JEREMY CLARKSON described the Eagle Speedster as the “most beautiful car I have ever seen” but even he would admit that without a roof and proper windscreen, the near- £1m dream machine was strictly for those rare occasions when the English countryside is warmed by the sun’s rays.
Now Sussex-based Eagle has launched a Spyder GT model, which adds a proper windscreen and folding, convertible-style fabric roof as part of a mod cons makeover.
The British sports car maker, which since the early ’80s has specialised in selling restored Jaguar E-types , turned its hand to creating E-types of its own design in 1991. Its most prized models are considered to be the Eagle Speedster and its successor, the Eagle Low Drag GT.
Like its forebears, the latest Spyder GT is handbuilt, taking around 6,000 man-hours to complete, and will be rare. Paul Brace, Design Director at Eagle, told Driving that no more than half a dozen would be built, and each model costs from £834,000.
Brace says that where the minimalist Speedster is intended to be pure and simple – “a toy, if you like” – and the coupé Low Drag GT can be used as a tourer, the Spyder GT is more useable than the former and “adds a third dimension compared with the coupé, by having a convertible roof.”
The car uses a 4.7-litre version of the Jaguar XK straight-six-cylinder engine, with fuel injection and 330bhp and 350Ib ft of torque. It drives the rear wheels using a five-speed manual gearbox, and the kerbweight is 1,028kg. However, the company says that each car can be tailored to suit the tastes of buyers.
Based on the performance of other Eagle models, the company says the Spyder GT is likely to achieve 170mph and accelerate from 0-60mph in under five seconds.
The first lucky owner will be taking delivery of the first Speedster GT this summer. Before then, Eagle will display the car at this week’s London Classic Car Show.
Blasts from the past: driving the Eagle Speedster and Jensen Interceptor