when did the “roll up” style tool kit appear in the xke…vs the ones that for into the spare tire top?
ALL PRODUCTION E-Types, from cars built from March 1961 onwards, received a ‘roll-up’ style tool-roll/ kit, apart from 1968MY onwards Federal 4.2 E-types, Federal Series 2 and Federal V12 E-types, that no longer received any tool-roll/ kit apart from their Wheel-Changing-Equipment.
And it should be realized that Series 2 and V12 E-types as sold new into all RHD markets, and non-North American Left-Hand-Drive markets continued to receive a Tool-Roll/ Kit, albeit smaller and abbreviated from that supplied to Series 1 E-types.
The red-herring that certain extremely early 1961 E-types, may have received a Mark 2 Tool-Kit, in a round box, sitting on-top of the spare wheel emanates from ONE Prototype Car – 9600HP, that during pre-launch (March 1961) Road-Test runs was temporarily provided with a Mark 2 Tool-Box, and indeed was photographed with this Mark 2 tool-kit fitted. Unfortunately pictures of this one-off Mark 2 tool-kit fitment, have been widely circulated.
But there is solid evidence that proves that only the usual E-type “roll-up” Tool-Roll was fitted to all the earliest Production E-types from 1961 onwards.
It is debatable, and I am not aware of any evidence one-way or the other, what Tool-Roll/kit if any was supplied with the four pre-production 1961 New York Motor Show cars, that were shipped to USA in February 1961, prior to the E-types launch to the public in March 1961, and indeed not sure of any period photos of 77RW tool-kit exist, the other widely used/publicized pre-March 1961 launch E-type.