Original e-type tyres
When the series 1 e type Jaguar first came out like many other cars in this period Jaguar fitted the e type with crossply tyres. The e-type initially had 6.40H15 Dunlop RS5 tyres. These of course are only currently speed rated to 130mph.
Radial tyre technology was available when the e-type Jaguar was first made, and Jaguar offered radials as an option with the XKE. An e type could come with the Dunlop SP41, which is no longer made, & In period Jaguar said, "to fit the SP41 to your XKE you should have it restricted in speed".
Jaguar had previous experience of radial tyres offering PIRELLI 185VR16 CINTURATO ™ CA67 tyres with their XK150; so for the discerning motorist, that could afford it, Jaguar offered the 185VR15 PIRELLI CINTURATO ™ CA67 HS tyre as their High Speed radial option. Today the PIRELLI CINTURATO ™ CA67 tyre is the only original equipment radial tyre that was offered by Jaguar with early series 1 e type.
The Tortoise and Hare - ⒸPIRELLI
This is PIRELLI's period promotional film demonstrating the benefit of fitting the radial 185VR15 PIRELLI CINTURATO ™ tyre on an XKE Jaguar.
In 1968 the XJ6 was available with the ground breaking new 70% profile tyre the ER/70VR15 Dunlop SP Sport also known as the Aquajet. At this point the series 2 XKE fitted 185VR15 Dunlop SP Sport Aquajet as standard. However the 185VR15 PIRELLI CINTURATO ™ tyre CA67 is still a ideal radial tyre for the series 2 XKE.
There is a massive amount of options available in the way of customisation for your jaguar XKE, there’s no right answer its all down to personal choice. There is however, one exception. The tires. Fitting more modern wider tires is never a better option for your XKE, even with regards to price. It doesn’t make for a better drive either. The steering, with these types of tires fitted, will become heavier, which can be fixed with powersteering. A more adverse camber would also assist in the attempt to stop the handling from allowing the car to suddenly disappear from you when leaning under cornering forces. This problem could also be assisted by lowering the car and stiffening the suspension however, this would make for a more uncomfortable ride which would make you feel every prominent bump in your path. Inner tubes should not be fitted in anything lower than a 70% profile tyre. All wire wheels should be fitted with an inner tube.
There are companies like Lynx and Eagle that do some amazing upgrades to XKE jaguars, particularly to the steering, that can counteract the effects of the fatter tyres on these earlier cars. They are extremely clever and well put together upgrades. But this does raise the question of how do you your E-Type. Do you want it the way it was or do you prefer a more modern piece of machinery in an old shaped body. It comes down to personal taste in the end. However for series 1 & 2 XKE Jaguars the 185VR15 CINTURATO ™ CA67 is unbeatable; and for heavily modified early XKE and series 3 cars the CINTURATO ™ 205/70VR15 CN12 tyre is perfect.