Confusing, Awesome, Terrible: 1968 Jaguar XKE Roadster

David FrankBy David Frank

First, yes, this is neither a barn find nor a survivor, but this “Confusing, awesome, terrible” listing as TJ described it, is just too, uh, something to pass up. Thanks TJ for the find and for your description! This is what one person did with a rolled  XKE 2+2. It’s listed on eBay where the bidding is over  $7,300 but the reserve has not been met. And yes, those are Ford Taraus headlights. And in the rear, it has a 1974 Cadillac front wheel drive setup with a Chevy 350 mated to the Cadillac transmission (got all that?). The custom bodywork, including the wing, is all metal and appears well crafted.

The interior appears well done if not in many people’s taste. Those are Datsun 240Z seats, if you wondering.

Here is the engine mounted to the Cadillac front end mated to the Cadillac transmission. The coil-overs were added. It looks nicely sorted but has to make for some interesting handling behaviors.

Here’s what’s under the bonnet, mostly batteries, fuel, and radiator.

Here’s a peek under the rear. It looks puzzling from here, but well constructed.

Here it is with the lids open. Even the wing is metal, which had to have taken some great skill to shape. This just might be a great driving car (that is cool to drive but not to be seen driving?). Maybe there’s someone out there, way out there, who loves, or at least likes, the styling. Perhaps it needs a superhero or super villain and its own TV show. I’m thinking you could come up with some clever names for the superhero or the car, perhaps the “Red Peril”? At the very least, here’s an opportunity for readers to make disparaging remarks. For once, do you think this Jag would have died a more dignified death in a junkyard?

Get Daily Email Updates:

Comments

  1. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    David, I’m holding you and TJ responsible for the nightmares I’m going to be having for the next week…

    30+

    • David Frank David F Staff

      I’ve already been having nightmares with those evil Taurus eyes glaring out of the once graceful XK nose. Could it have been recreational pharmaceuticals do you think or perhaps dementia? He has relisted it with a BIN of 80K and an opening bid 25K. Add delusional to dementia? Jamie, I’m glad you don’t live closer. Who could blame an otherwise sane and peaceful lover of all things Jaguar for their reaction to this monstrosity?

      6+

  2. Blyndgesser

    Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

    39+

  3. 86 Vette Convertible

    I think supper is backing up on me! Or was it someone’s meds?

    7+

  4. Rob Rose

    If only he went with a different offset on the rear wheels and substatially reduced the size of the rear flares it wouldn’t be half bad.

    8+

  5. Dolphin Dolphin Staff

    Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

    10+

    • Blyndgesser

      See above… 🙂

      1+

    • Dolphin Dolphin Staff

      Great minds think alike.

      2+

  6. Vin in NJ

    Standing straight up on it’s rear wheels it would look like a….

    15+

  7. Steve R

    $80,000 is the BIN price.

    Steve R

    2+

    • Car Guy

      Really?

      2+

    • Bruce Best

      NFW or translated No Way With Emphasis not at that price point. Sadly all the parts that might have been salvaged to make other cars better are gone or destroyed by this work.

      3+

  8. Swami

    What is that…a Transformer???!!

    6+

  9. Luki

    I kinda like it.
    Just kidding. Ridiculous.

    4+

  10. Edward

    Dr. Henry Frankenstein: Look! It’s moving. It’s alive. It’s alive… It’s alive, it’s moving, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive!

    Well at least with that Cadillac engine you can get away from the pitchfork and torch carrying town folk.

    3+

  11. Art Fink

    As they say, “Beauty is in the Behind of the Holder”…….or sumpin’ like dat!!!

    10+

  12. AMXSTEVE

    it’s kinda cool but why does it need two batteries?

    2+

    • Ross W. Lovell

      Greetings All,

      I think the builder was trying to get the weight distribution a little closer to 50/50 as opposed to 15/85.

      They probably should get a few more batteries, maybe use them as bumpers.

      5+

  13. Sam

    Jaguar should hire the builder as an engineering advisor. Build quality looks good…the engine won’t blow up and wiring probably won’t short out like the real thing.

    The rear wheel flares remind me of the hips on a Wisconsin gal…what do you think Howard?

