French Garage Find: 1964 Jaguar E-Type

1964 Jaguar E-type in France

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BarnFinds has become a truly global community, with readers all over the world. When we started this site, we had no idea we would make friends with people on every continent. We love to hear from all our BFF’s (Barn Finds Friends?) no matter where they are located. The language barrier can be a bit troublesome at times, but so far we have been lucky and been able to piece things together. We recently received a great submission from Thierry D for an amazing Jaguar that is set to go to auction in Fontainebleau, France. This was one of the times that we got lucky, as the listing is both in French and English. Even if you are thousands of miles from this 1964 Jaguar E-Type, it has some very interesting history and is definitely worth a look. Find it listed here on where is will hit the block on June 22.

Jaguar 3.8 inline 6

This Jag was found in what appears to be an old garage, where it spent the past 42 years! The car looks to have been preserved very well. The original owner was at one time a driver for Bugatti and was the last Frenchman to race for Bugatti in International Grand Prix. Like most race car drivers, the owner loved to go fast. Shortly after taking ownership of this E-Type, he decided it just wasn’t fast enough. After a trip to his race car mechanic in Molsheim, France, the E-Type’s top speed was 7 mph faster. We would love to know what exactly the mechanic did to it, but without paperwork or pulling it apart we won’t know for sure. Any Jaguar experts out there with any ideas as to what a might have done to squeeze the extra power and of it?

Jaguar FHC interior

After it was tuned, the odometer was reset back to zero. Someone had the sense to document the original mileage beforehand and recorded it as having 40k kilometers on it. It than saw another 6k kilometers before going into storage, so if we do the math we find that this has just 28k miles on it! The seller claims the car is in great shape inside and out, but doesn’t state whether it currently runs or not. Cars go into storage for a number of reasons, but the most common is mechanical failure. Perhaps whatever Oswald the mechanic did caused the engine to fail prematurely? As long as the block isn’t damaged, it shouldn’t be impossible to get the original motor running again. Parts might get a bit pricey, but this investment is only going to go up in value.

1964 Jaguar E-Type

After looking through the auction catalog, we spotted several cars at this event that we would love to learn more about. Sadly their descriptions are in French only. Perhaps one of our bilingual BFFs could translate a few of them for us? Be sure to take a look at the catalog yourself and let us know if there are any offerings that stand out to you!

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Horse Radish

    A French Race car driver buying an English Jaguar, then entrusts a German ?, (or French guy from Alsace) mechanic to get more top speed out of the car and then parks it in a barn for 42 years.
    Somebody will pay a lot of money just to be able to tell that story…..
    the seller waited long enough, ’til everybody, who knew that these cars weren’t that great to begin with (wiring, reliability, etc.) have died or are senile enough not to remember.
    Now he can cash in.

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    • JoshAuthor

      Haha! I’m glad I wasn’t the only one that connected the “Frenchman driving an Englishman’s car that had been tuned by a German” dots. It certainly makes for an interesting and slightly comical story. It makes me wonder, did he drive a British car because it was better than a French car? Which then leads me to wonder if it was then parked in the garage when he discovered he’d made a mistake? This is all speculation of course, but it make you wonder!

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  2. Mark E

    If I had $100k to spend, I’d be interested in either the 1955 Lagonda or especially the lovely 1951 Delhaye. I’d recommend running the text for the Delhaye through the translator. It’s an interesting story of how the owner went to an auction in ’98 where the Delhaye had an auction estimate of 100-120k francs. Since he had a budget of 50,000f he ignored it and looked at other cars. The Delhaye came up last, most of the people were gone and he managed to bag it for 50,000f! Then the story continues how he got the engine running and spent over 5 years putting 2800+ hours restoring it & then entering it in numerous concours de elegance. Wow…^_^

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  3. Mark E

    Forgot to add, there’s a 550 Maranello in the auction too…the only Ferrari that I’d be tempted to buy. A friend who was a Ferrari aficionado went on and on about how the 550 was both relatively affordable and, compared to most Ferraris, relatively reliable. I guess they’re affordable simply because most buyers don’t want a large, 4-seater Ferrari but I think they are lovely.

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  4. jim s

    does the car like the story have some holes it? just saying. you need a pro to do a PI on this before you bid. it could be a great car for someone. i do not see many being driven any more.

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  5. hhaleblian

    Time to dump a 356 or an early 911 for this one. I’m hooked and a gonner on this one.

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  6. DolphinMember

    At the equivalent of US$51K-$61K this is underpriced for what it is and the condition, even ignoring the barn find and bottom end modification story. The engine bay and interior look pretty good, and so does most of the body except for the rust along the bottom of the rocker on the right ride, and probably on the left side too. If that’s the extent of it, this early 3-carb E-Type will be a fairly straightforward restoration, or better still, just clean it up and drive it.

    These have long gears, which I prefer in a road car, and nice firm torsion bar suspension in front for all that inline-six weight. They can overheat in the summer with a too-small rad and air intake, but that wasn’t unique to the E-Type among British cars, which were really designed with cool Britain in mind, not Las Vegas and Phoenix.

    Apart from cooling problems and dodgy electrics, the other disadvantages are the narrow track and the mechanical complexity. It’s a vintage British car, designed in the 1950s and mostly hand made.

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  7. jean Lecointe

    I would gladly help to translate the description of the lots you are interested about.
    Just quote the numbers of the lot and send them to me.
    The story of the Bugatti’s driver seem a little strange, if I am not mistaken the last racing car was built in 1951 with little success. that car is presently in the ex Schlumpf collection.
    I think that, in 1964 Bugatti factory in Molsheim (FRANCE) was part of a group Messier, Bugatti, Hispano which designed and manufactured aircraft landing gears. Nevertheless the factory did work for the Schlumpf family, providing parts and refurbishing.motors.

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  8. Charles Fawcett

    The story, true or not, has no bearing on the value of the car. I’ve had some E-Type experience, and this car appears to be complete, which means a lot. Parts are expensive! The rust on the sills is the primary concern, These are structural members that act as the frame of the car. If they are severely rusted, the car could literally break in half. This requires close inspection before any serious bid is tendered.

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  9. Jim-Bob

    The translation is right there on the same page. It begins about midway down, oddly without a paragraph break after the French one.

    As to the car itself, I have never been a fan of these. The tires are too small and it is too long for it’s width. I would much rather have a few other cars in the auction instead, like one of the Fiat 500s, the Mini Countryman or even the Rover P5.

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  10. cliffyc

    Is the E-Type not unlike Marilyn Monroe, beautful to look at, but tricky to live with …?.

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    • Jim-Bob

      Well..unless you’re undead!

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  11. Newport Pagnell

    “E-Type’s top speed was 7 mph faster”…Changed out the speedo gear?

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  12. Kman

    Say what you will about the ‘E’ types, Il. Commendatori himself said it was the most beautiful car ever. At least to look at.

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  13. Jake

    Quickest thing to do to improve performance on an E type is a lightened flywheel or today an aluminum flywheel, spins it up faster and easier. Car looks good but as already said, definitely check her for rust cause if showing on sills (rockers) need to find if any internal rust that can’t seen in pictures, but she is very complete!!!

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