Basis For A Driver? 1965 Jaguar E-Type Coupe

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This 1965 Jaguar E-Type coupe may be just the driver quality “crumpet catcher” you are looking for! There are some pretty good reasons why this may not make sense to restore to concours condition, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be a great driver and may just hold the value down where it’s reasonably priced. It’s located in Canton, Ohio and is listed for sale here on eBay, where bidding is currently at $5,100 but has not yet met the reserve.

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Why could this one be a good driver candidate? To begin with, it’s not very original. The engine isn’t the one it left the factory with (per a previous owner), and it’s been stored in a barn for a good period. However, some previous “restoration” work (note the quotes) has been done and may have left the car in a condition where it doesn’t make sense to restore it correctly, but is perfectly serviceable for a driver.

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A lot of rust replacement has been undertaken, with new floors, rocker panels and possibly other metal components replaced. However, it doesn’t look like correct reproduction panels were used, and rattle-can paint has been sprayed everywhere. If you look at the rocker panel alignment with the bottom of the doors and hood (bonnet), you may cringe a little. However, I think some judicious tweaking might make those lines acceptable in appearance, but NOT original. I’m fine with that as long as the price is appropriately low. It certainly wouldn’t make sense to me to rip the panels off and replace them completely if the metalwork is solid and welded well. Feel free to disagree; I’d just like to see an E-Type without holes that I could actually afford!

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The steering wheel being from a sedan is another sign that this car would cost a lot to return to original specification. That’s one thing I think I would eventually change, but gosh, those real wheels sure do cost a lot! I found some for just under $700.

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There’s a lot of work to be done under the hood, and the engine isn’t free at the moment. There are some parts missing as well. I realize this would be heresy to most Jaguar folks, but I think I’d pull this one for later attention and purchase a 80’s engine out of an XJ6, swap components as necessary and get it running that way. I’ve seen several around here for under $1,000 that run just fine (very little else works). I’ve proposed one way to possibly make this car a budget E-Type — would any of you go this route or would you only be satisfied with a numbers-matching pristine example?

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Comments

  1. Marky Big Tent

    You guys live in the land of the V8- Stick a small block and a T5 ‘box in it! The Jag engine was always over-complicated for the sake of engineering.

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  2. Donnie

    put a gm goodrinch 350 in it

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  3. dj

    Don’t you dare lump this car. Use a 3.8 or 4.0 out of a late 90’s XJ6.

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  4. Dave Wright

    Looks like a good car depending on where the price goes……..I would be more concerned about the right hand drive than the engine repairs. These engines are so well known, a simple conversation with an expert after scoping the cylinders would tell the tale of the problem. I.e………….90% of the time, a stuck Detroit diesel has a locked up blower…………

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  5. sunbeamdon

    WOW – bidding ($25,000) in less than 24 hours has gone to the level of a LHD driver. Looks like the fuel tank (maybe cover) has holes in it.

    I’m with Donnie – save that wrong six and put a modern EFI’d crate engine and six speed in it – don’t waste money on restoration – it’ll not only break your bank, but also your testicular fortitude!

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  6. derek

    If anyone buys this, I’ll swap LHD parts for the RHD parts in the car (I need RHD parts.) This is worth keeping as original as possible but I wonder why it is RHD? A British buyer will probably snap this up. Easy to work on and all the parts available and not too expensive. Derek White in Ottawa

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    • gsarahs

      I agree that a UK buyer will be the likely new owner. A series 1 coupe, even in this condition has value. Sticking a V8 in it would be a really dumb thing to do. I drove a XJ6C for a decade without any engine problems. These engines are I gather very robust.

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  7. Kevin Harper

    This is a great car at 10k at 25k I am glad that I really don’t fit.

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  8. Dr. D

    Boosted 2JZ!

    *ducks flying spanner*

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  9. Mark S

    I had a neighbor a few years back that had one of these, it was a nice driver same engine. He bought for about $6k there is no way that this car is worth $25k. This is like the split window VW price is extremely inflated. I do however agree with Dave wright that this engine could be scoped to see what’s wrong it might be repairable at a reasonable price.

