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39 Years In A Barn: 1964 Jaguar E-Type OTS

1964 Jaguar E-Type

Frequent finder Jim S. has sent in this great Jaguar E-Type Barn Find from Clearwater, Florida. It was taken off the road in the early 1970’s for some repairs and never made it back. The OTS (Open Two-Seater) is listed for sale here on eBay, where despite getting a lot of bids, it has not yet met its reserve.


While it’s not the very most desirable “flat floor” variant, this is an early ‘series 1’ car with the 3.8 liter version of the XK inline 6 and the Moss 4-speed transmission that’s not known for it’s smoothness. Nonetheless, it is said to be extremely original and complete. Question for the E-Type experts; is metallic green an original factory color? I don’t remember seeing an early car in this color before. I was also struck with the idea of using an E-Type as a tow vehicle (note the hitch in the picture above). What exactly would you tow with this OTS (Open Two-Seater)?


It looks suspiciously like heavy items were placed (slid?) on the bonnet while the car was in storage. That is a very complicated piece of metal to repair! It’s hard to believe that someone could treat a beautiful car like this in this manner. Or maybe the car slid under something while it was still on the road? In any case, there will have to be some work completed here.


While all three SU’s are in place, the head was off during the time the car was off the road. The seller states that the head was re-installed for transport, but I’m worried about the internal engine components if they were exposed for that amount of time. The car also was off the road for some “rear end work” but that it’s been reassembled. I wonder what was/is wrong?


The underside picture is somewhat troubling, given the depth of pitting on the frame rail. It’s hard to tell the extent from the picture–if you are interested in bidding, an in-person inspection might be in order. It’s obvious that this car has captured a lot of attention from bidders; I’m wondering if E-Types are going through a similar rise to the early Porsche models that we’ve seen recently? What do you think about this true barn find?


  1. RayT Member

    That’s not the original paint, IMO — I don’t recall any early E-Types sporting metallic finishes from the factory — but a respray looks to be only the tip of the iceberg for this car.

    Jaguars had a reputation for sketchy reliability, but I’m guessing the original owner either a) really racked up the miles or b) seriously abused the car for it to need major rear-end and engine work. And the potential for further problems was only increased by leaving the head off for so long. Corrosion underneath is worrisome as well. This is a down-to-the-bare-metal car.

    Like SU carbs and Lucas electrics, the Moss gearbox Jaguar used takes a lot of undeserved flak. It’s not all that bad, really, once the driver learns to cope with the lack of synchro on first gear. Heck, my Healey was that way, too, and I’ve driven some vintage cars that had no synchros at all. You learn to double-clutch….

    I’ve never been able to look at an early E-Type without falling in love. This one’s no exception. But the bidding so far is ‘way too rich for my blood, and the potential cost of setting it right is a real enthusiasm-damper.

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  2. DJ

    It’s already over 45k. You know there’s rust. There always is. I still like it even though it’s bringing crazy money. Dad fixed and painted these in the 70’s. You could buy one for about $2000 then. If only we had known back then what they would bring now.

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  3. Rovinman

    If that paint is Metallic Green, then it’s NOT original !
    British Racing Green, (as stated on e-bay), was ALWAYS an optional colour (English spelling) from 1961-74. (Glasurit JAG-602), see :


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  4. Brian Smith

    There WERE metallic colors on E types and other Jags of this era. In fact there was an “opalescent” green, though this does not look like that color. It was not quite as dark, more of a sage green color. It was usually paired with a green interior.

    In fact, your link above shows many metallic colors listed for series 1 E types, including Dark Opalescent Green!

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    • Willy

      the “sage green” color you refer to sounds more like what was called “willow green”, and I am not sure it was available on these earlier E-types. This looks close enough to my recollection of opalescent green that I think that is what it is.

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  5. Steve

    Opalescent green? That would be correct for the year.

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  6. Dolphin Member

    Not a very informative or reassuring listing. How was the engine reassembled? Properly with timing chain/head gasket/etc installed? Does it turn over? Can turning the engine over even be attempted without causing (more) damage? What is the state of the rear end?

    What does the interior look like? What does the odometer read? No photos of either.

    It’s a desirable car, with 29 bids to $50K and 4 days left, but lots of unanswered questions……

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  7. randy

    These cars went through the roof in the eighties, and have never let up. They were affectionately called “catfish” by some Jag techs I knew. This one may surprise you as it will get a big payoff. These are much more reliable and fun to drive than the V-12, not to mention easier on the wallet. They have always been out of my reach.

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  8. Rick

    Back in ’87 or ’88 I passed on a 1966 E Type Coupe, think it was a 4.2, anyhow it had been sitting outside but it started up and ran, wires were rusty, had been painted a couple of times, and had a little rust out in the pan underneath the back. I knew the owner, he offered it to me for $3,000, so without buying it, I tried to flip it for $3,500 to some guys from the Jag club and they weren’t interested so like I said I ended up not buying it. A couple of years later I tried to buy from the same guy for $6500, but he wouldn’t sell it. Heck he might still have it. Anyhow I know we are all kicking ourselves over that one, I am for sure. The roadsters sure are going for big bucks these days, but they sure are cool all restored.

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  9. charlie Member

    It was the year of Woodstock and a woman I had dated a few times called me up on Tuesday of that week and wanted me to go to this rock festival with her in her brand new XKE convertible, the same pale yellow color as her hair (her father had bought it for her), and I, said no, because I had to work. So she went with our mutual friend, but they gave up when they were about 15 miles away, traffic was not moving for hours, rain was coming down, and they didn’t dare leave the Jag in some field, so they turned around and spent the weekend in a motel. They got married less than 9 months later. It could have been me.

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    • randy

      Big question, are they still happily married? Was it Twiggy and your friend Dan Akroid?

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  10. Cwood13

    Red the flat floor comment. The Flat floor models are worth more $ to collectors who want rare cars to look at but are not more desirable if you actually want to drive one any distance. The flat floor was quickly dropped for a reason. It was a bad idea.

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  11. John

    I don’t believe I’ve ever seen an E-Type with a trailer hitch before. I love the 3.8 coupes. The roadsters? Not so much.

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  12. Tundra/BMW Guy

    I think I might know the cause of the head/engine and rear end damage. Home made tow bar, welded to the rear of the vehicle, and what looks to be a 2+” tow ball. That is a recipe for disaster!! Oh wait, they got all the ingredients, melded them, put it in the oven, and out came DISASTER!
    As for Coupe versus Roadster. Very few drop tops can pull off good looks with the top up. The beauty resides in the ride, exhilaration, and looks when the top is down!!! Got one, drop top, (not Jag) that actually manages to pull off the “sporty look” with both top up or down!! I could a bit biased but I think not.
    These are absolutely gorgeous timeless vehicles. One of my favorites!! (over a lot of much higher priced stuff)

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