Automotive

Eagle rounds out its special E-Type trilogy with the Spyder GT

The Spyder GT has a taller windscreen than the Eagle Speedster
The Spyder GT has a taller windscreen than the Eagle Speedster
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The Spyder GT has the smooth contours and open-air feel of the Eagle Speedster with the touring capabilities of the Low Drag GT
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The Spyder GT has the smooth contours and open-air feel of the Eagle Speedster with the touring capabilities of the Low Drag GT
Eagle has added its own console design on its E-Type-based special models
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Eagle has added its own console design on its E-Type-based special models
Eagle calls its E-Type trilogy series the "most exclusive hand built cars in the world"
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Eagle calls its E-Type trilogy series the "most exclusive hand built cars in the world"
Eagle launches the Spyder GT
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Eagle launches the Spyder GT
The Spyder GT rides on custom 16-in wheels
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The Spyder GT rides on custom 16-in wheels
The all-new Eagle Spyder GT
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The all-new Eagle Spyder GT
The Spyder GT is powered by a 340-hp 4.7-liter straight-six engine 
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The Spyder GT is powered by a 340-hp 4.7-liter straight-six engine 
At the wheel of the Spyder GT
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At the wheel of the Spyder GT
The all-new Eagle Spyder GT
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The all-new Eagle Spyder GT
The all-new Eagle Spyder GT finishes off Eagle's special model trilogy ... unless Eagle decides to make a fourth car in the future
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The all-new Eagle Spyder GT finishes off Eagle's special model trilogy ... unless Eagle decides to make a fourth car in the future
With its folding roof, the Eagle Spyder GT offers more all-weather versatility than the Eagle Speedster
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With its folding roof, the Eagle Spyder GT offers more all-weather versatility than the Eagle Speedster
The Eagle Spyder GT can sprint from 0-60 mph in under 5 seconds
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The Eagle Spyder GT can sprint from 0-60 mph in under 5 seconds
Eagle Spyder GT top speed: 170 mph+
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Eagle Spyder GT top speed: 170 mph+
Eagle Spyder GT price: a cool £695,000
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Eagle Spyder GT price: a cool £695,000
The all-new Eagle Spyder GT
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The all-new Eagle Spyder GT
The Spyder GT has a taller windscreen than the Eagle Speedster
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The Spyder GT has a taller windscreen than the Eagle Speedster
Eagle Speedster
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Eagle Speedster
Eagle Low Drag GT
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Eagle Low Drag GT
Eagle E-Type Roadster
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Eagle E-Type Roadster
Eagle E-Type Coupe
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Eagle E-Type Coupe
Eagle Spyder GT
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Eagle Spyder GT
Eagle Spyder GT
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Eagle Spyder GT
Eagle Spyder GT
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Eagle Spyder GT
The Spyder GT features an aluminum monocoque
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The Spyder GT features an aluminum monocoque
Eagle Spyder GT
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Eagle Spyder GT
The Spyder GT features an aluminum monocoque
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The Spyder GT features an aluminum monocoque
Eagle Spyder GT
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Eagle Spyder GT
Eagle Spyder GT
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Eagle Spyder GT
Eagle Speedster
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Eagle Speedster
Eagle Speedster
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Eagle Speedster
Eagle Speedster
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Eagle Speedster
Eagle Speedster
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Eagle Speedster

Ever imagine what a great world it would be if the Jaguar E-Type had lived on past the 1970s, and not just in name, like other classic car models that have evolved into completely different animals, but in all its curvy, original-form glory? That's the world Eagle lives in, its series of restored, modernized and reimagined cars ensuring that the E-Type family remains small but thriving. This month, it launched its latest special edition, the Spyder GT, a convertible tourer with hardcore sporting on its mind.

Founded by Henry Pearman, Eagle started off in 1984 as a traditional restoration business, buying, restoring and selling original E-Types to customers. Engineer Paul Brace joined the shop in 1989 and helped Pearman transition from simple restoration into high-caliber restomods.

In 1991, author John McLaren came to Eagle with needs that a standard restoration couldn't meet. McLaren wanted to fuse the pure driving experience of his classic E-Type with everyday reliability and performance fit for the new decade. Eagle got to work, and the Eagle E-Type was born.

Instead of a standard restoration (which Eagle still offers today), the Eagle E-Type is stripped down until every part down to the tiniest bolt can be carefully inspected and replaced where necessary. Eagle then rebuilds the car to the customer's specifications, pulling new pieces off its shelf of modern components and packages. The new car has the look and character of a classic E-Type with the technology, reliability and performance of a more modern car. It's a process that takes around 4,000 hours, according to Eagle.

Twenty years after launching the successful Eagle E-Type restomod series, Eagle took another big step forward in its quest to preserve the E-Type legend. Working with an American client to identify something truly special – more special, that is, than a fully rebuilt, modernized, custom-spec E-Type – Brace sketched out the E-Type Speedster. The client fell in love, and the Speedster (pictured below) launched in 2011.