    12+

    • Howard A Member

      Bingo!! Let’s not forget Minnesota,,,

      4+

  14. Gerry

    Relisted with a starting bid of $25k. Yeah – that’ll bring ’em in.

    3+

  15. doug6423

    Awesome! Now this is a RESTOMOD!!

    5+

  16. bowtiecarguy

    Cat tastrophe

    11+

  17. Russell

    Every time I see something like this I ask 2 questions.

    Would I drive it?
    Yes, I would drive it, but I would only buy it for half the money I could get parting it out after driving it home (In the cloak of darkness).

    Why would someone spend time, money, and waste their skill?
    There is no reasonable answer I can come up with even after many adult beverages.

    5+

  18. Dave

    nope.

    3+

  19. 88V8

    Well, hats off to the chap, he actually completed it. When you think how many people can’t even summon the persistence to finish the rebuild of a standard car….

    I think it would take some getting used to, the rear wheels being that much wider. Wonder how long it would take to forget they’re there.

    And I bet it goes backwards pretty well in the wet.

    11+

  20. Leo

    You guys get distracted waybtoo easily and waste bandwith!! Worthy of a post? Not hardly!

    2+

  21. Rob from Texas

    Maybe another Austin Powers movie is in the works?

    4+

  22. Bruce Best

    I think that the blind engineer that created this idea, designed it, and constructed it should be give a complementary Pontiac Aztec as a gift for his hard work and lack of taste.

    Proportion is critical in the designs of most things and most importantly in cars. This took what was good and eliminated most of that to make it ugly. Per a design professor – ” I DO NOT CARE HOW LONG IT TOOK YOU, A BAD IDEA IS A BAD IDEA SIR”. Sadly that comment fits here.

    10+

  23. joeinthousandoaks

    Well it is interesting. I’d love to know the why and how this came to be. Perhaps the true reason for Brexit?

    2+

  24. Lloyd

    You guys always bash anybody that does something different than purest restorations.
    Sure build it, drive it, talk about it and appreciate the skill it took to put it together. I’m sure your mother’s all told you ” If you can’t say something nice keep your mouth shut”.

    17+

    • Jaygryph

      Shh, it makes them feel useful. 😉

      5+

    • BMW4RunninTundra Member

      Thank you Lloyd!!! I agree. Might not be everyone’s “cup of tea” but this guy put a TON of work into this!!! Whether you like it or not, at least give the gentleman his due for the amount of ingenuity, engineering, and craftsmanship that it took to build this!!!!! Let’s see all you “naysayers” visionary builds! You can attach pics on this site.
      Some of you guys need to “Get a Life” and don’t tear other people’s visions apart with your close minded judgements!!!!

      17+

      • Ross W. Lovell

        Greetings All,

        BMW4RunninTundra, I could almost agree with you but………

        Clearly he likes to build but pride of ownership doesn’t seem to be his thing, I wonder why, seriously.

        He spent a fair bit of time, money and skill, building this dream and now he wants to sell it?

        1+

      • Loco Mikado

        He said he is getting older and unable to get into it. Life happens and getting older and unable to do do or enjoy things that you could in earlier days is a hard fact of life. Believe me I know all about this.The craftsmanship and quality of this build is miles ahead of most found here. You may question the aesthetics of this build but not the quality and care that obviously went into this rebuilding and customization of this car.

        10+

      • olddavid

        Oh come on. This is like taking ten years to put the “Last Supper” on the head of a pin. Is it art? Possibly. Is it a sensible way to spend your time? Not likely in anybody’s frame of reference. If you feel so strongly about it, you can always bid. But nobody liked it that much – no matter how much you respect his work ethic. By merely creating it and listing it for sale, criticism is inherent.

        0

    • LAB3

      The builder didn’t order a kit out of a catalog, probably didn’t see this idea and copied it and more than likely didn’t build it because that’s what all the cool kids are doing, that makes it OK in my book! A new mainstream look in customizing doesn’t start until someone does it first and if this look caught on and showed up more and more over the next few years I’m quite sure the naysayers would have completely forgotten what they said about it here today and some would even lay out the long green to have one of their own. Sorry to break it to you folks but it’s the deviants that break new ground not the sheep.

