Live Auctions

Beautiful Field Find: 1965 Jaguar E-Type


This is a highly desirable Series 1 E-Type Roadster, so there’s no doubt that someone will save it. Apparently, the car was purchased new by an electrical engineer who was in the Navy. He enjoyed it for a while, but when he got deployed he let his little brother take over. I’m sure his brother had a lot of fun until that dang head gasket blew! When big brother returned, he wasn’t happy about the situation so he took the car back and started to take the engine apart. Unfortunately, that’s as far as he got. Twenty years later and it’s listed here on eBay with no reserve.


It may be hard to tell from the photos, but this was one of the most beautiful cars ever built. If you have ever seen one coming down the road, then you know what I mean! Unfortunately, all that beauty comes with a price. E-Types sell for a lot of money today, but that wasn’t always the case. It wasn’t cheap at over $5k when new, but that was still a lot more affordable than most of its competitors. Most Jaguars were actually performance bargains when they were new. Not so much today.


Earlier cars may be more collectible today, but in ’65 Jaguar added more power and installed a transmission that had synchros on all the gears. It also had a few other upgrades that made the car a little more pleasant to drive. Things aren’t real pleasant in there now though. Is there a plant growing in the driver’s seat? Wow, what a mess! The interior is the least of your concerns though.


Rain has worked its magic on those floors. The paint may be original, but this thing is going to need a full restoration by a professional. The XK-E was inspired by the famous D-Type racers, so it featured a similar unibody tub with a frame section attached out front to hold the engine. As you can probably imagine, corrosion is not something you want to find in your E-Type. Let’s just hope this one goes to someone with the skills to repair all that rust. Oh, and replace the head gasket!


  1. Bingo

    I think a wolverine and a Tasmanian devil lived in this back in the 80’s.

    Like 1
  2. DrinkinGasoline

    Good grief, what a hot mess. Kinda reminds me of a dead catfish, beached on the shore.

    • Don

      Must be the rust i think it looks more like a small mouth bass

  3. Mike

    What is scrap prices going for these days!!!!!
    Reminds me of the one they bought for like 2000.00 in Fast and Loud and broke it in half getting off the trailer. This thing might be a parts car but not the underbody!!!!

    • DrinkinGasoline

      I can only surmise that the thumbs down were from folks who would keep doing CPR long after the time of death was called. Rigor set in a long time ago on this one.

    • Horse Radish

      Just like that 912 from Beverly Hills Car Club, this one is a lucite block candidate and not much more, unless you have plenty of money to throw a way into a black hole

  4. Birdman

    Oh yeah… that’s no so bad…that’ll buff right out….(in my best John Candy voice)

  5. Righteous Bob

    See the bidding, just goes to show ya, “a fool and his money are soon parted”

  6. MikeG

    If a car ended up looking like that everytime I blew a head gasket, I’d be taking the bus…..

    It looks like it was flipped the way the windshield is caved and the dirt on the front bumper.

  7. hhaleblian

    Blimey roach! There has to be a better way to spend one’s free time.

  8. DrinkinGasoline

    See what I mean ?

    Like 1
  9. nessy

    This car has been sitting outside alot longer than 20 years. Only 20 years ago, nobody in their right mind would have dumped an E Type roadster out to rust and the rust on this car started much longer than 20 years ago. This car was put out when it was just a used car, say, at least 40+ years ago. It looks like the rear plate is dated 1973. I guess that tells us how long it’s been sitting outside. Already at 40g? As neat as it is, no thanks. This show us there are still very special cars waiting to be discovered….It also shows us that some people bid over their heads just to say they own an E Type roadster, then, the hard parts starts, bringing it back to life.

    • HCallaway

      The guy that buys this will take it to the shop he sees everyday on his way to work and ask them to restore it. At that point he will realize what a mistake he has made.

  10. Bingo

    Guess the movie quote ” my dad can fix it, he’s a TV repairman and has an aawwsome set of tools, bud”

    • nessy

      Ha, the 81 Z28.. Did Penn say his dad could fix it or did he say he could fix it using his dad’s tools? Been a while since I saw that film.

  11. DrinkinGasoline

    It would definitely “take a village to raise this child”…. There comes a time when last rights should be versed and organ donation is the only sensible option, so others may live.

    • Jeffro

      Yeah but they also say “Every village has its idiot “. And someone in the village will buy this.

