudinal rubber ribs. Instead of rolling down the rear windows for ventilation, they pop open at the rear.
Each of the 72-spoke, 15-inch wheels is secured by a knock-off hub, which is not only attractive, but also functional.
"This car is rolling sculpture," Mr. Michel said.
Behind the windshield, which is cleared by three wipers, Mr. Michel can view the 160-mile-per-hour speedometer through the three-spoke steering wheel. Each spoke is perforated by five holes in descending diameter toward the wooden wheel at the perimeter.
At the driver's side, between the bucket seats, is the four-speed synchromesh gearshift lever.
Mr. Michel has added about 3,000 miles to the car since buying it. "This is a marvelous piece of machinery," he said.


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