      4+

  25. edh

    I like it.

    6+

  26. dan

    I have no words. A piece of art has been destroyed.

    0

  27. Brad

    Looks like something Ace and Gary would drive.

    7+

    • Rodney

      Perfect!

      0

  28. KO

    Can’t help but think a Star Wars Landspeeder was the inspiration.

    16+

  29. Tom S.

    They can say that it’s all metal, but that metal probably serves as the base for a few gallons of body filler.

    1+

  30. Alex W

    I really do admire the engineering of the build, even if it is not something I would ever want to do to a Jaguar. Speculating on the power to weight ratio and the rubber disparity front to rear, put a rollcage in it and some slicks on the rear and take it to the nearest drag-strip. That is truely a funny car.

    13+

  31. john C

    It really hurts my eyes…. The seller must be a strong individual to handle the glares when driving this art, and reading a few downer posts. Peace

    2+

  32. Jeffro

    Oh well. Here goes…I like it. In a Makers Mark bourbon kinda way. It said it was a rolled Jag. It’s a little over the top (along with price tag), but I’d drive it.

    9+

    • Blyndgesser

      Rolled it and smoked it…

      3+

  33. Jack Quantrill

    It’s both ugly, and nice, simultaneously!

    7+

  34. redwagon

    o so many questions come to mind here. there is a story behind the ‘rolled jag’ that is just begging to be told.

    i just cannot fathom why it was done this way….instead of just about any other.

    it reminds me of a game my college roommates and i would play with food in the refrigerator. what food is in the fridge and the pantry? what could you make with it? of all the options what sounds the best for dinner? the person with the best idea did not have to cook or clean, the others had to put the idea into action and then clean up. simplicity of the meal counted as did taste.

    in this case i think neither simplicity nor taste won the day.

    3+

  35. Van

    Gimme that torch and hold my beer, and Keep the beer comming.

    4+

  36. PaulG

    Once again time to cue Styx: Too much time on my hands…

    6+

  37. Gerald

    First, get rid of that wing. With all of the power train weight on the rear anyway, you don’t need the down force plus it’s too low to have any real effect. Sell it to some import tuner boy racer for $100 and you’ll both be happy. Second, find a set of rear wheels that are a bit narrower and much different backspacing to tuck them in ALOT and get rid of those gawd awfull “hips”.

    2+

  38. Mark S

    I can’t believe how many wannabe ( want to be ) arm chair engineers ther are out there on this site. I bet there are no more than a few of you that would have the skill or ambition to be able to pull off a build like this. Here’s the thing this guy started off with a rollover wreck, and turned it into a wild custom. His work looks very well done and thought out. The engine is ahead of the rear wheel so this car should be well balanced, the wide stance of the back wheels would offer the kind of stability that you see on many super cars that are around. Many times I have herd ( well he used a wreck so at least he didn’t cut up a good one ) you guys need to figurative out the way you want it, if he patched up a rollover you’d be complaining that he’s conning someone with a POS scrap jag. There is no pleasing some of you guys. I personally like it, here is an out of the box thinker that built his own super car and then went out and had a blast with it how many of you guys can make that claim. You guys would probably hate my custom side car bike too. Enough said.

    28+

    • Lloyd Hale

      Well said,

      11+

    • Scot Douglas

      I think folks are just expressing their opinions of it, as are you. 🙂

      I’d love to see your sidecar bike as well!

      5+

  39. Luki

    If he could build this he certainly could have fixed the rolled Jag.

    8+

    • CATHOUSE

      Yes, the builder most likely has the skills that would have been needed to repair the rolled car. But if all he wanted was a stock Jag he could have just bought one that was not wrecked and missing parts. He probably would have been time and money ahead that way. Of course all he would have had then is something that many other people also have. Doing things his way he now has something that no one else has. Anyone else remember when the Dare To Different campaign was going on? I think that was done by one of the hot rod type magazines. This would fit right in with that. I think it would neat if Mattel could cut a deal with the owner and make a Hot Wheels casting of it. That would fit right in with their line up.

