2R 1971 6 cylinder etypes

Hello, I am the proud, log time (50 years), owner of a 6 ylinder 1971 Etype roadster. In researching jags I have noticed they almost all come with a VIN starting with 1R. My jag, made on September 1970, comes with a VIN starting with 2R. Can anyone educate me of ‘the reason for the 2R designation.

Hello Russ,

Follow this, it will help but not answer your question in its entirety.
Sometimes , often, the answer to one question generates more …unanswered questions.



First up the 2R prefix was used only on Cars built for, and sold new into the USA Market Place, and that indeed is the major clue… All other Series 2 E-types made for the home UK market and all RoW (Rest of World) export markets retained the standard/usual 1R prefix… (But at this stage I haven’t looked yet into detail re cars sold into Canadian market new, with the Canadian situation changing I think around the time of British Leyland Holdings assuming Distributorship - maybe some Canadian new Series 2 E type owners can comment)

The reason that USA market Series 2 E-Types adopted the 2R prefix was to satisfy the USA Regulators that the car had been built to comply with the USA Federal 1971 Model Year Safety and Emissions Regulations, being somewhat of a belated stop gap/run out of the Series 2 given the V12 E-type was only just being developed/certified to 1971 Model Year Regulations and building up stock for their March 1971 Launch.

This USA Market only logic of quickly identifying compliance with the evolving Model Year Regulations is seen with V12 E-type CAR (Chassis) NUMBERS having UC, UD then UE prefixes to the 1S prefix Series 3 CAR NUMBERS, noting again UK and RoW V12 E-types only used 1S prefix, and never the extra USA only UC, UD, UE prefixes…

With USA Market Series 2 and V12 E-types, you start to get special extra paperwork in their Literature Packs, and indeed extra Regulation Compliance stickers applied to the door jambs etc, denoting compliance with their evolving Federal Regulations. UK and RoW E-types were of course not built nor subject to USA Regulations so never got any of this Regulatory paperwork/stickers and extra prefixes to CAR NUMBERS…

Hey Russ - welcome to Jag-Lovers.

I also have a ‘2R’ car, registered as a 1971. Not 50 years ownership though. In fact, I have owned it for all of 26 days.

I won’t (and can’t) expand on Roger’s explanation. As usual he was quite thorough in providing the details.

My 69 is a 1R purchased new in the USA

Reread from the top : starting from 1970 .

I should have emphasised, that there were NO Series 2 E-types actually made during calendar-year 1971, with the so called 1971 Model Year terminology being a USA REGULATORY term, and of course also in the USA a standing practice MARKETING/SALES term - you can’t beat the sales appeal of buying a so called new 1971 car in mid/late 1970…

The LAST Series 2 E-types, in USA all referred to by then as 1971MY cars, were actually made/built in October 1970 (for OTS) and September 1970 (for FHC). I understand there were no 1971MY 2+2 cars built (with a 2R prefix), the last ones built being in July 1970 and still with the normal 1R prefix, so still 1970MY regulatory/marketed cars, albeit I am sure any unsold stock in 1970 would be called whatever the salesman felt like…

So Russ, if your 2R prefix OTS was made in September 1970, it must have been one of the very last Series 2 made, the final one made being 2R28786… What is your CAR No. ???

My name is David Farley and I have a 1971 Jaguar XKE OTS LHD.–There were (7,853)
1R7001 to 1R14853. My VIN. number Is 2R14851. I was not aware that this 1971 car was made in October of 1970. When did they start manufacturing the series 3? I know when I restored mine, it had some series 3 items on it.

David Farley

Hi Roger, thank you for the detailed explanation. My car nos. Is 2R/14460. I actually bought the car while I was in the military stationed in Germany and paid for it in May 1970. It was confirmed to me and actually registered in England with British plates and my correspondence tells me it was a 1R/14460. I was discharged from the Army and returned to the states in June 70 and the car had not been made yet. When I was finally notified it had been made and was delivered to Nemet Auto in NYC in October I picked it up as a 2R car. Again thanks for the explanation. It now makes sense to me.

