Face Off: ’58 Lancia Aurelia VS ’70 Jaguar E-Type

Jaguar VS Lancia

It’s time for the latest round of the Barn Finds Face Off, where we pit two like-minded classics against each other and find out which one you’d take as your own. This week’s Face Off has a grand-touring theme, featuring two iconic cruisers that offer both power and style in spades. The 1958 Lancia B20 Aurelia is listed here on eBay as a major project with no reserve. Similarly, the Jaguar is firmly in project-status and is also offered here on eBay with no reserve. I can’t remember the last time two valuable GTs like the Aurelia and E-Type came up for bidding with no minimum offer required, so this could be your chance to own one of the greats. Bidding is brisk on both cars, however, so don’t sleep!

1958 Lancia B20 Aurelia

While both cars have pedigree, the Lancia may hold a slight edge with its impressive history in motorsports and significance of being the first car fitted with a production V6 engine. That feat alone changed the face of the industry forever, but that wasn’t all the Aurelia brought to the table: the car cut its teeth in grueling motorsports events like the Mille Migilia, Targa Florio and Le Mans, performing these feats while wrapped in a gorgeous body shell. Unfortunately, this example featured here is rather far away from being competitive in motorsports or even as a Sunday driver: there’s rust in the floors and the doors, the paint is shot and the engine is out and non-matching. There’s a long road ahead, but the investment potential could be hard to ignore.

1970 Jaguar E-Type

Ah, the classic E-Type: one of the most sensual shapes in motoring history. However, even those shapely lines were not enough to keep this 1970 E-Type from getting the boot from the garage as the current owner has run out of interest in this long-term project. The Series II XK-E featured a number of styling tweaks to comply with federal regulations, but the one that stung the most for me was the loss of glass-ensconced headlights. I love covered headlights and would likely retrofit a set of glass lenses to this car if it were mine! The seller did a fair amount of work before abandoning the project, including a full-body repaint and an engine out rebuild, two phases of any restoration project that would make me want to keep the car for the long-haul.

1970 Jaguar E-Type Interior1958 Lancia B20 Aurelia Interior

Coincidentally, neither seller is exactly effusive in the description of their projects up for grabs, but perhaps it’s because both cars are so significant and recognizable that no introduction is needed. The Lancia pretty clearly spells out that it will need everything and it doesn’t appear anything is included parts-wise (beyond the engine on a pallet). I sometimes like these projects better, as there’s no question about where to start. The Jag is more complete, but the next owner will have to determine how much of the completed work remains in good order. For instance, is the rebuilt motor still healthy? But these concerns could be a non-issue if this E-Type stays affordable. The one question on our minds is this: which one would you take on? Let us know your choice in the comments below.


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  1. erikj

    the xk-e for sure

    • Alweeja

      Xke w/out a Doubt

  2. Josh Staff

    It looks like someone decided they wanted the Lancia!

    • Jeff Lavery Staff

      That was fast! Meanwhile, bidders staying hungry on the Jag…

    • Alan (Michigan)

      Yep. Highest bid prior to ending the listing was $9K… I wonder what the agreed price was?

  3. jim s

    i too would pick the xke, making sure i receved the service manual in the photo. i would then again read an xke service manual and then part the car out.

  4. Sunbeamdon

    Shirley – the E-type’s for you (and me)! To qualify – it is not so far off as to becoming a driver plus, it is not the ultimate E, so fix, run and fun is the order of the day

    The Lancia’s at least $50,000 away from any ‘semblance of driver status; too many booby-traps to get this one done.

  5. MikeH

    Which one would I want, all things being equal–absolutely the Lancia. Which one would I take on, all things being very unequal–absolutely the Jag. The Lancia is too close to returning to the earth from whence it came. Clean up the rust and all you’ll have left is window glass.

  6. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    E-Type for the win! :-)

  7. George verrilli

    Having driven the B20 competitively in the early 50’s in Italy, it receives my vote as an automotive icon and (my e-type need is already met).

  8. Alan (Michigan)

    The E-type is an easy choice, even if the Lancia were still in the game.

    After spending $$$$$ on restoring the Lancia, and $$ on the Jag, if both were driven down the street, the one which would garner all of the attention would be the Jaguar. One of the most instantly recognized shapes anywhere, an icon.

  9. sunbeamdon

    Alan – I agree – there are only a few shapes that are truly iconic and serve to warm the hearts and?? of young boys – other than “XKE” do the initials “M M” bring anything to mind?

    • Alan (Michigan)

      sunbeamdon, If you are referring to the re-badged Norma Jean, we are on the same page.

      Many of the BF readers are younger than the heyday vintage of the cars, or the other icon as well.

  10. Dolphin Member

    Two great cars make for a great Face Off. But….

    The E-type is a late open headlight car with the 2 bad Stromberg carbs, not the far superior 3 SU carbs of the earlier cars. It is definitely worth putting work and $$ into but it will never run with the early E-types in desirability or ultimate value. The SCM Guide has these at $40K-$47.5K, so a buyer will be depending on the claims of a good body (under the repaint) and a rebuilt engine to make it work financially, otherwise the car might not make financial sense, depending on what it sells for. This car is valued lower than any 6-cylinder E-type except the 2+2 cars.

    Values of vintage Lancias, especially Aurelias, are on fire right now, so I think that either the seller got an offer he couldn’t refuse or he realized what the car is worth and pulled the auction. The SCM Guide has these at $125K-$225K, and recent auction sales show that at a high bid of $9K before the auction was ended this car was seriously undervalued and would likely have sold too cheap.

