1971 Jaguar E-Type: Sad, Just Sad

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I’m thinking this 1971 Jaguar E-Type is enough to make any Jag lover really sad. And what is that sad car in the background that looks like an MG with something piled on it? So, about this Jag, minus the front bumper, dented, bad body work, missing windows, and horrors, with a Ford 302 V8 and automatic transmission. It’s said no major damage was done inflicting this travesty and there is little rust. The bottom certainly looks nice in the pictures. It’s in Northridge, California and listed here on eBay with a BIN of $12,500. What would you do with this? Because it’s a 2+2, it’s probably not worth restoring, unless you happen to have an extra Jag engine and transmission in your shop. Could you fix it up enough to drive if the engine installation was done well, or would you be embarrassed to drive this hodgepodge? Or perhaps this is a seriously overpriced parts car. What would you do with it?

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  1. Rovinman

    All the bodywork has something needing doing to it, the front end is an abortion ! Spend maybe 30 / 50,000 on it, and it’s still the less popular Coupe type.

  2. randy

    I could drive it with the Ford engine, if it was very well done. I heard from a great jag guy that the only good E types were in the 60’s.

  3. MikeG

    About 1996, I saw an ad in the paper for an 66 XKE, went to see it and it turned out to be a 2+2. I remember chuckling to myself, “ha! I’d never be caught dead in one of these things! I hate 2+2’s!!”, A couple of weeks later I ended up buying the damn thing. Took it to “Mr Jags”, a pompous Englishman in Redmond, Wa that referred to me as one of his “poorer clients”. He proceeded to remove many, many thousand dollars over a period of months. It’s called an illness for a reason…

  4. Charles

    Although the body work is a mess, there does not seem to much rust. The Ford engine may be a plus if it is installed correctly. Usually one sees GM small blocks, but what the heck. Ford engines are decent if set up correctly. Anything is better than trying to keep a temperamental old Jag engine running…
    I’d say that if a Jag such as this is your thing, knock out the dents, throw a paint job on it that looks good from 20 feet, replace the missing items, and have fun with it. No real value, but could be fun.

    Like 1
  5. Duffy Member

    Junk it//

  6. Barry T

    The horror, the horror.

  7. booya

    Cut it in half lengthwise and use it as the centerpiece/wall decoration of a bar to be called The Tattered Jag.

  8. z1rider

    Typically I don’t recommend engine swaps. I tend to like the challenge of making the originals reliable via updates. That said, the Ford small block actually fits in an e-type without major surgery to the subframe. A Chevy small block is wider and requires much more alteration.

  9. vjcardwell

    This jag has been at Copart.com auctions for months. The first two weeks auctions got them up to $5800. but those bids were turned down. After that, everyone quit bidding. Their last winning bid on the car was $125. The owners then turned to ebay but noone will buy it. This week they put the car back on Copart as well as Ebay. What the owner doesn’t seem to understand is that a car is worth what people will pay for it and $5800. was a good bid for this car. The picture is only showing its good side and the Ford engine doesn’t even run, This is not a car you restore because it is not worth it. The only thing it is good for is for a person that has the heart but not the wallet to use their sweat equity and make it a restomod or protouring. Also Ebay had a much better E-type two weeks ago for only $9000. Too bad this owner can’t seem to see past what he thinks it is worth so that those of us who would really love an E-type could afford one.

  10. Richard

    I’m a Jaguar, Mercedes and Rolls Royce serious collector with 32 cars currently in my collection.

    Contrary to comments thus far, the 2+2 is RAPIDLY increasing in value but of course, still lagging behind the coupe and roadster. The fact the car has a Ford conversion is absolutely not a tremendous negative. There are many buyers that are actively seeking converted cars. I know because I sold a 69 2+2 last year that was an excellent driver for $32,000. The guy that bought the car was a lawyer that knew the market and was willing to pay the asking price. To say “junk this car”, is absolutely absurd. The asking price is inline with the current market. It irritates me when individuals think they know what is going on when they have new no clue. What is true is ALL XKEs are increasing in value (even the stock 2+2s and those with a conversion)!

