Amazing Barn Find! Jaguar E-Type from Africa

After serving a French businessman for 40 years in Niger, this 1961 Jaguar E-Type finds itself back in France and awaiting auction as a never-restored specimen with a storied past. Thanks to classicdriver.com for details and pictures. Jaguar’s Series I E-Type began in model year 1961 and this specimen is offered as one of the first 300 cars featuring a “flat floor” and external hood latches, making this find even more amazing. The pre-sale estimate predicts that your briefcase should contain 50,000–70,000 Euros ($57,000 to $79,500 USD) if you plan to own this classic.

Perhaps the real story is how anyone kept a 1960s Jaguar as a daily driver in Africa until 2011. The front end suggests more than one physical interaction with wayward animals and Africa’s famously casual motor vehicle operators.

Where we might expect to see a Nissan turbo-diesel, the 3.8 L (232 cid) inline six remains. It received regular maintenance and operation as recently as 2014. Sadly it is not free-turning at this time, but should be salvageable.

The interior won’t win any awards for immaculate original condition. Despite looking like later modifications, the console’s side speakers and polished flat metal are original features. The glove compartment seems to have lost its ability to retain gloves or other objects of importance. The rear-view mirror is perfectly adjusted for applying eye makeup. If you’re already planning April in Paris, perhaps you could depart early and check out the 24 March auction live at Leclere Motorcars – Avignon Motor Festival 2019.

While offering precious little protection from living big cats, the convertible Jaguar certainly strikes a predatory pose compared to typical African transportation. I recently inherited my Dad’s 2001 Jaguar XJ8 and, strange as it may sound, the idea of blasting across Africa in a Jaguar sounds altogether pleasant. The luxurious suspension ignores bumps with aplomb. Close the vault-like doors and enjoy the scenery! This one’s days of traversing the African plains have likely passed, but it seems almost a shame to restore it to new. How would you honor this classic?

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Comments

  1. Gaspumpchas

    Wow–one amazing story and writeup. The great pic of the young gentleman standing in the pic- the fact that the owner used this as a daily driver- having a good mechanic that could keep this beauty running- the stereo speakers installed…well used and rightfully so–says so much about how good these cars held up. Hope it finds a great home or better yet–display as is–hate to use the P word but this is sooo cool…
    Cheers
    GPC

    12
  2. Erik in RI

    “Yeeeeaaaah baby, yeah!!”… A. Powers

    5
  3. Paul Luiso

    Odd that it’s not right hand drive. Could be that it wasn’t exported from the UK but from somewhere else in Europe?

    5
    • Todd Fitch Todd Fitch Staff

      Hi Paul – Good question. It was apparently purchased new and exported from France for the gentleman who drove it all those years.

      5
      • Beatnik Bedouin

        I’m guessing that it was used in one of the former French colonies in Africa, hence the Left-Hand-Drive…

        3
  4. Bob_S

    Hi All,
    I agree with Todd Fitch that this is a flat floor LHD Roadster. But it is not an outside bonnet lock car. According to the website
    https://www.classicdriver.com/en/car/jaguar/e-type-si/1961/645686
    This is Chassis Number 875560. LHD roadster OBL car were from 875001 to 857385. There were 500 OBL cars in total. Therefore this would be a September of 1961 car. At one time I owned 875648 and it was built end of September 1961. It also was a flat floor LHD roadster, it now resides in Tennessee.

    Technically this isn’t a Roadster but most people call them that, Jaguar called then open two seater or OTS

    Cheers,
    Bob_S

    10
  5. John Case

    Buy it and auction it off for them giving the proceeds from the auction to feed his village. !!
    :0) j-

    5
  6. James HGF

    As Leclere Maison de Ventes’ (auction house) states this is the 560th left hand drive E-Type built (end of October 1961) and was shipped to Brussels in November 1961 where it was first registered. In 1978 this E-Type was exported to Niamey, Niger, in fact Niger’s largest city with a population of more than 770,000. Smaller in 1968, but not exactly a village. So naturally one should expect to find competent mechanics in Niger who could easily maintain an E-Type though parts might have had to have been sourced from France (language remember).

    If the name Niger strikes a chord you perhaps remember the fake yellowcake dossier swallowed (pun intended) by a few of the world’s secret services. The country of Niger has a population of approximately 23,000,000 with vast open spaces. In fact it’s land mass is greater than Nigeria which was referenced twice in the Barn Finds listing. However Nigeria has a population nearing 200,000,000 and Lagos, the largest city has a population of over 8,000,000 and there are four other Nigerian cities with populations between 1.0 and 2.8 million.

    @ Paul Luiso. Not at all odd that it isn’t right hand drive – the auction house states that it is LHD and in Niger (a Francophone country) they drive on the right hand side of the road. Nigeria next door also drives on the right hand side of the road and has English as its primary language . It’s a small world.

    I expect this flat floor E will be the recipient of a perfect or near perfect restoration. However as the French say it’s dans son jus as found so perhaps a sympathetic mechanical restoration keeping the nicks and scrapes underneath, a refurbished interior, and new ‘gun metal’ (original color) paint will be undertaken.

    The photos can be viewed in much larger format on the Leclere’s Drouot Digital site for this Lot No. 35 Jaguar:

    https://www.drouotonline.com/en/lots/9995145?actionParam=listLot&controllerParam=lot&fromId=95945&query=jaguar

    10
  7. James HGF

    For a view of a Barn Finds minimum expense (as sometimes required by limited discretionary income) view of the “The Unexplored Vintage Car Industry” in Nigeria – not Niger – take a few minutes to watch this video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fn8_NdaibkQ

    When they mention that an old vehicle may only be worth a few hundred thousand they’re talking about the Nigerian Naira currency. Today the one Naira is equal to $ 0.00276.

    6
  8. Chris

    Is that the mechanic in the first pic?

    6
  9. Bill Lucas

    I can’t see the external bonnet locks?

    1
  10. Mitch Ross

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