Barn Stored For 40 Years! 8,357 Mile E-Type

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Here’s a pea green Jaguar E-Type that has been sitting in a barn for more than 40 years! It looks pretty solid to me at both first glance and second glance! Thanks to Barn Finds reader Paul Z., who wrote “Came across this one yesterday when I was searching. A little pricey but very low mileage if it’s true.” It’s located in Syracuse, New York and is up for sale here on craigslist for $60,000.

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After five years on the road and 8,357 miles, someone decided to take this beautiful car off the road for reasons unknown. I’m hoping with the low mileage it was just used as a fun car, and perhaps avoided the salt prevalent on the roads in New York in the winter months.

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I wonder, though, why it looks like the chrome around the lights was painted body color? I just don’t understand why someone would do that. The lifting paint on the bonnet also has me wondering a bit–could there have been a front end collision? It bears looking into, anyway. What do you think so far–are the miles genuine?

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Here’s what the chrome around those lights should look like.

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We don’t get much of a shot of the interior, but what we can see looks pretty decent. There is a shot here that shows the mileage on the odometer. Why would you park a car like this for so long?

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Here’s the original inline six, in this case wearing only two Stromberg CD175 carburetors (also seen on TR4As, TR250s, TR6s, TR7s, TR8s and MGBs. While I’m sure they have different jets and needles for this 4.2 liter application, that doesn’t seem like a lot of carburetor for this large an engine.

So what do you think? Are the miles genuine? If they are, is this later model worth the asking price? Weigh in by commenting, please!

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Comments

  1. Van

    The chrome trim is missing.
    Can you bolt on an earlier 3 carb set and go?

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Thanks for the correction Van…that makes me feel a little better!

    • FRANK

      Van what chrome trim are you referring too?

  2. JW454

    OK… So let’s buy a nice sports car, drive it very sparingly for five years, park it in a garage, take off the air cleaner, and let it sit for over forty years. Sounds like a plan to me!
    Nice find, Odd…, but, Nice. I’m glad it’s still around.

  3. Howard A Member

    Sigh,,, must we go through this every time? ( I guess we do, and dag nabbit, I’m gonna call this out on every one) This car doesn’t have 8,000 miles on it, and we all know that ( although, I’m sure someone, possibly related to the seller will agree it does) Complaining aside, this is pretty creepy. In 1973, I bought a ’71 MGB for $1995. Right next to the MG was a ’70 Jag, EXACTLY like this and the price was $2895. While I didn’t like the color, I really wanted the Jag. As much as I whined to the bank, the most they would loan a 19 year old punk, was $2,000.( maybe the bank guy didn’t want to lend me money for a better car than he had) I just couldn’t get the extra $900 bucks ( a lot of money in ’73) and I “settled” for the MG ( but never once regretted it) Again, 60g’s for this,,,, I know, Jag’s are hot, but maybe in the next life ( if any) I’ll be able to have a XKE.

    • Joe Nose

      Maybe the banker wouldn’t give you the extra cash for the Jag because he wanted it for himself?

    • Eric Dashman

      I don’t know, Howard, it could be true mileage. My 71 was wrecked in 71 with 14K on it and hasn’t been driven since. Why someone would park it like that is certainly subject to question. However, given the pictures, it doesn’t look like there’s been 108K miles put on. The cold snowy northern life does concern me though. I’d have liked to see the undercarriage, boot, and the carpets pulled back on the floors, inner rockers and behind the seats on the cargo shelf. I’m not sure when they switched to dual electric fans, but mine has them instead of the single large fan shown.

      I do think that the price is awfully strong for a car that will need a good going over, including dealing with the surface rust, interior, tires and rechroming (if no other rust lurks). You can buy a nice driver between $40 and $60K among the Series II vehicles.

    • SarahW

      So how can you so definitively state that this car has way more miles than the 8,357 miles stated by the owner’s son? The NY sticker on the windshield states that it was last registered in 1975 and the tires seem to be original too. And just because the engine compartment looks like it has seen better days doesn’t mean that this was caused by higher mileage. I would still want to see documentation though!

      My 68 E-Type had lived in its jeweler owner’s under-house heated garage since new, having been used sparingly over the years so that in late 2006 the odometer only read 24,000 miles. I normally wouldn’t even think of entertaining the purchase of an E-Type that spent its life in New Jersey, but there was no rust hidden anywhere that I have been able to find. What sealed the deal was the fact that I have the receipts from over the years, each stating what the mileage was when the work was done. Due to the engine compartment looking tired and dirty, the mechanic was also skeptical, but when the head was removed to make it a no-lead one, there was no wear at the top of the cylinder walls and the honing was still visible.

      People stop driving cars for a variety of reasons that can sometimes seem silly now, but they happen. Three of the collector vehicles I have owned ended up being parked indoors for 20 to 25 years. My MGA was in a California museum; my Volvo 1800ES sat in the elderly original owner’s San Diego garage for 25 years until he passed away; and my TR250 sat in the professional restorer’s showroom for 20 plus years. In each case, I ended up with vehicles that didn’t suffer from rust worm, although rubber, batteries and hydraulics sure needed attention!