    Like 1
  11. Doug Towsley

    So what if its not one of the super valuable ones? Its still a Iconic and sexy car. I agree with Charles, as a DIY project you could have a dang nice car on the road for not much money. Since its not worth the big bucks, have fun with it, drive it and enjoy it. Dunno if the price on this one is good or not, but love the concept.
    I will say after many many years doing restorations for bikes and cars I have WAY more fun with rat rods and daily driver projects than any restored vehicle. My buddy Tony used to own a original Cobra coupe, the real deal. One day got a offer he couldnt refuse and sold it for an extremely high amount of money. Went out and bought a replica Cobra, better running, better handling and way WAY more fun. Actually drives it where the other was worth too much to risk driving. He recently bought a Lotus as well. Had some medical issues recently and his wife said screw it, buy the car, aint no supercars in heaven and money wont do you any good there as well. Lifes short, ride/Drive hard.

  12. Robert W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    Must be a disease thing……….while its too far away for me and the price is way too high, I’ve plenty of good powerplants……didn’t get that lost innoculation.

    Mustang engine was popular as long as they didn’t overheat the picture frames when welding up the mounts. Picture frames being the square tubing framework that the engine and front suspension are hung on.

    Usually a big hole in the bonnet where the lack of an aircleaner that fits was solved.

    Jaguars no more tempermental than most but need a little more technical know-how than a SBC or Ford.

    Should be noted that Jaguar corporate noticed years ago one of the problems that afflict their marque. Its called a “male ego”.

    Jaguar leases more cars to women than men. They also found that women were more likely to bring the car in for repair, since their lack of testicles mean they have no shrinkage issues if they don’t crack open the hood and have a look at it themselves.

    Jaguar found that the women owned leased cars had fewer repairs and more miles per repair than the male owned ones. More response to service bulletins came from women.

    Men on the other hand…………..I know owners who’ve had the same Jaguar for more than 20 years and they have no business even after all that time looking under the hood for anything other than to check fluids and that is even questionable. Men seem to have a genetic predisposition for looking under the bonnet, even more so if a women is involved.

    Jaguars with SU’s are a good example. Far too many think that the mixture can be made lean or rich by fiddling with the screw……..wrong they have a needle just like other cars.

    Lucas has issues but in general these weren’t horrible engines though the 4.2 being wet liner engines had their share of overheating issues.

    Rest of the car…………….that’s another story.

  13. Charles

    Since this engine is not running, can you imagine how much fun this will be if someone drops an LS3-T56 combo in it. Talking about a sleeper!

  14. Stu

    @Charles….I’ve owned and loved a couple of these critters, and have to say the Jag motor is about as bullet proof as anything I’ve ever owned. It is all of the components they hung on it that gave the problems. Those can be sorted too. I currently have a 70 E, converted to 3 SUs, and I swear it is the sweetest running ride I’ve ever owned. And Being an old geezer, I’ve owned a lot, Corvettes, Mustangs, etc. the XKE just does it all just right. The only way to kill that motor is to run it out of oil while turning 8000rpm.

    Like 1
  15. Rex Kahrs Member

    Richard, help me out. Why is the 2+2 not as desirable as the roadster and coupe? Personally I like the hard tops more than the roadsters, but that’s probably blasphemy . What’s the difference between the coupe and the 2+2?

    They all seem like XKEs to me, and I wouldn’t kick any of them out of bed….

    • derek costello

      The 2+2 is not 6″ longer it is actually 9″ longer and has a higher roof line, a small back seat, windshield is bigger and slopped at a steeper angle, and weighs about 350lbs more than the pre 1970 roadster. The early series 1 are the most
      expensive, the roadsters being the most desirable, the series 2 (a better all-round car) has a 4.2 litre engine, a modern 4 speed transmission and still has the desirable short wheelbase in hardtop or roadster form.
      There are many other differences, but these are the ones to consider.

  16. Richard


    The 2+2 is 6″ longer than the coupe and has a back seat. Most came with an automatic transmission. Other than that, they are the same as the coupe & OTS. I have had them all and other than these differerences, they are the same. Yes, an E-Type is an E-Type. I love the coupes as well. They are less noisy, don’t leak from rain as badly, & feel more solid compared to the roadster.

