Seeing the light: On the road in the new Eagle E-type Lightweight GT

If you want an E-type that’s the best of the best, then British specialist Eagle should be your destination. But has the best just got even better with its Lightweight GT? Andrew Frankel finds out

Rear shot of the 2020 Eagle E-type Lightweight GT and its exhaust pipes ona. country road

Dean Smith

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There’s a road about 20 miles from where I live that I never use for testing fast cars. From its nearest access point to me it offers about 16 miles of sinuous, undulating nirvana for the right kind of machine. Then you can just turn round and do it all over again. Why don’t I use it? Because today fast cars are also wide cars and this is the kind of road on which you can no longer exercise such machines without the attendant fear of a John Deere the size of a small Alp coming the other way and taking the side off your low-slung slice of automotive exotica. But there’s probably never been a better road on which to drive Eagle’s new Lightweight GT E-type. So that’s where I went.

You will probably know about Eagle. It sells original E-types and E-types fastidiously restored in-house. But it’s most famous for its specials, of which this is the fourth type. Before it came the Low Drag GT, the Spyder GT and the Speedster, all of which remain available to order, if you don’t mind waiting between 18-24 months for yours to turn up (or even more depending on the level of personal commissioning you want) plus a bill measurable in the many hundreds of thousands of pounds. The Lightweight GT is so new no price has yet been set, but it’s fair to say it will likely begin with an eight.

The first thing that buys you is a Jaguar E-type, in this particular case, a 1963 Series 1 Roadster. The folk at Eagle won’t let you supply your own donor because they don’t know where it’s been. They know all about the case of the superficially shiny E-type that turns out to be shot to pieces underneath, a misaligned, rusting wreck in a prom dress.