21k Original Miles: 1968 Jaguar E-Type Roadster

We see a reasonable selection of E-Type Jaguars coming across our desks here at Barn Finds, and they seem to largely fall into two distinct categories. They are either vehicles that are going to need massive and financially crippling restoration, or they are really beautiful examples that come with a financially crippling asking price. This 1968 model seems to walk a rather nice middle ground. It is a solid car that is ready to be driven and enjoyed immediately, and bidding to this point means that it also remains in a very competitive zone for an E-Type Roadster. Located in Fort Gratiot, Michigan, you will find the Jaguar listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has made its way to $48,100, and at that price, the reserve has been met.

This Jaguar has been in dry storage since 1987, and as you will see as we work through it, this appears to have helped the car remain in quite impressive condition. When it comes to the E-type, I am a bit of a traditionalist and have always felt that they present at their very best finished in either Carmen Red or as is the case with this one, in British Racing Green. The owner holds all of the appropriate documentation to confirm that this color is original, although the Jag did receive a repaint back in 1987. It would seem that this was performed to a very high standard because the paint still holds a nice shine today. The panels look to be very straight, and the owner is of the belief that all of the steel in the car is original. He also states that the doors, trunk, and the enormous hood, all open and shut exactly as they should. One of the greatest fears for any potential E-Type owner is the possibility of finding rust in their classic. The E-Type has always tended to have issues in this area, but the photos supplied by the owner indicate that this is a very solid and clean car, with little more than a few spots of surface corrosion. It is fitted with a black top, and while the fit on this is not perfect, I suspect that it has remained folded for quite some time. It might be possible to sit the car in a sunny spot for a few hours with the top up because this may assist it to stretch, which could improve the fit. The glass all looks good, as does the majority of the trim and chrome. There are a couple of issues here that might need some attention. The first is the fact that the bar is missing across the center of the grille opening. Secondly, I did notice some surface corrosion and pitting appearing on some of the wheel nuts. This is something that should definitely be attended to before it deteriorates too far.

Under the hood of the Jaguar, you will find the beautiful 4,235cc DOHC 6-cylinder engine, which sends its power to the rear wheels via a 4-speed manual transmission. The 1968 model year marked one of change under the hood of the E-type. Previously, the engine wore a trio of carburetors and produced 265hp. From 1968, the beginnings of tighter emission regulations saw the engine detuned slightly by fitting it with a pair of Zenith-Stromberg carburetors. This also served to reduce engine power to 246hp. This particular Jag is a numbers-matching vehicle, and even better news comes in the form of it seeming to be in sound mechanical health. The only issue that the owner identifies is the fact that the tires are very old, and they should be replaced before any significant driving is considered. After decades in storage, the owner subjected the car to some pretty thorough maintenance before he took it out on the road for the first time. All of the fluids have been flushed and replaced, including the entire fuel system. The carburetors have been treated to a full rebuild, the original alternator was rebuilt, and a new battery was fitted. The braking system has been checked, flushed, and bled, the front end has been serviced, and an entire new exhaust has been fitted. One of the areas that can be particularly trouble-prone in an E-Type is the electrical system. However, this has been checked right through, a few questionable components have been replaced, and everything works as it should. Since being returned to active duty, the owner has clocked around 900 miles in the Jag, and he says that it runs and drives perfectly, with no signs of leaks, overheating, or other issues. He also claims that this vehicle has only accumulated 21,500 genuine miles since new, but doesn’t indicate whether he holds documentation to verify this. Of course, if it really has been in storage since 1987, this claim is certainly plausible.

Overall, the interior of the E-Type isn’t bad and is certainly serviceable as it is. Being such an iconic classic, there are one or two things that should probably be addressed to really make the interior sparkle. The foam on the driver’s seat appears to be collapsing, giving the seat a sagging appearance. In addition, the leather upholstery on the seats is very dry. The owner has tried conditioning them, but I suspect that the leather has probably deteriorated to the point where it might be beyond simple conditioning. I would be very inclined to replace both covers, and since the foam on the driver’s seat has deteriorated, I would treat both seats to fresh foam. The center armrest is also showing some wear, and while it might be able to be restored, it may also need to be replaced. For me, the interesting one is the way that the finish on the rocker switches in the dash has deteriorated. They have now developed a very grey/white look to them, which is pretty unattractive. Having said that, I have seen these restored quite successfully, so replacement may not be required in this case. Beyond those few issues, the rest of the interior presents very nicely and also remains original.

Right at the start, I talked about how we normally see two types of E-Type here at Barn Finds, and how this one is a bit different. Generally speaking, a solid, numbers-matching project car that doesn’t run, and is in need of restoration, will be priced around the $50,000 mark. From there, finding a running and roadworthy example sees prices pushing closer to $70,000…and that’s just the starting point. Six-figure values aren’t out of the question for pristine examples, so if this car stays anywhere close to its current bid price, then it could represent a really good buy.

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Comments

  1. Classic Steel

    Ohhh Behave Austin this is a classic beauty . It looks much straighter and aligned than the average teeth In the Britt mouth 😎🤣

    I love it 🥰!!!