  17. andrew

    If you’re gonna drive it with a 302 V8 then you might as well further customize it & chop the roof off to get rid of some of the ugliness that these 2+2’s suffer from.

  18. Galaxie Greg

    Take a close look at that 302. Its from 1977, smogged to dead with vac hoses, EGR, etc, could maybe muster 150 HP…good project for someone..

  19. MikeW

    I’d rebuild the Ford engine with Cobra parts and dressup kit. It would be fun to drive.

  20. Charles

    My intent is not to engage in a Jaguar engine bashing contest. I worked at an auto repair center back in the late 60’s/early 70’s that specialized in European car repairs and maintenance. I have dealt with these cars in stock form. I love original unmodified cars, and keep the Trans AM’s that I own completely stock, which is rare for muscle car collector.

    However this car has already been modified. It is not the most valuable Jaguar to own.
    It looks solid, even though it has lots of dents.
    It would cost a fortune to return it to original specifications.

    All things considered, it is a good candidate to make it look good, run well, and have fun with. Is that such a bad fate for a car that is already modified and well used. I could see this car fixed up some and being enjoyed for many years to come. Why Not?

  21. MikeW

    I like it, it would make a good alternate to a Cobra coupe.

    • Charles

      Exactly! A poor man’s Cobra

  22. vjcardwell

    Ok, did you notice the broken windshield and the missing glass, the fact that every panel is dented, and the piece of Bondo that fell off the back and the rust underneath it? Not to mention the horrible engine that doesn’t run? How about pulling a fuel injected 6 cylinder out of an XJ6 or a V12 out of an XJS and use anything else out of an XJ6/XJS parts car which can be had for a good price. You would have to do the body work yourself but the missing and busted glass would cost a lot not to mention all of the trim pieces that you would have to replace because they are missing. I think if you did everything yourself and we are talking at least a year of evenings and weekends and a minimum 10-15 thousand dollars to put it to a decent driver. Is it worth the time and money? I love XKEs but this is the ugly older brother and on Ebay they had a series 2 FHC in much better shape for $9,600. and it had a matching numbers engine. As for XKE prices? They go up and they go down and the Series 3 2+2 automatic will always be the least valuable one. They sell a kit to chop the top off of it and make it into a roadster for around $10,000. That would probably be the best way to make it look better and worth more but for heaven’s sake put a Jag 6 or 12 back into it. I would be too embarrassed to lift the bonnet for anyone that was a car person to see that POS Ford 302.

  23. Doug Towsley

    10-15 thousand to put it to a decent driver? Where do you guys do your shopping? Ye olde exclusive boutique? Doing the work myself,heres a quick breakdown. 1.5 minute search shows 5 sources online for a windshield from free on a Jag forum to 500-600 on ebay. Im betting if i called some of my wholesale contacts i could get one delivered to my shop new in the box for about that or less. id sell that motor and trans. Id buy a RUNNING camaro off CL with 5 speed and V8 or spend a little more and get a newer gen motor with 6 speed. But old school V8 running and driving under $2500 and salvage what all you need for other parts, then sell the remainder. So, selling the carcass donor car and parts plus the Ford mtr and trans my budget would be $2000 or less. I wouldnt buy most or any trim. Weld up the holes, Body and paint i do myself,,, so $1500 in materials tops but i already have most on the shelf already paid for by previous projects. Tires? Brakes? Upholstery? Up and running and a nice car for under $5k budget plus purchase. Drive it like you stole it. Have fun. Personally,, Id paint it British Racing green, Black out all the trim in semi gloss black, run some stainless or chrome side pipes Ala Cobra, put in some Jaguar print seat covers.(grrrr) Hang a striped furry tale out of the boot (trunk) and blast some Screaming Lord Sutch or Stones on the stereo. (sympathy for the Devil, or the Girl with faraway eyes comes to mind)
    For the record, not a dang thing wrong with that roof, It looks fine to me. Stock jag motors? Hmmm, well the purists will cringe but i have not seen a lot of good ones. If it were a resto, sure,, make it work, but they take special and knowledgeable care. If they sit that oil pipe that lubes the whole top end cokes and blocks off. Mtrs junk. To service them, easier to pull the mtrs, rear ends etc and work on outside the cars. I love the cars but the engineering leaves something to be desired.
    We had a few, know a lot of jag owners, the one we drove the most was a XJ6. Mtrs were junk so we swapped in a SBC and wife loved that car. for conversions see this guy, Well written and makes a lot of sense.
    If you really like British cars and motorcycles and in or around the NW then a great event is coming up. The Portland Oregon All British Field meet. (ABFM) See:

