Jaguar Cars will be officially celebrating two significant anniversaries at Goodwood’s popular annual motor sport events this year, with 50 years of Britain’s best-loved sports car – the legendary Jaguar E-Type – being honoured at both the 2011 Festival of Speed (1-3 July) and Goodwood Revival (16-18 September), as well as 60 years since the Coventry marque first triumphed in the gruelling Le Mans 24 Hour endurance race.

Unveiled exactly 50 years ago at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show, the E-Type quickly became the epitome of 1960s cool, as well as establishing an enviable record on the racing circuits of the world, including Goodwood.  At the Festival of Speed this summer, the E-Type’s 50th birthday will be marked with an original and highly impactful ‘Central Feature’ installation as a tribute to this incomparable motoring icon. 

As well as the Central Feature ­– once more created by Gerry Judah, who has designed every memorable Festival display since 1997 ­– E-Types will be much in evidence at the 19th Festival of Speed.  A class in the world-renowned Cartier ‘Style et Luxe’ concours d’elegance will be dedicated to variants of Jaguar’s most famous model, while the Goodwood Hill will see examples of each notable racing E-Type. 

Additionally, the 60th anniversary of Jaguar’s first Le Mans win will be celebrated with a class of the marque’s 24 Hours challengers.  As well as the C-Types and D-Types which claimed five victories in the 1950s, Jaguar’s triumphant return to la Sarthe in the 1980s with the XJR series will also be represented, alongside examples of every other Jaguar model to compete at the 24 hour race.

Jaguar E-Types will also have a strong presence at this year’s Goodwood Revival.  Saturday’s feature race at the Revival ­- the Fordwater Trophy – will be a 45-minute two-driver race for E-Types only.  In honour of this, the official 2011 Goodwood Revival poster depicts the famous ‘4 WPD’ Noddy Coombs lightweight development E-Type racing at Goodwood.

Jaguar has a long and impressive history at Goodwood.  An SS100 won the very first post-War public motor race at the West Sussex circuit in September 1948, and the marque went on to enjoy great success with sports, GT and saloon cars during Goodwood’s active years from 1948 to 1966.  It is testament to this special relationship that the 2011 Goodwood Festival of Speed and Revival are the only UK-based motor sport events officially recognised and supported by Jaguar Cars.

Commenting on this announcement, Lord March says: “I am delighted that we are able to honour Jaguar’s sporting heritage and the 50th anniversary of the E-Type in particular, at Goodwood this year.  Goodwood and Jaguar have always enjoyed a very close relationship, and it is entirely fitting that they should choose to celebrate these two very special anniversaries with us.”