  12. CowboyChris

    Wow it’s already up $39.500 with almost a day left wish I had a couple of these sitting in my backyard to unload on somebody

  13. cj32769

    A little elbow grease a metal brake and an Harbor Freight English Wheel will have this little jewel back together in no time.

  14. Paul B

    You are just buying the VIN. You can buy a complete new replacement body.

    • daCabbie

      I tend to believe this… as anything becomes more valuable then it becomes more likely that the title and possibly VIN tags are really all your buying… at the end of the day what cannot be reproduced?

      With an automobile it’s the title… because reproducing a gov’t document is a real crime… a reproduction car is that a crime? Not really, unless you represent it as real/original…. but then you have to prove the seller wasn’t just stupid and believed it was original…

      Ever by PV Leather? … it’s NOT leather, its poly-vinyl…

      It’s not a big issue today…but anyone of the cars on BF has the chance to be a million dollar car given enough time and inflation.

      It hasn’t always been like it is today…pre Carfax, pre internet, pre insurance tracking…cars could just disappear…

      I remember junking cars as a kid…the bossman had a safe full of VIN plates and titles…imagine what those things might be worth today? Definitely cheaper storage than an actual automobile….but really all you need to start over.

      Like 1
  15. Steve

    Not enough left to pique my interest. What a heap of rust. Amazing what they’re still worth, though. SMH

  16. Alan Brase

    Rusty, but pedigreed old cars bringing higher than scrap prices sure does bring out the haters.
    It’s sad how far this one slid. Just goes to show you, a good roof and a solid floor and a bag of mothballs (napthalene) is an old car’s best friend.
    Yes, it will take tens of thousands to make this right. And it will be worth it.

  17. Prowler

    I can’t imagine looking at this car and seeing nothing more than an interesting planter for the yard
    Sad to see…I always looked the E. types as mechanical sex but I couldn’t drink this one pretty

  18. cyclemikey

    Wow. You guys are seriously wanting to scrap out a Series 1 E-type? You really have no clue. This will get restored without question, with as many new parts as required, up to and including the body, and it will still be worth it.

    Scrap it, huh? Yeesh.

    Like 1
    • hhaleblian

      I agree Mikey. Save this significant piece of art, beauty, and grace. If one crunches numbers one may be underwater for a bit, but the really significant pieces will always be in demand and warrant saving whether a 63 split window, 289 Cobra, Shelby Mustang,69 Z/28, 275 GTB, and my passion for the past 22 years 356 and early 911’s. I wish I had a barn and a wallet large enough to bring back my car history that began at 15 in 1966. I’ve been blessed to have touched most of the above and many more.

  19. daCabbie

    Don’t forget, one day, somebody is gonna have to decide if you go to the scrap heap… and you never looked as good as this car did… but for some reason your Mother still brought you home.

    I plan on dying on trash-day….just roll me out to the curb.

    • daCabbie

      Hey! Why the thumbs down?

  20. Palandi

    I can understand one who pays up to $20k for this mess of a classic. since bidding at least doubled this amount… well, I’m too faint at heart to ride this unicorn. the winning bidder will need much more than the good luck I’d wish him.

  21. Mr. Bond

    I think I am more pissed I missed the boat, so to speak. Shoulda bought one of these, and a dino, and a GT350, and … and …. and, 20 or 30 years ago. Don’t have the cash now, and I sure didn’t back then.
    Gotta get away from coulda, shoulda and woulda!

  22. Prowler

    If you are doing this one…you are doing it to say you saved one
    I’ve been there but never again
    I bought a 1969 indy pace car and it really looked pretty sound until we starting taking it apart.
    The metal work on that car never stopped…at one point when I made a visit to the body shop to check on progress my car was literally a pile of scrap metal laying on the floor
    I was very close to throwing in the towel but when you are swimming across a lake and you are half way there…do you turn around or keep swimming
    So we moved ahead….I will never see the light of day on that car but it is absolutely beautiful…like a piece of jewelry
    Bottom line this jag. When done will be a stunning car but I think you could buy a complete car for much less and avoid the stomach aches and pepto. Bismol. And be out driving a few years sooner
    I’m just sayin.