Your 2R14851 is indeed the third last LHD OTS Series 2 made, and according to JDHT records was actually built/date-of-manufacture in October 1970, with the 2R prefix to its CAR No. (Chassis Number or superseded by VIN terminology) indicating it has been built to USA Federal Regulations (Re Safety and Emissions) for 1971 Model Year. If you seek a Jaguar Heritage Trust Certificate that will advise exact date-of-manufacture in October 1970 and indeed also the exact date your car was dispatched from the factory (usually 1 to 2 weeks later) to the docks to be shipped to USA.

The Series 3 or V12 E-type was officially released for sale in March 1971, but the actual first V12 2+2 were built in August 1970 (and first V12 OTS in December 1970) as prototypes were signed off, and production ramped up to have plenty of new car stock ready for delivery on/after the March 1971 release-to-public launch date. This would explain the last Series 2 2+2 being built in July 1970, allowing the production line to be change over to Series 3 V12 production from August, slowly at first. There are a number of surviving 1970 built V12 E-types, and indeed a local friend of mine in Australia has one of the pre-production prototype V12 2+2, albeit now a racing car…

Amongst the six pre-production Series 3 E-types, I think at least two were fitted with six-cylinder XK engines, the others all having the new V12 Engine, with all Series 3 built on the longer 2+2 wheelbase, so the Series 3 2+2 was an evolving upgrade of the Series 2 2+2, but the Series 3 OTS now on the same long-wheel-base was a significantly changed car to the Series 2 OTS built on a short wheelbase (as was the Series 2 FHC - not made as a Series 3). This probably explains why Series 2 OTS and FHC were still made up to Oct 1970 as a 1971MY car, with the first Series 3 OTS not made until December 1970.

David, I had the same experience. When I went to put new brake pads on the standard series 2 pads did not fit. I bought one to the store and they told me it was a series 3 pad.

I think lister Lloyd Nolan’s 6-banger car is a '71 , too.

Russ, I was really pulling my hair out restoring my car, It was all the great guys on the Jag-lovers Forum that pulled me through. I don’t know how many times I had to send parts back to major suppliers of jag parts because the sales person was not knowledgeable about the transition of the later built 1971 Xke’s. I even had a gentleman on the forum send me a highlighted wiring diagram change that enabled me to complete the wiring. I had to have to wiring diagrams to complete the job. one for a series 2 and one for a series 3.

David Farley

Perhaps yours should be a Series 2½?

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Geo. Calling my late production Etype a series 21/2 or a series 21/4 has been suggested to me a number of times. Russ

That is a good idea!


Hello new guy :wink: 2R13939 here, made on May 25, '70.
She also has power steering, A/C and radio, the epitome of luxury and class for her era. Mine is also labelled as P2R13939, which indicates power steering.
As I recall, the 2R indicates adherence to the USA smog rules for '71, which, only required a dump from the oil breathe to the intake manifold. No engine de-tuning until the '72 models.

Society has discovered discrimination as the great social weapon by which one may kill men without any bloodshed.
Hannah Arendt

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Roger, looking at the history of my purchase I wonder if after I ordered it and paid for it in May 1970, and Jaguar notifying me that its serial # was 1R/14460 they delayed making it until September 1970 at which time the 1971’s were being made, so they kept the 14460 but redesignated it a 2R. That would explain the relatively low serial# with a 2R designation? What do you think? Because it was a military overseas purchase the car was actually registered and given British plates as a1R car 5 months before it was made.

As a final comment, I think, if anyone wants to see my car it is being auctioned at Premier Auctions in Punta Gorda FL on Dec. 5. I hate to sell it after 50 years but I am now 77 yrs old with a bad hip and I have a hard time getting into it. If I can’t enjoy it I should sell it! It is on their web site on p.3 of their auction cars and has VT plates that say “71 ETYPE”.

I just had a look at your car. It is a beautiful e type. You have obviously taken exceptional care of it.