1973 Jaguar E-Type Barn Find!

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Update 9/26/20 – After more than a year, this E-Type has resurfaced here on eBay. Do you think it will get bid up to anywhere close to the seller’s original $18k asking price?

From 3/4/19 – When the Jaguar E-Type (XK-E) was released in 1961, Jaguar found that it had a worldwide hit on its hands. The new XK-E was relatively light, nimble, offered impressive performance, and its appearance met universal praise. By the time our feature car rolled off the production line in 1973, the XK-E had become larger in almost every dimension. There were people who thought that the spirit of the XK-E had been lost, but the car found a new home amongst people who were seeking a grand touring car. This 1973 XK-E will need some work, but it is worth having a bit of a look at. Located in Miami, Florida, you will find it listed for sale here on eBay with a BIN price of $17,900, although the option is also there to make an offer.

The XK-E has been sitting since some time in the 1980s, and there will be some work required before it is cruising the highways again. The owner makes mention of rust in the vehicle but isn’t terribly forthcoming about where it is, or how extensive. The supplied photos aren’t a lot of help, so it looks like a personal inspection is going to be a must. While the basic styling of the XK-E remained relatively unchanged throughout the model’s life-cycle, the introduction of the 2+2 in 1966 resulted in some notable changes. These included some changes to the roof of the car, along with the wheelbase being extended by more than 9″. This also addressed one criticism of the regular XK-E, which was lack of legroom for taller drivers.

There is both good and bad news with this XK-E. The bad news is that while the original V12 engine still sits in the engine bay, its cylinder heads have been removed. It is unclear whether the car was removed from active service due to the heads being removed, or if the heads were removed after the car was taken out of service. Regardless, all of the removed components are still with the car. To assist the new owner if the original engine is beyond help, the owner is including this spare engine and transmission with the car. Speaking of transmissions, this XK-E features the optional 3-speed automatic unit. In addition, the Series 3 XK-E also saw power steering included as part of the standard equipment for the first time, while this car is also fitted with air conditioning.

Compared to the original Series 1 XK-E, the Series 3 saw the use of far more plastic interior trim in a bid to keep vehicle costs down. The floor console is one noticeable area, while there are a number of areas which saw the transition from leather to vinyl, and from timber veneer to plastic. Generally speaking, the interior of this XK-E appears to be in fairly reasonable condition. The carpet, factory radio, and a couple of small trim pieces are missing, but the dash and pad look to be in good order, as does the upholstery on the door trims and seats. This is one of those interiors that looks like it would respond well to a deep clean.

This 1973 Jaguar XK-E is going to need some work before it resumes its life as a grand tourer, but just how much work is an open question. The lack of information on the location and severity of the rust is one of the biggest issues, and this will have a major impact on the financial viability of the car as a restoration project. It is possible to buy a nice XK-E 2+2 for around the $55,000 mark, while an immaculate example will command around $70,000. Is this a car that you would take on?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Maestro1

    The color combination is awful and the tires look to be oversized for the car. It’s a V-12, which people shy away from. I had a V-12 and simply maintaining that thing by the book was the trouble free way to drive and enjoy. I could get serious at about $9000.00.

    Like 12
  2. Sam61

    Beautiful car even if a little bloated…two ideas.
    1) Clean the interior, mount virtural realty screens on all windows and pretend drive the roads of the world without leaving your garage.
    2) SBC for some reliable fun

    Like 3
  3. mike b

    The estate car for Upson Downs. Jag, E-Type, V12. Series 3, 2+2, auto.

    Like 3
  4. Gaspumpchas

    Dunno but somebody might bite depending on the extent of the rust. Pics of the rust? Bueller…Bueller??? Look er over good and make an offer. Too bad its a slush o matic. Caveat Emptor. An extra mill and tranny can’t hurt.


    Like 1
  5. Marv

    Have to comment on one item. The 2+2 is 9” longer, but it’s all behind the seats. Driver legroom is not improved. I have an S2 OTS and a S3 OTS (built on the +2 platform) in my garage. You’re welcome to come take measurements, I’ll provide the tape measure.