Eagle Speedster
Eagle Speedster

Like all Eagles, the Eagle Speedster started from an original E-Type, and like the Eagle E-Types, it was a complete rebuild job. However, this car also departs slightly from the original design, featuring a full injection of aluminum, including an all-aluminum body, a widened track, lowered floor pan, raked custom-made windscreen, and rear "waterfall" bodywork splitting the two seats. Since launching, it's served as a bespoke representation of what the "Jaguar E-Type might have become."

If you think an attempt to improve on the E-Type's greatness might offend Jaguar, it appears much the opposite. Eagle's website quotes this impression from Jaguar design director Ian Callum: "If I were to have an E-Type, it would have to be the Eagle Speedster – I just love that car. It's just how I would have designed it, taking the E-Type Jaguar's purity to a whole new level."

Two years after introducing the Speedster, Eagle followed it up with a hard-top grand tourer, the Low Drag GT. And now it officially adds the third member of the family, the Spyder GT.

The Spyder GT has the smooth contours and open-air feel of the Eagle Speedster with the touring capabilities of the Low Drag GT
The Spyder GT has the smooth contours and open-air feel of the Eagle Speedster with the touring capabilities of the Low Drag GT

The new Spyder GT essentially splits the difference between the Speedster and the Low Drag GT, giving the driver the rolling, wind-through-hair sexiness of the Speedster with the touring prowess of the Low Drag. A folding roof completes the gap forge.

"Development of the Spyder GT began soon after the launch of the Speedster in 2011, and like everything we produce, we wanted to ensure that we got as close to perfection as humanly possible," Brace explained when announcing the car at last year's London Classic Car Show. "We're renowned for being perfectionists and our clients are too – so we took the time to develop and deliver an E-Type that stands proud alongside the Speedster and the Low Drag GT."

Eagle has completed construction of the first Spyder GT. The curvy cabriolet relies on Eagle's 4.7-liter XK straight-six for its 330 bhp and 340 lb-ft (461 Nm) of torque. Working with the five-speed manual transmission to power the rear wheels, the engine inspires the 2,269-lb (1,029-kg) car to fire off the line to 60 mph (96.5 km/h) in less than 5 seconds and power through to a top speed above 170 mph (274 km/h). Front and rear wishbones with Öhlins dampers help the car become one with the road while AP Racing aluminum calipers and ventilated discs stop the 16-in custom wheels from spinning.

Eagle has added its own console design on its E-Type-based special models
Eagle has added its own console design on its E-Type-based special models

While it looks every bit as exquisite as the Speedster, the Spyder GT has a taller windscreen and, of course, the folding roof. The handcrafted leather interior is cut from the same cloth and includes the bold, taper-down center console design and hidden handbrake lever.

A reimagined, remade Jaguar E-Type convertible certainly isn't a cheap proposition, and you could buy a few different high-performance exotics for the same £695,000 (approx. US$870K). But there's no chance in hell they'd look as close to proportional automotive perfection as the Eagle Spyder GT.

Source: Eagle

6 comments
VincentWolf
The most exciting e-car design would be a Fiat X1/9e. Imagine having 750 hp in that like the Tesla P100D with AWD. That car had outstanding handling but it's quality, it's engine, it's electronics let it down. Still the Bertone designed car was great and popular in the 70's. Loved mine (I had 5 of them).
Island Architect
Absolutely Magnificent. It should be brought to the Detroit Autorama. The only flaw might be when you relax your leg and it hits the console... Might need a tad more padding there. Bravo for refined excellence! And don't sneer at the Autorama.
CAVUMark
OK, I'll be a beta tester.
KeithMeredith
My first love...reborn! I remember driving along the newly finished M1. At that time the M1 had no speed limit. We cruised at around 120mph, probably hitting higher MPH along the way. It was a fast drive, and a fabulous thrill for a 21 year old. I knew of no one in my circle of friends who had done that speed anywhere, and I still cherish it with clarity some 50+ years later. Thanks Spyder for a great memory. I want one please!
EUbrainwashing
Or for a fraction of the Eagle asking price there are many fine examples of D Type and E Type replicas available - some of astounding quality: http://www.totalheadturners.com/detail/jaguar-etype-213692 http://www.classiccarsforsale.co.uk/jaguar/c+type/142164 You only get what you pay for I suppose but reality makes some price tickets just out of the reach of most law abiding mortals.
JoeFrederick
For that price you could get ten actual XKE convertibles in excellent condition, not that I'd ever want one ... back in '65 a pal had a '63, and it was constantly in need of electrical repairs and once a soft-top latch broke (in winter) and couldn't be replaced for over a month ... he had to wear his AF snorkel-hood parka to drive). Not saying that my '63 Stingray convertible was much better ... electricals that died were radio and every instrument except the oil pressure gauge, and the syncros in the stick shift were always coming loose, and the alignment was unable to be made just right, and a bushing went out in the driveshaft once, causing the car to shake like crazy over 60mph ... for that I got new shocks, balanced the tires 8 different ways, and shaved the tires ... nothing worked ... but finally a tractor mechanic found it and fixed it for $15. Oh, and in the winter one of the headlights would freeze in the down position, requiring a manual effort to bring it up. I still loved that beast, though, and so did the ladies.