  24. Doug Towsley

    Oh crud, i would be remiss if i failed to suggest the most obvious solution here. One of my very favorite movies.. See:

    Ruth Gordon is BRILLIANT in this,. Bud Cort is amazing as well. My wife and I watch this movie at least once a year.
    So why not mod this car as a tribute to the movie??? Attend some funerals, Play some Cat Stevens?

    Video clip here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouqB1-2QvJ8

    Imdb for the film here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067185/

  25. vjcardwell

    Doug you are a good guy. Going protouring will give you the best bang for the buck. Check out a protouring one at http://www.hotrod.com/cars/featured/hrdp-1002-1971-jaguar-xke/ . It might give you some good ideas.

    I understand how you feel and I love the idea of putting an LS1 in a classic car but to me, some cars are just sacred and a Jaguar XKE is one of them. Just replacing the interior from XK’s Unlimited is $5,000. in and of itself. If you could do the Jag for $5,000, add that to the $12,500. the guy wants and you have $17,500 out of pocket. You have to ask yourself is it worth $17,500. and all your hours of work?

    Oh and for those of you talking about women and Jaguars, My name is Julie and yes I love Jags and FYI women have much better record of finishing DIY then men do.

    • Doug Towsley

      Well, who says we HAVE to do the interior stock? (Shudder, oh! the Horror!) My wifes family are purists too for British cars, and we got a lot of grief when we swapped over her 1980s XJ6 to a Chev V8, but those fireballs had a well deserved reputation for going up in flames,blowing out the fuel tanks (Keep the vents clear or they collapse) and the Fuel Injection has issues. Stock or Protouring-restomod, hot rod, or Portland Oregon Art car on wheels,,,,(We have an active art car scene) Its still a cool car.
      Is it worth it? Clearly to some based on rides ive seen including some at the ABFM. But we really dont KNOW if someone has to pay $12,500 for that car. Thats just his BIN, anything can happen on Feebay. (And often does)
      However, there IS another option. I tried posting about it last night but apparently the moderator didnt approve. Lets try one more time this time without my commentary about the Movie. But if you know Jags, you will recognize this car. (And I LOVE that movie)
      Perhaps this is a better use for that car.

  26. randy

    Heeeeeeeeeeere, kitty, kitty, kitty!

    I lkie women and Jaguars!

  27. Chris

    I’d go with the V-12 overhaul from an early XJ-S, convert to a T-5 tranny, replace the windows, buy the glassed over headlight kit, and leave the bumpers off. Welch has a great junkyard of parts so probably would be able to source the exterior light stuff necessary and shave the clearance lights. It’d be pretty cool.
    Most Jags suffer from dirt and previous owners, so the wiring harness would needa little work firewall forward, but I bet from there back it’d still be serviceable. Clean all contacts and connections and usually Lucas does fine. Relays are of “okay” to “crap” on 70’s Jags but that’s a replaceable part. Same with fan motors, fuel pumps are easy to restore, so in all if someone wanted a hot rod E-Type it’s a start. Most SoCal Jags don’t rust, so if the it’s just surface rust and no tub issues it’ll be fine. Subframe is a place to look for damage from the welding but it might be okay.
    I’d like to see it with a V-12 again, hauling around the Santa Monica mountains in the early morning looking sleek and hot roddish.

  28. Tracy

    I am for the most part a NEVER modify anything kinda guy. This one is cheap enough and the original engine is missing. I would source a Toyota V12 from eBay and build a reliable everyday driver.

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