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British Motoring Monday: 1969 Jaguar E-Type

1969 Jaguar XKE

As E-Types, especially early, covered headlamp cars, skyrocket in value, it’s nice to see there are some “reasonably” priced projects still out there. This one’s interesting for several reasons. It’s located in Reisterstown, Maryland and is for sale here on eBay with a buy-it-now of $25,000 but bidding is also open at $200 (reserve not met). And it’s NOT a 2+2, which to me personally can spoil the lines of what is a beautiful automotive shape.

1969 Jaguar E-Type

While most of the pictures in this ad are not the greatest, it is somewhat encouraging to see the car in what is obviously a foreign car repair shop; there are other European cars in the background of some of the pictures. The paint is not pretty, as can be seen in one of the close-ups that is in focus, and the car has been off the road and in storage since the 1980’s. Here you can also see the uncovered, raised headlamps required to meet US regulations at the time. I think the three wipers illustrate how low the car really is; three small ones were required to get adequate coverage of the windscreen; something these E-Types share with certain MGB’s and Midgets!

1969 Jaguar XKE Interior

The interior looks tatty but complete, with an original steering wheel. And what’s that under the dash? Something I would think is critical if you live in the South like I do; air conditioning. The seller says all the parts are present for the system, although obviously it will need overhauling and possibly updating. I can hear what those of you are interested so far are thinking—what about rust? It’s an E-Type, so of course there’s rust!

Jaguar XKE Rust Spot1969 Jaguar XKE Rust Spot

According to the seller, these are the only two places with rust. While the pictures aren’t clear enough to be sure, there nothing I can see in them to indicate any other serious corrosion. Repair panels for these spots are commonly available; I found them at several Jaguar specialists online this morning. It’s obvious from the nose-up attitude in the pictures that the XK engine isn’t in place. Let’s look closer.

1969 Jaguar XKE Engine

The XK engine turns freely, as does the transmission. Surprisingly, it’s a 4-speed; after checking most of the rest of my E-Type boxes, I was surprised to see that the car actually had a manual as well; I was expecting an automatic. Okay, so it’s not an overdrive one, but I’m OK with that; the torquey XK engine takes care of some of the need for extra ratios. This car is certainly a viable restoration, especially if you are looking for a Sunday driver rather than a concours car. That’s what I’d like to do with it!


  1. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    It’s a Series 1.5, one of those cars that straddle between Series 1 and Series 2. Changes were afoot but Jaguar isn’t known for distinct changes they tend to evolve into the next one.

    Series One have the covered headlights and toggle switches, along with a 2 blade fan that runs on a an anemic reworked wiper motor and traditional 2-eared knockoffs. The early ones also suffered from poor supporting seats. Triple SU’s were standard for the intake.
    Generators were the norm.

    Series Two have no covers due to raised headlight height, rocker switches, improved cooling, redesigned seats with headrests and the new non-eared knockoffs to keep any Ben-Hur type wheel accidents from happening. Triples were replaced by the newly designed emission passing Zenith-Strangleburgs and those were duals. Alternators were new.

    Oh and the S2 was the recipient of those horrid brake and turn signal lights due to federal regs.

    No E-Type ever left the factory with the Laycock overdrive. Put one in years ago in my Roadster, not something that the original could accommodate without some serious metal work and fabrication.

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    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      @Ross — thanks for the expertise! I always thought the powers that be had watched one too many James Bond movies about the knockoffs; never made the Ben Hur connection. :-)

      How bad was the fabrication work needed to accommodate the overdrive?

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  2. Pod

    Being that these pictures were taken in a shop with lifts in the background, the lack of pictures of the underbody are troubling.
    Not sure I buy the line that the only place with rust is by the wheelwells, I’m much more concerned about the structure under . . .

    That being said, the bid will probably end up fairly high as everything else seems to be otherwise decent or at least salvageable.

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  3. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    @Pod — I wondered about that, especially since there’s a Big Healey on a lift in the background of one of the pictures.

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  4. rjc

    I like it. I think it’s a great candidate for a restoration.
    I don’t think I could live with that color though.

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  5. 365Lusso

    This is not a Series 1.5 car. It is a Series 2 car. The headlamps remained recessed (though without covers) and the beautiful Series 1 turn indicator, rear and brake lamps were retained for Series 1.5 cars. This car has the pushed-forward headlamps and awe-inspiringly ugly turn, tail, and brake lamps that were saved for Series 2 onwards. Thus the much more reasonable price.

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  6. Gary

    I worked in a Jaguar-BMC-Rolls Royce dealership/distributor in Michigan during this era. If I remember correctly the Series 1.5 also replace the troubled Borg Warner transmission, as were the troublesome brakes. To my mind, the Series 1.5 is the best E type to own. Most of the improvements were vitally necessary, but the original conception was still largely intact. (Except for those gorgeous headlamp covers.)

    Like 0

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