Clay Stained: 1970 Jaguar E-Type FHC

1970 Jaguar E-Type

Sometimes a fantastic find comes through that time just doesn’t permit us to write up as soon as they’ve hit the inbox. The new Reader’s Find feature, which I discussed just earlier today allows us to share them quickly, but it doesn’t give us a chance to really talk about the find. This 1970 Jaguar E-Type was just so fascinating that even though I already ran it as a Reader’s Find, I decided it deserved a full feature. You can find it here on eBay in Santa Barbara, California with 4 days left.

Willow Green 1970 Jaguar XKE

This car caught my eye for two reasons. First of all, it’s a Jaguar E-Type, one of my all time favorite British sports cars. Secondly because of the look it has going for it. This Willow Green paint isn’t my favorite shade of green, but it looks great aged and the dust and clay stains give it a fascinating look.

1970 Jaguar XKE Underside

I wish the seller would have included some photos of how it was found, I struggle to believe the car was stored in a South Carolina barn with big enough cracks for clay dust to collect on the car, but dry enough to keep the car from rusting. Seeing as the car was moved to South Carolina in the ’90s, perhaps it hasn’t been in this humid environment long enough to rust. Or maybe the clay dust really did seal the car like the seller claims, although I have my doubts about that.

1970 Jaguar XKE Trim

It will be quite interesting to see if the clay will all wash off or if it has permanently stained the paint and trim work. I almost hope it doesn’t come off, it gives this car an incredibly unique look!

1970 Jaguar E-Type Interior

The interior is going to need work, as the dust made its way into the interior. You might be able to clean most of it off without staining anything, but having cleaned up clay dust in the past I would recommend being careful cleaning it with water.

I would recommend vacuuming it first to get as much dust out as possible before using any type of cleaners or conditioners. Hard surfaces should clean up without much issue, but it could be difficult to clean up the carpets and get the dust out of all the nooks and crannies

1970 Jaguar E-Type Engine

The seller claims the engine is free and they believe it will require minimal refurbishment to get it running again. While I’m glad it’s free, I have a feeling it’s going to take more than a tune up to get it running again. Given the amount of dust built up on the exterior and the fact the air filter is currently off the motor, I’m going to guess there is dust inside the motor. I doubt it will require a complete rebuild to clean it all out, it will need to at least be partially disassembled for cleaning and I’m sure the the carburetors will benefit from a good cleaning and a rebuild to work properly.

1970 Jaguar E-Type FHC

I love the way this E-Type looks, but I can’t help wondering what impact the clay dust might have had on it. I know the seller believes it preserved the car, and it may very well have, but I have a feeling it did some damage to it. I’ve dealt with clay dust like this in the past and I’ve seen it wash off with minimal effort or turn into a massive mess. It really will just depend on how much dust has accumulated, how deeply it has traveled into components, and how patient you are with removing it. So with that being said, would you tackle cleaning this E-Type up to concourse levels or would you leave it all dusty and dirty?


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  1. Newport Pagnell

    Man,that’s one of the nicer survivors I’ve ever seen! Clean it up and enjoy. Love that color combo,very classy.

    • Don Andreina

      I agree. BRG on a British car is as ubiquitous as gofaster red on an Italian gofaster car; this shade of green is evocative of the period and very appealing. Getting all that dust out of hidden crevices will be interesting but apart from that it looks like a nice survivor.

  2. RickyM

    Never seen that colour on an E Type before. Great car and nice find. Lovely.

  3. Dave

    WOW!! what a beauty !! In the story with the car they tell of the window problem that occured with it, hence the removal of the door panels. I was looking at the pics, got to the interior shots and though why do all these old cars have the interior door panels removed??! I but it goes for some serious $$$

  4. phoneman91

    Nice XKE! I bet that the clay will not be an issue. Too bad that it isnt a series 1 XKE-I like the faired in headlight covers better.

  5. DT

    I bet the Dust ,I mean Rust,I mean another British car has lost its aircleaners…….Flash flood…..We do have rust in California….and dust

  6. Dolphin Member

    This is the kind of survivor you want to find. I think it likely is a low mileage car. The interior and underside are consistent with the low miles, and even the ODO numbers are lined up about as straight as you could expect for one that hasn’t gone all the way around yet.