    Marv J

    Like 2
  6. John Oliveri

    Its a can of worms, till you know how much rust and where, and how good or bad either of those motors are, Trani? I’d go see it in person

    Like 1
  7. PRA4SNW

    It wasn’t that long ago when the 2 + 2 models weren’t worth anything, hence the reason why so many are in this condition.

    Like 5
  8. Bruce

    As for the V-12 A friend that was an FAA certified A&P Mechanic restored a coupe and for those that care the sheet metal to turn this car into a convertible is available and requires no other additional frame changes. He did that change and what an amazing difference. Also that engine is open to massive increases in power by changing headers both intake and exhaust, Weber carbs, (4)-2V can be a bolt on process. Now he changed the pistons and compression but then he was getting just near 500 HP at the rear wheels. That turned a touring car into a rocket. Did not seem big and bloated after that. The car was sold in part to purchase a P-51 Mustang that needed restoration. It is in California now (L.A. Area) and it is electric blue metallic with a tan interior. If you see it on the road take a good long look. No need for a SBC engine especially when you realize how smooth this V-12 can be. We were able to balance a quarter on the engine when running and you can feel this when driving this car.

    Like 12
    • Ross W. Lovell

      Greetings All,

      Since the car has no frame behind the firewall, this interests me?

      What your friend did with the extra 9″ or that differently angled windshield would be worth knowing?

      Now, he could have bought a roadster tub and converted, that would have been the easier way and addressed any rust issues.

      Like 2
  9. That Guy

    It looks solid and straight and in overall decent shape. Unless there’s real nastiness underneath, it seems like there’s some upside here. Well worth a PPI at least, for a serious bidder.

    Like 2
  10. Bob Roller

    We had a Jag V12 sedan in our European Motors repair shop years ago and it had been all but destroyed by incompetent people who claimed to be mechanics that really had no idea what to do with it.The owner was a local doctor who brought it to us and we did all the needed repairs and gave him an honest bill for nearly $4000.I think this was in the mid 1980’s.I have always liked a V12 engine and as a young man of 20 I bought a 12 cylinder Cadillac made in 1937 for $180 in 1956.It was not the best of the 12’s but it was an interesting car and we made several road trips in it.It was a 365 or 368CID engine and the contemporary Packard 12 was 473 and would easily pull out in high gear.The Cadillac would slip the clutch when trying high gear pull outs.

    Like 2
  11. Bob

    Honestly, folks buying these Jags and paying primo prices for them need to have a lot of bucks in the bank to get them back in shape. Lucas electrical is one of the curses of Jags. The Australians joke about them owning Lucas refrigerators, which is why they drink warm beer. Lucas is the “prince of darkness”, only in the 1980’s did Jag shift the engine management system to Bosch, but stuck with Lucas to run everything else. Brembo disc brakes, need rotors or brake parts, you will pay big for the correct ones. The V-12 looks like a giant squid is laying atop the engine, be ready to have a very experienced mechanic help you keep it going. The British technology for this Jag in 1973 hadn’t changed since the first XKE rolled off the assembly line. “Quaint” is the word, maintenance is demanding. Also be ready for the transmission to refuse to shift out of first gear, the nylon gear that drives the governor fails frequently. To buy one of these you have to have a lot of patience and deep pockets.

    Like 3
  12. Ward William

    Now this is way better value than the white one also listed here today, and at a better price and in better condition with better options.

    Like 1
  13. tex cloud

    the v12 Jags used a G M Turbo 400 later 700r

    Like 0
  14. tex cloud

    sorry made a false statement earlier GM Turbo 400 and 700r were XJS trannies about 1980 I believe thanks for not killing me

    Like 0
  15. Bob

    No worries, I owned a 1986 XJS, bought it used for $6,250 in 1990, the original owner paid over $60,000. Talk about depreciation!! She had had it with the mechanical and electrical problems. Mine had a 400 series GM automatic, it’s only problem was the governor in the transmission, assessable via a small hole cut in the right side of the XJS transmission tunnel, covered by a patch held together with 4 screws. The nylon bevel gear that drove the little governor frequently stripped and whatever gear you were in you were stuck in it.

    Like 1

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