    10
    • David Blinston

      Brit only has one t cock!

      3
  2. Philip

    A 1968 XKE that was subject to a 200k rotisserie restoration just sold for $165k (before buyers fees) at latest Barrett-Jackson auction so these indeed can get well into 6 figures. Having owned one these I can confirm that these can be very expensive to restore properly. I’m a fan of XKE’s but highly recommend you have it thoroughly inspected so you know what you’re getting yourself into.

    11
  3. BarnfindyCollins

    Yes Brit has one T but Jaaaaaaag has many A’s….ok back to my pram now.

    2
  4. DETROIT LAND YACHT

    Rip the guts out…and convert it to full electric.

    *dons riot gear…extends baton…sprints for cover behind barricade*

    8
  5. Capt RD

    lack of a data plate picture or Heritage Certificate make a personal inspection mandatory and limits the bidding group considerably.
    #’s matching and stated milage are suspect otherwise.

    6
  6. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Always one to make a classic car lovers heart beat quicker, more so in the XKE version with the Euro lights. A magnificent machine, it’s not one for the faint-hearted owner. As Philip and Capt RD alluded, look carefully before buying but if it’s really what it’s purported to be this Jag would be a fantastic capture, though probably in need of a large budget to care and feed its needs between runs to stretch its legs on a regular basis..

    3
  7. 86_Vette_Convertible

    First Jag I remember seeing in person was a Yellow with black top in 67 (year I graduated). Fell in love with it but what kid could imagine owning something like that? The sound it generated gave you goosebumps at a minimum and the ‘old guy’ driving it (must have been at least 40) made you want to throw up thinking about him driving it and not you ;-)
    This one look very nice, minimal work needed to get it where it should be. Hope someone that appreciates it gets it.

    2
  8. Del

    My appraiser said never buy a Jag made before 1978.

    Continous problems and servicing

    2
    • Jaker76

      lmao

  9. JohnfromSC

    This is a series II not as Series 1, so prices are much less. $100K is about tops for these. Nevertheless, if this one is as good as the pictures appear and can be had for $50K ish, it’s a good deal.

    As for maintainability, these are not bad to work on mechanically for the most part with the exception of certain parts like the onboard brakes. The ones that are complex are the Series IIIs with the 12 cylinder.

    1
    • Sarah_W

      Sorry but I totally disagree. According to Jaguar Motor Cars, this is a Series 1 E-Type, but these Jags are often referred to as Series 1.25 or 1.5, depending upon whether US, Canadian or Euro/UK spec, and how many of the following remain in Series 1 spec. This one would usually be referred to as a 1.5, since it has the uncovered headlights, twin Strombergs and rocker switches.

      The hood/bonnet is an uncovered headlight Series 1, not the larger mouthed and differently laid out headlights of a Series 2. Also, the rear lights and front sidelights on this are definitely Series 1, not the horrible rear chrome light panel of a Series 2. How to I know? I own a similar car.

      5
  10. Jaker76

    From looking at the pictures appears to be a solid driver, but anyone that is bidding please do an in person inspection or have a qualified Jaguar E ype person do a detailed look over. I have horror stories of customers that bought what appeared to be a “solid” car only to find that wasn’t the case. Used to be a product called Connelly Hide Food that would bring back leather far worse than this and yes please replace the seat foam-actually surprised the seller didn’t do that as would probably help the bidding as would a Heritage Certificate! The center bar for the grille is easliy replaced as many reproduce that piece. The panel and switches the same. The plastics of that era all tend to get a funky look from storage.

  11. Arthell64 Member

    Always loved this body style even looks good in green. How fun it must have been to drive this on Mulholland drive back in the 60’s.

    3
  12. Steve

    Given the reputation for engine/mechanical problems, are there common engine/tranny/suspension swaps for these that would make them less frustrating to own?

    • Sarah_W

      There is a reason why Jaguar used this engine for decades. I had an XJ6 Coupe that was my daily driver for a decade, and now my E-Type. No issues regarding reliability of the engines or transmissions. And I wonder why the hot-rodders liked to use the Jag rear ends when building their rods?

      3
  13. Jaker76

    Once the engine is set up properly there is no need to swap engines, all you do by doing that is decrease value!

    1
  14. Kenn

    Sure, swap out the engine and lose the beautiful, heart-pounding, distinctive sound when that mighty six wakes up.

    1
  15. bog

    I hope that whomever bought this one for $50,100 is as happy as I would be. Carefully read the seller’s ad and they called it a 1.5, as a couple of you have mentioned. Have had several friends that had Series 1’s. A high school friend, whose Dad owned a new car dealership, had a white ’61 droptop that he drove in nice weather Senior year, and two Army buddies that each had ’67s in BRG like this one. Love the covered headlights much more than exposed. And, indeed, I helped work on one of them on a regular basis. Price of friendship, AND driving up and down Lake Shore Drive with the top down. In ’80 I took a pass on a Series III V12 auto, part of a Datsun/Nissan dealers personal collection, and bought a new 280ZX from him instead… Likely saved myself lots of money and heartache !

    1

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