    I’m guessing that the Aurelia will be restored and will have rarity and a value far higher than this E-type. Part of the difference is that Lancia made only 3,121 Aurelia coupes in 6 series, and this car is from one of the most desirable series. OTOH, Jaguar made 4,855 of these particular coupes plus tens of thousands more 6-cylinder E-types over 10 years. That will always mean that the Aurelia will be more worth restoring and owning. And it’s sporting, vintage Italian, and from a manufacturer that’s long gone.

    The rust is bad on the Aurelia but will be fixed. A problem is the engine, which from the weak claim of being a correct-type B24 engine is probably not the original one for this car. That will knock the value down a bit but not prevent a full restoration.

    Aurelias were very advanced for the time, with the first ever V6 production engine and a transaxle at the rear, which was later adopted by other high end carmakers like Ferrari and Alfa Romeo. The cost of those advanced features plus the limited sales numbers spelled The End for Lancia, unfortunately.

  11. charlie Member

    So why would you want the car? The upside on the Lancia is probably higher, but you would not dare drive it. The E Type is common enough that you would dare drive it around and enjoy it for more than an ornament in the garage. And parts are, I would guess, easier to find for the E Type.

    • Dolphin Member

      charlie, I definitely would dare to drive it. I drive all my cars, old, new, perfect, not perfect. Well, I had better take back that ‘perfect’ category since I don’t recall ever owning a perfect car.

      Lots of people drive their valuable collector cars. Have a look at the Colorado Grand website, which is just one example. There are many other road rallies where lots of rare and valuable cars are run hard just to keep up with other cars that are being run harder.

      Our own Barn Finds guys took their Mustang to the Northwest Classic Rally recently. You should check out the cars in the photos that were posted here on BF, which run the full range from unrestored T-code Mustang to $million+ cars.

      Then there are others who race their $million+ cars, often hard. See the many collector car clubs that rent race tracks for racing or open lapping, or check out the Monterey Historics, now called the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.

      Of course there are always going to be people who see these cars only as $$ investments, but there are many genuine enthusiasts who aren’t like that. And since Aurelias are great road cars with race and rally history back in the day, I think most people who would want one would actually drive it.

  12. Bill

    I would swear the Jag was already on ebay a couple of months ago. At that time the seller listed their location as Morristown, NJ. Current listing shows no location and seller has received only one feedback.

  13. Dave Wright

    The Lancia is best suited for an advanced collector with many cars and deep pockets. The jag fits most of us much better. Lots of parts and experts around to help and a wonderful car when finished.

  14. Chuck Farley

    The Lancia, being an Italian “car” would be overpriced at “five for one cent”. The Jag is also overpriced, but not by so much

  15. sunbeamdon

    Alan – you old fart (oops I don’t really know you, but I fit the image) – I’m still chuckling about your re-badged NJ

  16. DT

    The Jag looks like U-Haul designed the tail lights. Ive never had a Jaguar,but thats ’cause I never wanted one. Ive had Lancias,’cause I wanted one and once I had one I really like them. That car has been hit,has severe rust so the compairson is not really fair,but then a Lancia against a Jaguar is not fair either.Give me a Lancia any day

  17. dj

    The E Type is my choice. I grew up with these cars and they are special to me. Sure the Lancia is rarer but I see a big hole in the floor and tons of money to bring it back. Since I’d make the E-Type a driver, I would swap over to the 3 carb set.

  18. Paul B

    The Lancia, but only for the cost-no-object buyer. I’m a contrarian here who doesn’t think the B20 is especially pretty. I think it’s merely competently good-looking but a bit blockish, even for its era. Still, its place in both engineering and competition history, its mechanical layout, and its reported excellent driving qualities (I’ve never even sat in one) make it the car of interest. Lancias are works of art which should be saved. The E-type is very cool, but frankly, the earliest ones are the interesting ones, before the styling got bodged by all sorts of U.S.-mandated changes.

  19. Cameron Bater UK

    Ahh, the “Jagwar” E-type, quintessentially civilised and British sports car, famous for the complimentary comment of Enzo Ferrari himself.
    I am also an Alfa fan (You can’t be a petrol head without being an Alfa fan) but on this occasion I have to agree with Enzo, the Jaguar is th. Most beautiful out of these.

  20. Jimmy

    Lucky George! I’d take an Aurelia over an E type. A hand built, exquisitely designed gem over a rather crude, mass produced, albeit powerful posing mobile. In this case the Jaguar wins hands down though, for reasons already stated.

  21. cory

    I have never liked the e-type. sorry I have tried. just can’t do it. I like just about every other jaguar though. I am pretty sure no one actually likes the e type. they just buy them because everyone tells them they should like the e-type.

    • Alan (Michigan)

      Dang, @cory…
      You must write for a stand-up comedy routine or two; that last comment is Funny!

      There is a guy who has autocrossed a beautifully restored E-Type a couple of times a summer for the last few years here in Michigan. He has an absolute blast, and while he does not appear to beat on the car, his driving is definitely agressive, or “spirited” in nature. The melody which wafts across the concrete behind the car is extraordinary.

      The admirers of his car are drawn to it, not because someone said they should be, but because it is a sensuous, artistic piece of automotive beauty. That includes me, of course. And, it is very rare at that type of venue, making it all the more interesting.

      Don’t like it? Each to his own taste, of course. I am not a fan of some marques or models myself, but understand that as a personal tendency, not reliant on someone else telling me what I should or should not find attractive.

      You do bring up an interesting premise, I just don’t agree.

      • cory

        i agree, jaguar makes one of the most beautiful engines, and a sound to go with it. however the mk2 is far more attractive in my eyes.

      • cory

        E type wheels did look good on my old xj6 though

  22. Alweeja

    The E-Type Jaguar is by Far the best looking Jag built. Where do you think the 240-Z uncovered “their”. HaHa body design. Originality…..NOT

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