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1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight - The Linder Nocker Low Drag

  • The most beautiful Jaguar E-Type of them all
  • The sole Low Drag Lightweight designed and built by the Jaguar factory
  • The most powerful 3.8-litre XK engine Jaguar ever built in period, developing 344 bhp
  • Recipient of one of the most complex restorations ever undertaken
  • The second Jaguar E-Type Lightweight sourced and sold by Girardo & Co., of the 12 examples built
  • Sold
  • Chassis no. S 850662
  • Engine no. RA 1347-9S

The Linder Nocker Low Drag Jaguar E-Type Lightweight:

At the tail end of 2020, we were tasked with sourcing and negotiating the purchase of a Jaguar E-type Lightweight by a client. And having kept agonisingly tight-lipped for what’s felt like an eternity, we can finally tell you that the car on which we trained our sights and successfully rehomed is the most beautiful Lightweight of them all: the Lindner-Nocker Low Drag.

Extraordinarily, this is the second Jaguar E-type Lightweight we’ve successfully sourced and sold. In 2019, we found a new home for ‘YVH 210’, the Lightweight famously owned and raced with much success by Peter Sutcliffe, both in Europe and in South Africa in the popular Springbok Series.

Of the 12 E-type Lightweights constructed by Jaguar in the 1960s, this car – chassis S850662, or ‘4868 WK’ as it’s more commonly known – was the only example fitted with Malcolm Sayer’s voluptuous wind-cheating bodywork at the marque’s Browns Lane factory.

The work was carried out for the car’s owner Peter Lindner, the enterprising German Jaguar importer who’d already drummed up a lot of publicity for both his business and the Coventry marque by racing his Lightweight in ‘standard’ guise. He racked up victories in three domestic German events in 1963, twice at Avus and once at the Norisring.

But ahead of the following year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, with its long straights, Lindner returned ‘4868 WK’ to the factory’s competition department to be modified to a low-drag body design by the legendary aerodynamicist (and original E-type designer) Malcolm Sayer.

Improving on perfection is no mean feat, but we reckon Sayer achieved just that in this instance. The riveted aluminium body swoops and curves in a sensuous manner that’s difficult to comprehend, enveloping the cabin and tapering away extravagantly into the delicate tail. “I don’t yet know of the speed of the Lindner car, but in the wind-tunnel it had 84% of the drag of a ‘standard’ E-type,” Sayer commented in a letter. In reality, we’re sure it’s even less.

During its sojourn to Coventry, ‘4868 WK’ was also treated to a raft of engine upgrades, including mechanic George Buck’s fabled six-branch exhaust manifold. This Jaguar’s 3.8-litre power unit was reportedly the most powerful XK engine Jaguar ever built, kicking out a staggering 340bhp! It’s also the only E-type fitted with a speedometer reading up to 200mph. Prospects for Le Mans looked very bright indeed.

Gunning for glory in the fiercely contested GT class, Linder opted for his compatriot and regular co-driver Peter Nocker to share the driving duties at La Sarthe. Ferrari 250 GTOs in both 1962 and 1964 guises, Shelby Cobra Daytona ‘Coops’, Aston Martin’s Project cars and, of course, Jaguar E-type Lightweights. This really was GT racing’s most golden of eras, and ‘4868 WK’ was in centre stage.

Despite their gallant efforts and the Jaguar’s impressive pace, the German pairing were forced to retire in the early hours of the morning. Tragically, a few short weeks later during the 1,000km of Paris at Montlhery, Lindner lost his life in a terrible accident at the wheel of his beloved E-type.

For years, the E-type was impounded by French authorities, until it was rescued in 1974 by Patrick Linsard. The car subsequently wound up at Lynx.

Fast-forward to 2007, when the collector Peter Neumark entered the fray, acquiring the car from the famed Rosso Bianco Collection and making the bold decision to restore the car to its Low Drag specification, original alloy body and all.

The leading Jaguar specialist Classic Motor Cars (CMC) were charged with carrying out the restoration, and to say it was a huge undertaking would be an understatement of gargantuan proportions. Adament on saving the original bodyshell, CMC’s craftsmen – assisted by members of Lindner’s family and former Jaguar engineers – invested over 5,000 hours into it, removing, flattening and reshaping every piece of metal.

Unbelievably, more than 90 percent of the original metal was salvaged and returned to the car. The bits and pieces that weren’t used fit into a small box. After 9,000 painstaking hours, ‘4868 WK’ was perfect once again, down to the last minute detail. And fittingly completed in the Jaguar E-type’s 50th anniversary year. CMC’s award for Restoration of the Year at the International Historic Motoring Awards in 2011 was never in doubt.

Neumark exhibited the newly restored Linder-Nocker Low Drag extensively, including the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the Hampton Court Concours of Elegance. And he retained the car he invested so much passion and energy into until late last year, when we negotiated its sale to a new, equally enthusiastic owner.

One of the most significant 1960s GT competition cars in existence, ‘4868 WK’ today stands as a jaw-dropping tribute to the charismatic German gentleman driver Peter Lindner, who did so much to promote the Jaguar marque. There’s also no doubt about it: this is the most beautiful E-type of them all!

 

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