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  10. Gary I

    These have definitely gotten out of my price range.last year I got a 1998 Vanden Plas for 6,000 in mint condition. I can’t believe how cheap nice used Jaguars go for and these were cheap 25 years ago, but those days are gone. Cool cars, but someone will have 40 or 50 in it before it’s done.

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  11. tirefriar

    These cars took off, with the help of the convertibles of course. Rising tide lifts all ships and this is a perfect example. Definitely stick with an AJ16 4.0L, perhaps one of the best engine series Jaguar built. If you really want to have fun, find a power train out of a 95-97 XJR. 320hp will be more than enough to get this car underway. The AJ16 was coupled to a manual as an option outside of US.

    I would question the daily driver status of this car however. Plain (non-stressed) sheet metal in floor panels takes away of structural rigidity of this, or any other car. Besides dealing with creaks and rattles as you go down the road, the ability of the car to stand up to anything more than a minor impact is severely impaired.

    I agree that at $25k this is way over the top given the amount of work that has to go into the car. It will most likely require a rotisserie restoration to get it right. Cheaper to buy a much structurally sound non-running car (not too hard a find in Jaguar land) and upgrade the mechanicals.

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  12. Brakeservo

    Don’t use the word “driver” regarding a Jaguar unless these two words precede: “tow truck.” Anyone who’s owned one and tried to use it for actual transportation will know what I mean!

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    • Stewart

      RHD is what is making this ‘expensive’ looks like more than one bidder is planing on bringing it home to the UK where this car done will make over £100,000 without braking a sweat, ($150,000 at last look)

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  13. Neil

    Not going to be a cheap option by the look of it – as of14:56 hrs on the 9/1/16, UK time, bidding is at $25,000 and the reserve is still not met. Looking at the photos and reading the description that’s already a good $5,000 over what it is worth in this condition. Even with the wire wheels.

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  14. David F David Staff

    Perhaps one could find a newer e type, like the one written up last Juy that ended at 19K, for a driver. These early XKs average about 70K these days. It will be interesting where the reserve is on this one, if anyone is silly enough bid it up that high.

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  15. piper62j

    Ugly rot collector.

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  16. MikeW

    a good candidate for my 300 ci Ford inline six with a 4 barrel carb. I have one with about 350 hp.

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  17. charlie

    In the minds of many, one of the most beautiful production cars ever made, so if it is the external form that excites you, and you put in GM small block V8, or a modern V6 of any US or Japanese make, and replace the Lucas electronics with anything else (except Fiat/Alfa) it would be a great driver – they did handle very well. But not for $25,000. $6,000 yes. You can get a 20 – 25 year old Jag, Mercedes, Allante two seat rag top for under $10,000 in excellent driving condition and drive it. Even the Mercedes SLK’s with the folding up hard top are going for less than $15,000. If you keep it in good shape, and are young enough, you can’t lose, although you may end up doing a hybrid, or plug in, swap 10 years from now.

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  18. Ian

    Normally I have few issues with custom engine swaps but come on . This is an E- Type after all. Might as well drop a small block into a ’62 Ferrari GTO.

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  19. hhaleblian

    E type coupes are dirt cheap compared to Aston Martins, Ferrari’s etc. From my pea brain the coupes are poised to take off.Just wish I had held on to said Ferrari’s.Oh well there’s always the billion dollar powerball.

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  20. Geoff A

    Why would you spend 25,00 on a car that does not run, has serious rust issues, and no original engine? Really this is getting as bad as the silly money spent on Porsche/ VW bus etc Do people have no idea what they are getting into. For the current bid I could buy a last year RX 7 and smoke this car I don’t care what you put in it or a fairly new Corvette. Yeah the body is sexy but it is old technology and handling just is not up to snuff. Not to mention anybody tried to adjust the valves in one of these? If you got to have it drop in a turbo Rover V8

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  21. Brakeservo

    Hey Geof, it’s sorta the old “if you gotta ask . . . ” sort of thing. But hey, I’m not lining up to bid on this either. E Type Jag?? Been there, done that. I prefer cars that run and can be driven when you actually want to get somewhere.

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  22. jd

    UK? Think you might find parts~ here~ Mortgage the house to get it back where it needs to be~Pretty clean, but still for a beater~ A bit to much~

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