    • hhaleblian

      I agree, but not everyone can do that so throw your hat in the ring buy it and hang on. Most of us have done so. I bought my sunroof 70 911 S in 1994 for $5k. I wasn’t thinking of appreciation. Appreciation is factored into my car buying decisions today, but at 65 value appreciation time is running out. Driving appreciation is every day I jump in my ride. Drivemdammit

  23. Glen

    Hagerty has #4 (fair) at about $55,000 , #1 at $185,000. This one is no where near a #4. This is selling WAY too high. No reserve, so it will sell.

  24. ccrvtt

    I’m struck with ineffable sadness at seeing this beauty in such derelict shape. Fortunately someone with the resources will resurrect it. Won’t be me, though.

  25. Curtis

    Glen, Granted this will never be a number 1 car because to much repop will be required. However Haggerty has the #1 value at $313K not 185K as you wrote. Maybe you were looking at other than the roadster model?

  26. Fred

    Unless you’re rich beyond belief, be merciful and put a bullet in it.

  27. Bruce Best

    This is a job to be sure but it is more than salvageable. It just looks awful but all the pieces are there and what is destroyed, some metal and the interior can be replaced with relative ease.

    That being said the shop I was with did a number of XKE’s and there is far more hand work in fitting the body parts together than you might expect. Even cars that are perfect and need a replacement door or hood can be a nightmare to get right. The skill of the assembly line workers on this car as never been given full credit. I to this day do not know what is worse fitting the bonnet (engine hood) or getting the tub perfect both are a major pain in the ass.

    Take your time, have a crew to help you adjust things when you need to, keep it stable and do quality work and this could easily be a jewel that does not turn heads it causes them to snap to attention. Beyond that they are great fun to drive even if they are not perfect by todays standards they are wonderful and even at todays prices bring a good value in smiles per miles.

    • Alan Brase

      Nowhere near an expert bodyman, but I have some skill at pulling and metal finishing. I’ve found Bruce’s experiences to be true with early Porsches as well. Because of this, doing total panel replacement turns out to be a LOT more work than patching or straightening what is already there. FURTHER, the best in the WORLD can barely do panel replacement to the same standards as the original. So, by doing low impact repairs, one causes a lot less trauma to the adjoining areas. It might be a little cheaper, as genuine NOS sheet metal is rather pricey.

  28. Dolphin Member

    The SCM Guide says the median recent auction price paid for these 4.2 convertibles is $167K, and the high price ever paid is $324K.

    Given the limitations this car will have even if restored that people have mentioned, and the total cost to buy it and then do all the work to restore it, why would anyone go with this car when there are other 4.2 convertibles to choose from that will end up being quicker / easier / cheaper to get on the road, and might be better cars than this car after restoration?

    Jaguar made 9,548 4.2 convertibles, which is more than any other E-type model. It’s not that hard to find one in decent or nice condition at a better all-in price.

  29. Alan Brase

    I guess at least 2 people in touch with the internet musta thought it was worth $39,600 at 1pm PDT.
    It sold for $39,700.
    Get over it, that’s what its worth.
    Personally, if I was looking for one, I would have tried to find a better car, and NOT on Ebay. Ebay is a seller’s market.
    Just because One sold for $324k does not make any other one worth that much again. But it won’t be so surprising. Any auction is a slice of time.
    Enzo Ferrari said it was the most beautiful car ever built. (I feel maybe top 15.) They are dreadfully unreliable. But there a LOT of potential buyers, especially in the UK to bid them up. 9,548 built. How many extant? Not enough, I guess!
    Nobody would pay $40k for numbers, even if you had a perfect stolen one and could graft the numbers onto it. Criminals do not usually have that good of TIG welding skills.
    Personally, if I was gonna have clone numbers on a brand new replica, it would be a C or D Jag first. There are nice replicas out there for $100k, I think.
    This car was not nearly as bad as presented. (It looked like a hay bale fell on the windshield!) Spending about $1000 on a windshield and detailing would have made it worth $5k more, I think. (Correction- SELL FOR $5k more; It sold for more than it was worth to me!)

    Like 1
  30. SarahW

    This just shows you how easy it is for some fools to be parted with their money, once hooked in an auction. The $39,700 sale price sure makes me feel good, given that I spent over $10k less on my late series 1 coupe that has no rust, matching numbers, original interior and most of the paint, and just 31k miles on the odometer. And I can drive mine as bought! The purchaser of this car will easily have a $100k into it before he/she is finished. If I were to want to purchase another collector car, I would be looking at the Bring a Trailer auctions. Later Series 1 cars are better sorted than the early cars, but not so much this one in this condition!!!

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