(30 Oct 2015) LEAD IN:
The Jaguar E-Type is being honoured at the Classic & Sports Car Show as the 'Best British Car Ever'.
The classic 60s sports car beat competition from the biggest names in British motoring to win this public poll.
What is the best British car ever made? The red silk is pulled back to reveal the Jaguar E-Type.
It might be a question petrol heads and car collectors have argued about for years... but this time the British public voted.
The Jaguar E-Type was launched in 1961 and became an instant hit.
Its distinctive aerodynamic shape has not stopped turning heads for the last 50 years, now it's turning heads at the Classic & Sports Car Show at Alexandra Palace in London.
Ant Anstead, a car designer and motoring TV presenter, unveiled the winner to the crowds and he's happy with the result.
He says: "Well if you think about all the cars that have had an impact on the automotive sector you can't have that conversation without mentioning E-Type, it is a car that appeals to everybody and this car - considering the date it was designed - if you drove this car down a high-street, young people today would still believe it to be remarkable because it's just so beautiful."
The public poll was the idea of James Elliott, group editor at Classic & Sports Car magazine.
He put together a panel of 100 industry experts, including owners, enthusiasts and journalists, to whittle down a shortlist of 10 British cars the public could vote on.
Elliott explains why he felt the latest poll was important.
He says: "Well there's been lots of polls to try and find out what the best British car is or what the greatest car of any sort is, the difference is they've always been very niche and very much within the motoring communities, with this poll, once and for all, we wanted the public generally, instead of just the motoring enthusiasts, to get what the public thinks, which is just as valuable, just as important."
"And maybe with the enthusiasts there's this element of, like your favourite band, say you're a fan of the Beatles and somebody asks what your favourite album is, you've always got to say something that isn't the obvious choice, just to be one up on those other people and show them you know a little bit more and I think in the motoring community we're all prone to that."
In the end 4,000 people voted with the E-Type coming out on top, but it had some stiff competition from the nine other cars on the shortlist.
With over 30 million UK pounds' (46.3 million US dollars') worth of metal in the Best of British Display, show visitors can see the McLaren F1, the Mini Cooper S, the Rolls Royce Silver Ghost and even a Range Rover.
So what is it about the E-Type that steals so many hearts? One man who knows the pull of the Jaguar is Daniel Smith, who sells restored E-Types.
Smith of New Forest Classic Cars says: "The Jaguar E-Type when it was launched in 1961 was the first car to have that aerodynamic shape, when Enzo Ferrari saw the car he described the car as the most beautiful car he'd ever seen, no car prior to that date had been that aerodynamic."
But at the end of the day cars are for driving and not just looking at and Anstead has been lucky enough to take a few E-Types out on the open road.
He recalls a particularly happy spin.
"I was lucky enough, I took an E-Type for a spin around north Devon and it sounds poetic but that very feel of an English country road, coastal, with the sun shining, it was a drop top so with the wind in your hair and the sound of this car, the way it handles and feels, it captures that emotion that you want as a classic car enthusiast... the E-type truly is remarkable," he says.
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