      10+

  40. healeydays

    Sad, really sad…

    0

  41. Dave

    It seems like most of the remarks on here are negative. Why? I look at it this way, he put to good use some parts that would have otherwise been junked. And with some imagination I think, in my opinion, he created a really cool looking vehicle. I for one would love to have it and I definitely would drive it! I think the price is a little high but other than that I thought he was very creative.

    14+

    • JackT

      Agree with this and other positive comments. Builder had a vision, completed it, and now it’s ready to be moved on. Few, if any, of the naysayers can say they’ve ever done the same.

      1+

  42. rustylink

    and here comes Lord Cameltoe to challenge Dick Dastardly and the other Wacky Racers….

    6+

  43. Jeffro

    I showed my wife the picture of this car. She said “why is it so long”? I literally had bourbon & coke shoot out my nose!

    5+

  44. jimjim

    Just because I CAN crap in my hand and throw it, doesn’t mean I SHOULD do it. Did I say that out loud?

    3+

  45. Andy

    All the negative comments! Sheesh!

    First off, I will be the first to say that I probably could never make something like this. I’m doing well enough just keeping 3 cars on the road (soon to be a 4th for my youngest daughter). Body work just ain’t in my bag o’ tricks!

    The seller readily admits he is a custom body builder, and that he got the jag from a friend who had rolled it. He also stated that the front parts were missing, which is why he went the route he did. Basically, he took a bunch of parts he had lying around, and made a custom rat rod. I think the end result came out nice. It looks like quite a bit of engineering went into this build…

    All that being said, I wouldn’t mind having this car if it were given to me! I just can’t swing the asking price!!!

    11+

  46. Edselbill

    Imagine it is 1965 for a moment, and the TV studios asked George Barris to create a wild custom for (name the villain) on the original Batman TV Show, and he created this.

    This thread would be completely different and there would be an entirely different level of appreciation.

    And, the thing would be going for 10x the price.

    I remember car shows in the 70’s as a little kid, and wild custom cars like this were ALL the rage. The Pink Panther, the Monkey Mobile, and tons more. I feel like, in that context, it’s kinda cool.

    That being said, it isn’t something I would like, but I appreciate the level of work he put into it. Dress it up with lights and mirrors and bring it to hot rod and custom car shows.

    Just a different view, that’s all.

    15+

  47. S Ryan

    And People say I have a drinking Problem? Yah!

    1+

  48. joeinthousandoaks

    I agree with Edselbill. It could very well of been a custom car from the 60’s There are a lot of things I like about this. The headlights actually look right on the car in that front photo. I would have done something nicer with the interior and not used a B&M shifter. I’m not sure you coud make the rear any narrower with the set up of the suspension but drive it an enjoy it. it’s too bad that health gets in the way of people enjoying these cars they build.

    10+

    • Brakeservo

      @joeinthousandoaks you write “it’s too bad that health gets in the way of people enjoying these cars they build” well I supposed looking at it made him sick??

      1+

  49. Brakeservo

    Uh, this has to be a tardy April Fool’s Joke . . . or one of those “This is your brain on drugs . . .” illustrations.

    0

    • Mark S

      Aren’t you special brake servo all to willing to cut down another mans vision. You did read how long he’s had this and that he’s selling because he is having trouble getting in it, don’t be so self righteous. Your probably one of these purist guys that can’t handle anything being customized even if all he Had to work with is a pile of parts.

      9+

      • Lloyd Hale

        Well Said!!!!!!

        4+

  50. John

    It looks like it must have been done by Meg Ryan’s plastic surgeon. It’s just wrong too even try to improve an already perfect work of art.

    2+

  51. IMAC

    One mans vision, and nothing more. An engineering feat, but IMHO not a styling triumph. Imagine taking a Ferrari Dino 246 and making it look like it has a Harley trike rear end, or turning a 1961 Merc 300SL roadster into a targa top with Cadillac rear fins. Sure it can be done, but the market for such cars would be very limited. Kudos to him for having the guts to use what was lying around to make something he liked, even with several engine changes over its current life, but I am not a buyer. The original is a timeless classic. I do understand that “going original” was probably not an option for him.