    Apart from the limits of a ’70 E-Type….the undesirable carbs, the ugly tail lights below the bumper….this one would be fun to clean up and bring to shows as a survivor. Assuming the mechanicals have the low miles that the ODO indicates, the biggest problem would be getting all that blown-on / blown-in abrasive clay out of the works. It would take a heroic cleaning everywhere on and in the car, but especially around all the moving parts that air has access to like brakes, U-joints, pulleys, and so on. But it looks like it would be would be worth the effort.

  7. Charles

    The car looks rust free, however clay dust will not preserve metal. If clay/mud is allowed to collect into a tight space and stays moist, it will rust through. The dust itself does not seem to promote rust though. Even though the south has high humidity, rust usually is not much of a problem. One can find all sorts of old cars all over the south and it is rare to find one rusted badly. I can’t imagine owning a XKE and never cleaning it? We have family who live on dirt roads in the south and their cars are never this dirty. The only part that concerns me is if the engine has been run with the air filter off.

  8. Stuart

    I recently redid a ’67 Jeep Commando in that color-looks great on the E-type. Comment on the tail lights is dead on…they are fugly on such a beautiful car! I live smack in the middle of clay country here in NC, but can’t fathom how/why someone didn’t take better care of this one. Bonus also that seats look pretty good!! Thanks a bunch for posting!!

  9. NickF

    Wouldn’t it be great if it had escaped staining. If will be interesting to see what it looks like after clean up. If necessary, I would go for a full restoration. When I think of the hands that screwed that thing together in those most uncertain of times I can’t help but feel that we gearheads have a responsibility to see these works of art preserved, as close to their original as possible. Under the hood, this car probably doesn’t require any more extensive work than would be required to re-commission any 45 year old Jag that hasn’t run in a while. The removed air cleaner is probably evidence of a failed re-start attempt a while back. Nothing against survivor cars and cars with extraordinary patina but when it’s an E type and within reach of saving .. I say restore it (you won’t lose any money), or get someone else to.

  10. krash

    ,”…. it’s decades worth of Aiken, S.C. clay dust…”

    Clay(from) Aiken…

    isn’t he the singer from American Idol fame ?!

  11. Stuart

    Clay Aiken…hilarious comment. He’s from here in Raleigh, NC.

  12. frede

    In the world of film and video, teal and orange is a color combination that just works- entire feature films have been designed around it. Maybe that’s why it works on this Jag.

  13. Cameron Bater UK

    I can’t believe I’m saying this as it is an E-Type and as such to avoid restoring it would be a travesty but I’d keep it as it is cosmetically and just service it mechanically. After a few years I might do a complete Rotisserie and Jig restoration once the use had worn away at the dust.

  14. gunningbar

    Great color. I say clean it and enjoy it. Only original once..and it looks purrty. Let the next owner decide.

  15. Joe K

    Truck the car to Tacoma WA, Let Griot’s Garage do a product documentary on the resurrection. The love this kind of showcase for their products..

  16. Howard Member

    Yes I have seen this color before. It was 1973, 1 year out of high school, had a decent job, and wanted a British sports car. A dealer that specialized in sports cars, had a ’70 E type roadster this color, and a ’71 MGB (with a hardtop) He wanted $2895 for the Jag, and $1995 for the MGB. ( I know, it was the ’70’s) I didn’t really care for the color, but wanted the Jag. Try as I might, the most my bank would loan me was $2000. ( perhaps they didn’t trust a 19 year old with a Jaguar) Well, I “settled” for the MG, something I was never sorry about, I loved that MGB and put almost 250K miles on it. But I never forgot about the Jag, for a mere $900 more.

    • phoneman91

      In the same “one that got away” theme:

      I was offered, in 1972, an even trade of my 1968 Oldsmobile Delta 88 455 for a 1967 E type 4.2 litre, series 1,wired wheel, convertible-and I passed it up! And I was just 21 years old! I thought that the Olds would be more dependable and warmer in the winter. Dang!

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