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Cheap Jag: 1971 Jaguar E-Type V12

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This Jag listed on craigslist is perhaps the least desirable E-Type there could be. It’s a later model, a V12, 2+2 and it’s an automatic (and it’s on a car lot). But, at $16,950 it is cheap for a Jag and it’s not rusty. They don’t say if it runs, how long it was stored or anything else. It’s in Palm Desert, California. It looks original and complete.


It looks like a good cleaning could really make this nice. The driver’s seat is usable and might even be repairable.

back seat

If you have to have a back seat, this one looks pretty decent and would look OK with some serious cleaning.


Things look pretty tidy under the bonnet. It would be nice to know what shape the engine is in.


Here’s a surprise. Not only did they provide pictures of the underside of the car, there’s no rust.


It could be very expensive getting the mechanical issues resolved even without any major issues. And then there’s the body work. If nothing else, one could clean this up, park it in their driveway and look cool. This may be a money pit and no bargain at $17,000 but it is interesting to see an E-Type that’s more than a rusting hulk for sale so cheap.


  1. Doug M. (West Coast) Member

    I like Jags… had a couple of early XKE’s. I never cared for the 2+2, but, if I was going to have a 2+2, I do like it as shown here, with the larger front grille, rolled wheel well openings, and more chrome up front. It just seems to balance out a little better to compensate for the rear bubble. And silver with red? It could be a lot worse… I would drive this.

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  2. jimbosidecar

    I get shivers just looking at the engine bay. I restored a 1967 convertible years ago and wouldn’t want to do it again and certainly not with twice the cylinder count

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  3. Roger Owen

    Interesting. I like the fact that it’s naturally aspirated, I had an early XJS V12 with fuel injection but I would have preferred carbs – too much fiddly engine management and loads of extra plumbing.

    The 5.3 litre V12 engine was an excellent design though.

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  4. SerWillemAin'tLyin'

    Love it. Always liked the S3, even the 2+2. They’re so voluptuous. How can there be this much superficial rust on a desert car?

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  5. Van

    I like everyone never cared for the 2+2 but I have to say it is growing old gracefully.
    The chance to own an E-type is not easily ignored. I would be tempted to do a cosmetic restoration and just enjoy driving it.
    If you saw this car at a traffic light with shiny paint, well worn but we’ll detailed I think you’d be smiling at the lucky driver. Even if he is a masochist. Maybe add wire wheels.

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    • David Frank david Member

      Welll said! A bit of envy and yet a lot of sympathy for the owner!

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    • Julles

      I’m with you, your car doesn’t have to be perfect or look brand new. The interior doesn’t need replacing. You should just recondition the leather and maybe re-dye it. It should have that lovingly worn look. Half the fun of having a british car is that wonderful wood and leather patina. Furthermore give the paint a good buff, repair and respray the rusty parts and you’re good. I would rather have a survivor driver then a concours trailer queen any day.

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  6. chasrahm

    “perhaps the least desirable E type?” WRONG – late 60s to 1971 six cylinder 2+2 even as a 4 speed is less desirable.
    This is an early V12 – higher compression, small bumpers. The automatic is a joy to drive. This is a grand touring machine. V12 is easy to maintain. Set the carbs and forget them.
    I do think the price is too high. Count on a full interior kit, new paint, lots of parts to rebuild. Silver with red interior is fabulous. But caution to the buyer in today’s restoration costs world.

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  7. Candy Man Jim

    Screams rat rod… To me…

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  8. Peter R

    I’ve owned Jags since 1984 and the initial cost is often the cheapest part of ownership. I’d pay more for one with fewer needs but it does seem worth a closer look. For me, it is on the wrong coast.

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  9. Chuck Foster Chuck F 55chevy

    Seems like they make a kit to convert this to a convertible, big $ look for less price. About a year ago there was a coupe for under $10k on local CList, I was surprised it took a while to sell.

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  10. CanAm

    I’d guess the respray was many moons ago which begs the question ‘why?’. Tide mark rust in driver’s door and rear quarter is a worry, but then the interior has signs of a reasonable amount of damp as well – has the look of “stored outside under a tarp” for some time when it stopped running. My guess is still not running given the spark plug lead not attached :)

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  11. Monsieur_le_baton

    i owned one, 72′ 2+2 real thirsty obviously, quad carbs etc.

    It made the most amazing sound, but the engine suffered from the rear rope crankshaft seal leakage, the problem with all of these cars is they need to be used. its when they sit that the repair costs climb.

    worth the punt though at $17k

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  12. Van

    ? Can you switch engines with an xjs just to get one running. Reinstall the carbs just use the long block.
    You could go from 5.3 to 6.0, will it bolt up?

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