1966 Jaguar 4.2-Liter Series 1 XKE Coupe
Coachwork by Pichon-Parat
Custom one-off designed by Raymond Loewy
Raymond Loewy is a legend in design history, but the man who helped shape such iconic works as the Greyhound bus, spectacular streamlined Pennsylvania Railroad locomotives, Coke bottle, Lucky Strike cigarette packet, and one of the most beautiful American cars – the Studebaker Starliner – had strange aesthetic judgements when it came to restyling his own cars.
It takes a bold personality to think you can improve on such all-time beautiful sports cars as the Lancia Flaminia
, BMW 507
, and XK Jaguar
, but the extrovert French-born industrial designer had different ideas
For a man who criticised American car design as "jukeboxes on wheels" his range of gold-painted custom road cars seemed to contradict his studio's pure design philosophy.
Loewy's bizarre Lancia Loraymo
has hints of the Avanti
in its overall profile, but there's some very weird ideas about lights, spoiler, and unsightly extended grille. The car was debuted at the 1960 Paris Motor Show and, like all his personal cars, was then driven around Europe.
The fussy design contrasts dramatically with the Starliner
, which is now largely attributed to Robert E Bourke, while the Avanti was possibly more influenced by young team member Tom Kellogg, a ex-student fresh from the LA Art Center. But Loewy always had a knack for spotting gifted designers.
The startling E-Type coupe
is one of only two Jaguars restyled and customized by Raymond Loewy (it is the only one of them remaining; the other was created from a 1955 XK-140
, and was demolished in a fire in 1957). Pichon-Parat of Sens, France, accomplished the substantial redesign coachwork on this E-Type and the car was owned and driven by Mr. Loewy while he lived in France and Monaco.
Mr. Loewy's E-Type was left mechanically stock; his redesign work restricted to the body panels, and side window openings and glass. The car was shortened fore (25cm) and aft (12cm); the new nose encompassing a dual headlight treatment, with the quad lights mounted behind plastic covers. The car's original radiator opening was also dispensed with in favor of a large oval shaped metal grille, which likely improved the E-Type's marginal cooling capacity. The factory taillights were replaced with Chevrolet Corvair units frenched into the quarter panels, and the dual exhaust pipes, which normally exit just below the rear license plate, are splayed outward exiting the tail of the car at approximately 45 degree angles. A unique glass "spoiler" was mounted at the trailing edge of the roof.
Mr. Loewy anticipated today's Center High-Mounted Stoplight regulations by placing a large, red taillight in the aft cabin, visible through the 25% larger than stock rear window, activated by the brake pedal. The interior remains otherwise stock.