    3+

  52. Brakeservo

    Hey, it’s a big world, room for all sorts of taste (or not) and opinions. When you build something so individualistic and put it out in a public forum such as eBay or even Craigslist, yes of course people are going to express their opinions. It’s what we do. So I think the wide range of opinions on something so polarizing is to be expected. Heck, we even criticize each other’s opinions and the way we express them. It’s what makes the world interesting. My own perspective is – these are just old cars and the point is to have fun. If I or anyone else has to purposely hurt someone, well it’s time to find something else to do. So – let’s have fun. And yes, we tease other posters, maybe we shouldn’t but I’ve done it, I’ll accept it when I’m subject to it as well. Now my own analysis – with some bigger tires, especially at the rear this would look like a futuristic streamlined farm tractor – and Lamborghini started by building tractors, Ford built ’em, so did Porsche and you can also buy a Ferrari Tractor in Italy (same spelling/name but no relation to the car company).

    4+

  53. 68 custom

    well… the guy looks like a competent builder, but damn thats ugly!

    2+

  54. Black Cat

    Well, creativity is to be commended. But as for the E, whatever amount of it that remains in this project, was forever F’d.

    0

  55. James

    It takes a LOT to turn one of the most beautiful cars ever made into one of the ugliest cars ever modified.

    1+

  56. Johndownunder

    Looks far too quiet, needs zoomies

    2+

  57. angliagt

    I’m betting that it looked better after it was rolled.
    This is why you never stop at the pub for a pint (or buy/drink a 30 pack of beer),
    before you work on your prized project.

    0

  58. ACZ

    The body is ugly as hell. But…….the powertrain is not. Anyone remember a company out of East Lansing, MI called Mid-Engineering? Was run by an Oldsmobile Engineer named Bill Porterfield. He built a 1978 Cutlass fastback coupe with a 403 in the back seat. It was Hot Rod Magazine’s Car of the Year back in the day. He also built a mid engine T bucket using the same drive setup with a Buick Turbo V6 motor. He had a few other variations using a 455 Olds motor in the back at of a late model Corvair. All had variations of the Toronado transaxle and suspension. Spend some time with Google. It’s worth the look.

    3+

    • Gerald

      I remember them. Another of their projects was a Kelmark GT kit car with the mid-engine Olds.

      2+

  59. michael streuly

    I would have no problem taking that car to bobs big boy in burbank california on friday night. VERY BAD ASS.

    4+

  60. Graywolf

    put it back in the barn before it mutates!!🙀🙀👽

    1+

  61. Martin Cizek

    Not much E type left really

    0

  62. Cris Carver

    “I know what I hate… & I don’t hate this”
    Montgomery Burns

    1+

  63. jdjonesdr

    I….. .um………ah…………..eh……….

    We really need a video on this one.

    1+

  64. ClassicCarFan

    …interesting concoction, and bound to prompt a lot of comment !

    I always have to remind myself, it’s a free country and anyone can do whatever they like to any vehicle the own. Also, as someone who enjoys the challenge of modifying, innovating with non-standard parts and making custom engineered items in the workshop…. I have to admire a well executed job. This looks like it was fairly well done.

    Having said that, I’d really like to hope that the shell they started with was totally scrap and beyond resuscitation as a viable E-type, because to sacrifice a potential complete E-type to make a custom fantasy like this would seem like a heck of a shame (and a lousy investment if you care to look at it that way). What more can you say about the E-type? Stunningly beautiful, fast, excellent ride/handling, LeMans-winning pedigree, total chick-magnet. Maybe not everyone’s favorite but probably the car that appears on more classic enthusiast’s fantasy wish-list that any other?

    I also agree with most others commenting here, that the price is way too much. It is the curse of the amateur custom car builder that you can spend a substantial amount of money getting parts together and hundreds of hours of your own time, to create something that is just not worth much at all to anyone else other than you. Yeah, the exception to that might be the celebrity name customizers, like your Chip Foose or equivalent that can actually sell their creations for big money, but the amateur backyard creator is always going to struggle to get anywhere near break even.