      • Rob

        I agree SarahW, we do stop driving ’em for many a reason; my 1978 Clenet S1 was 1st licensed in ’79, but the owner passed in ’81. His widow then stored it ’til ’91, when I purchased it from her. I drove it 500 miles, last licensed in Calif in 1993, but due to a then over-heating problem, I garaged it. When I retired and moved to Montana in 2008, it went with me, but then sat again for another 7 yrs whilst getting my sh*t together. It got licensed last year, but now I’m going thru all the rubber, etc to get it roadworthy again. All-in-all, it only has had 19,000 miles put on her in these past 38 yrs. :(

        My ’40 Ford was last licensed in 1963, with 22,000 total miles on her, ‘n ’tis been garaged ever since.. another project, *sigh, yet left to do, but I did manage to get the time set aside to get the Flattie rebuilt 20 yrs ago, with all the correct early Rodding speed parts. :)

      • SarahW

        Having said what I did, I sure wouldn’t pay $60k for this S2 E-Type, even if the owner had bothered to clean it up nicely. The colour reminds me of cafeteria-made pea soup, and I much prefer the lighting arrangement of S1s, especially at the rear of the car.

  4. StuB.

    Van is correct, the chrome strips are missing not painted over. Yes you can bolt on a triple carb setup, hardest part is paying for it.

    • Peter Pentz

      You can switch the entire Manifold and carbs complete with the top part and connection pipes. That little lot at a minimum will set you back around $5000 to $5500 ! In addition you need to switch out the distributor – best to buy a new Malory or similar – around $500. Unfortunately this series had a really peculiar retard rather than advance curve, and it kills the performance.

  5. CoventryCat

    Met a guy 20 years ago that bought a new 1975 TR6, and at 24,000 miles totally dismantled the car – it was perfect, I have no idea why it was done – doors had the winders and glass taken out, etc…it was weird. Last I knew, it was still in that state, and still not for sale.

    • Bill McCoskey

      In around 1985 I was restoring a 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible, had most of the car completed, but was not able to finish it because I didn’t have the $10,000 needed to replate all of the chrome trim [that car had way too much chrome trim!].

      So I sold the car, just needing the chrome trim finished, to a local guy who stuck it in his barn. I recently found out it’s still sitting there untouched, under a tarp, covered in pigeon droppings. And like the TR-6, he won’t consider selling the car.

  6. Chris A.

    Although the story begs the question of why it sat for 40 years, it looks like it has had many miles on it. The color on an E type is unusual and what I would call duck egg green. That color looks like one of the two daylight green WWII camouflage paints used on British aircraft like the Mosquito along with a darker green.

  7. Ben T. Spanner

    I friend of mine discovered a stash of 25 or 30 old English cars. The owner had passed away and the widow discovered his collection when various landlords called asking for their rent.

    The collector had dismantled something on every one of the cars I saw. He also mingled the parts.I was to buy anything Austin Healey related. Other people got to buy the Triumphs, MG’s etc. I saw a big Healey buried under a large pile of player piano rolls. There was also a big pile of various British car radiators. I did not see one car with the radiator installed. Who knows what the collector’s plans were.

    • Bill McCoskey

      In the early 1970s, in downtown Baltimore, I discovered an incredible collection of Packards, 1932 to 1956. Several hundred cars. Almost all had their radiators removed & stored in a more secure location. The reason? Thieves wanted the radiators for the copper & brass scrap value. The cars were stored in large older warehouses in the city, and the owner made sure the word on the streets was the radiators were gone.

  8. RayT Member

    One thing people always seem to overlook with stories like this one is WHY the car was parked in the first place. I know it could always be because the owner went broke, or got married, or transferred his affection to a 427 Corvette, but it could also be because he downshifted into first gear one night on the freeway and the engine burped up all manner of important internal parts. I got a 1275 MG Midget for free some years ago for that very reason.

    Not a fan of the later E-Types myself (though I could force myself if the price was right), and would definitely want to bolt on three big SUs (or three Webers!) as soon as possible. But I would also be planning a far more comprehensive strip-down-and-rebuild than this one appears to need.

  9. Tony S

    My guess, like many British cars, is that the owner got sick and tired of electrical gremlins… That or was sick of getting shut down by Stingrays…

  10. speedo

    Gee whiz, “Pea Green”? Cut the beautiful car some slack, I believe it is “Willow Green”

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Speedo, I got conflicting info online as to the paint color’s actual name, so I called it like I saw it :-). Besides, I like peas!

      • Van

        Give peas a chance.

      • grant

        Visualize whirled peas.

  11. Mike S

    Maybe it was parked due to higher gas prices like most muscle cars in the mid-70’s. The oil embargo was in 73.

  12. Dolphin Member

    Some people do all kinds of things you and I wouldn’t do, like drive a newly bought high end British convertible sportscar for just a few years and then park it for the next 40 years. More information is needed than is in this CL ad.

    Syracuse is one of the hardest places for a vehicle to survive if it’s driven year round because it’s in upper state NY and downwind of two large lakes. To look at, it doesn’t look like it has big year-round mileage on it, but guessing isn’t going to confirm or deny the mileage or condition.

    You need to go there and see documentation for any claim of ultra-low mileage for a car like this, especially when the price is $60K and the median auction price paid isn’t too far above that. If none is available from the original owner’s son who is selling the car, that comes pretty close to a being a dealbreaker. At the least it brings the car’s worth down a number of notches.

    Next, a close look underneath, and some basic checks to see whether the engine even turns over are needed to judge the true state of the car. There might be clues in things like the vintage-looking Dunlop SP Sport tires, but you would want to check the production date to know how long they have been on the car. If before 1975 that would be a plus.

    With a CL ad like this one that contains minimal information, nobody can say one way or the other what the basic truth is about this car’s mileage and condition.

  13. bcavileer

    Date codes on tires are a dead giveaway. Worth a real inspection for sure. But CL… please.
    Dolphin is right on.

  14. TBone

    This car appears to have had something happen to the front end. It’s a later series 2 car with a series 1 radiator and single fan. Perhaps an accident which would explain the lifting paint and headlight trim issues…

  15. Old geezer

    Low mileage or not, it’s a huge gamble at 60k. Anyone with that cash, can get a very nice jaguar with no issues ready to enjoy. Owner has seen too many tv car shows.

    Auction prices are becoming a better indication of what these cars are really worth, not some optimistic owner wanting to cash in without doing anything to the car

  16. Brakeservo

    In 2008 I bought a completely dismantled 1953 Bentley with a believable 11,000 miles from new. It was imported from England to California in 1968 and overheated when the owner drove it from the Port to Chico so first he took the radiator out and while that was being repaired he took the head off “just to check the cylinders” then he pulled the pan to check the bearings. One thing led to another and soon he had the entire car apart, the body off the frame, even the doors off and dismantled. That car was entirely apart as a monument to the perils of untreated obsessive compulsive disorder and it sat for 40 years until I bought it.

  17. Mike S

    I can completely understand anyone’s hesitation about a car in the Great Lakes area with the road salt. The truth of the matter is that any car that is rear wheel drive has huge issues with traction and driveability in the snow if they dared to venture out in the middle of a winter with one of these classics. I’m from the area and I’ve seen my fair share of fox bodied mustangs and newer bmw’s for example wipe out and get stuck on a highway overpass with 2 inches of snow on the road because of the traction issues and summer low profile tires. Driving with no traction isn’t fun. This is why a lot of these cars were put away in the winter and anyone who could afford a jaguar usually had more than one car in their possession.

    • Paul Z

      Yep, I grew up 45 miles east of Syracuse and moved back there from 92-97. When we moved up there my wife asked me “Why does everyone have an old beat up car buried in their back yard?” I told her to wait until October you’ll see. After the first snow all the “Winter Rats” came out of hibernation.

  18. Charlie Member

    I had a ’54 Corvette in New England in the ’60’s when it was only worth about $600 and it was the WORST car in snow I ever had. My mother had a ’60 Corvair which was, at that point, the BEST car I ever had in snow. I had a ’60 Jag XK 150 which just did not run in the winter, and that was worth $300 that I paid for it, and later sold it for $300, running when I bought it, and not running when I sold it.

  19. Richard Wright

    Most old timers quit driving their E-types because the cars are so hard to get in and out of. If the owner puts on weight or has hip probems, it’s all over. These cars short wheel base early roadsters were made for someone no taller than 6 ft, and a healthy 210lbs. The v12’s and all 2+2’s have 8″ longer doors and are better suited to getting in and out.
    This Jag has had the picture frame part of the front subframes replaced. The vin of the car is stamped on this part on top and next to the right front shock absorber. It will not match. They used an earliuer front subframe that held the cooling fan. You can see the bracket sticking forward. The car originally had a different radiator and dual fans as well. I’m sure the bonnet was replaced.
    The owner is trying to hit a home run on a car that may have even more hidden damage. I have been working on Jaguars for over 50 years in the DFW Tx area.
    Go to Google images http://www.google.com/search?q=jaguar+e-type+radiator+series+2&rlz=1C1DIMA_enUS677US677&espv=2&biw=1440&bih=775&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjjlvnb2ZjOAhWDXiYKHTg9Di8Q_AUIBygC#tbm=isch&q=jaguar+e-type+radiator+series+2+original&imgrc=sudJ630ePdy6zM%3A

    • JackT

      Totally correct, Richard.

  20. doc

    Compared to all of the other garbage out there, this one is a cream puff. If I wanted one to fix up, this may be the one..

  21. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    It’s anybody’s guess as to why this was parked.
    My guess is that a 5 year old E Type was just another used car, and not worth much. So, the owner decided to keep and store it rather than trade it and get nothing.

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