    Then there is the question of whether the vehicle you finish up with is actually any good to drive. I’m not an expert on chassis dynamics but I’d assume that this would be hopeless on the road, probably a bit dangerous? maybe I’m wrong. Which really just leaves it as an oddity to be wheeled out at small cars shows or cars-n-coffee mornings for folks to gawp at.

    0

  65. Howard A Member

    Well, I wasn’t going to say anything (yay) but I just had to see what generated an almost record amount of comments. To be clear, I don’t think the naysayers are really being mean, this is over the top, and clash’s the 2 worlds, Jag and custom, and that’s bound to stir up the hornets. BUT, I like it, I could never do something like this ( morally or mechanically), but this person did a fantastic job on this, whether some like it or not. And to the thin-skinned, don’t be so quick to judge someone’s response. It’s just an opinion, and if we can’t do that anymore, well, we’re in trouble.

    3+

  66. hhaleblian

    Does the horn work?

    1+

  67. leiniedude

    I give the builder a ton of credit here. Just a guess but I bet most here did not read the eBay listing. He got the rolled over Jag over 30 years ago, cut the roof off and put a 302 engine in it. Then drove it until the tranny gave up. In a way he saved a Jag, tell me what a rolled over Jag was worth over 30 years ago. From the looks of it, it is well built. This person is a real craftsman and a REAL HOT RODDER. There was a kid when I was in high school that put a storm door in the roof of his car. And he was a Motor head. That was over 30 years ago. Just how things were done then. I thank him for hanging onto and modifying it for over 30 years. Nice job buddy.

    2+

  68. Ty

    Well if what he was looking for was attention I’d say “Mission Accomplished!”

    0

  69. Keith

    Not everyone wants a Mustang, Camaro, or tri-5 Chevy. I think this errs on the side of ugly in my opinion, but damn….the body work and engineering needed to pull this off is amazing.

    3+

  70. Jim Norman

    OK, I will be the odd man out here. Would I — could I — buy it? No and no. My taste does not run to expressions of raw power like this, and I could not afford to buy it anyway. But do I like it? Do I appreciate the thought and craftsmanship that went into it? Would it get my attention if I saw it pass me on the highway (or even parked at a 7-Eleven)? Do I wish I had the skills to create it, even if I might use those skills for something else? Yes, yes, yes and yes. I am impressed, without reservation. Just forget that it started out as an XK. It started out as a pile of junk and it ended up as gorgeous moving sculpture. I love it.

    2+

    • leiniedude

      All in Jim. They do call you Storming Norman right? Take care, Mike.

      0

  71. Paul R

    Owner selling due to health issues. He is sick of it.

    1+

    • leiniedude

      Nice comment Paul, he has been modifying this rig for over 30 years and has issues getting in it. I have a 1972 Stingray, it is tuff getting into that also. So far I can deal with it. a couple more years, who knows. Bless you that that you have youth on your side. What is your ride? Take care. Mike.

      1+

  72. 55chevy Chuck Foster

    It’s the antithesis to a rat rod, a Brit Cat Rod, try as you might, you can’t look away. I bet it would draw a crowd at any car show, The WTF Catrod! A Lambo rear ended an XKE, oh my! I admire the craftsmanship, and the headlights make it look like a later XK8. The spoiler and the Dually fender flares are what throws it off, it needs another transformation, ditch the spoiler, bring the wheels in as much as possible, and put some 427 Cobra style rounded fender flares on back, then paint it black, problem fixed.

    0

  73. Rodney

    Somewhere, an actual Jaguar has coughed up a hair ball, stopped and looked at it for a moment, and, without comment, quietly walked away.

    2+

  74. Ward William

    To whoever did this to this car: I fart in your general direction. Good day sir !

    0

    • Jim Norman

      Wow, Ward, you must have some powerful gas dissemination capability — or are unduly proud for whatever capability you do have — to think that “general direction” flatulence will make any difference whatsoever to the person who did it. I do hope that folks in your vicinity are equipped with gas masks. Good day to you too.

      0

      • LAB3

        It’s a Monte Python reference

        0

  75. Lloyd Hale

    Well said sir,, Ward needs help and Monty Python was not funny then or now.

    0

Leave A Comment

Rules: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks. Click here to list your car for sale.

*

Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.