Is This The Ideal Project E-Type?


Ok, so it’s not a Series 1 or even a 1-1/2. But that just makes it more affordable! This would be my ideal project E-Type; a true garage find that hasn’t been driven since 1996, but has been stored on a concrete floor and has minimal rust. Jim S. sent in this tempting kitty, which is located entirely too far from me in Marshall, Michigan and is up for sale here on eBay at no reserve!


That shiny fender really has you wondering, doesn’t it. As it turns out, the owner had the E-Type stripped to bare metal and repainted shortly after purchase in 1976. Unfortunately, there is some rust poking it’s way back through, but based on the excellent detail pictures provided by the seller I don’t see anything that would worry me too much. I would like to see some under car pictures, though, as there are some E-type rust spots that can be really expensive to repair.


You can see some of the rust on this closeup of the right rear fender lip. Again, nothing I’m terribly worried about, but I don’t think there’s any hope of keeping this paint intact, and it’s dangerous to leave any rust in an E-Type. Obviously after twenty years in Mom’s garage (thanks, Mom!) you’ll need to replace tires, weatherstripping, hoses, belts and other soft goods. And considering you already know that the clutch needs replacement (that’s why the car was taken off the road in the first place) you can plan on an engine-out period of time. And if you’re doing that, you might as well detail under the hood…oh my, this is how I end up restoring cars instead of enjoying driving them! Follow my lead at your peril!


If you are expecting to be let down by the interior, forget it. Apart from a shift boot that needs replacing, the seats have just the right amount of wear to be comfortable. And with air conditioning, the last thing I need is there! Yup, there’s a hole for the radio. Ask me if I care! I don’t want to listen to the radio, I want to listen to that beautiful XK 6-cylinder engine!


Speaking of engines, here it is. The seller makes it clear that it hasn’t been started in 20 years, and it looks the part in these shots. It does look complete and unmolested, though, so that’s a plus. That being said, these engines are robust, and this one only has 53,485 miles. It wouldn’t surprise me that after freeing the engine up, rebuilding the Strombergs (gee, I have a kit for those on the shelf) and checking the ignition system if the engine wouldn’t start. So, to me, this is the ideal project E-Type. What yours, and is this it?


  1. Buzzard

    Ebay Link?

  2. Capt Doug
    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Sorry, folks — fixed it!


    Looks like it should fire right up

  4. Zaphod

    Perfect car for a tub swap unless you like sit up and beg series 2s. No need to rebuild the engine: with 53K on it, drain the oil, flush it with diesel, fill it with synthetic and re-torque the head after it gets to operating temperature. The biggest problem will be the cooling system, rear brakes, flexible hoses and ride height but nothing dire to fix. A nice, normal (non-2+2) example should fetch around $35K so this is closing it on it’s flippability.

  5. Capt Doug
    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Now THAT’s rust! Besides, I want a coupe 😀

  6. nessy

    Project nothing…. This car just needs a good bath which should have been done before the photos were taken and some tlc. People are getting carried away with the dust photos. You can tell that dust is only a few years old. If you guys think this is a project car….Well….

  7. bcavileer

    I find all ‘E’ types beautiful regardless of the series. Shame that is all one thinks about, value and “flipability”. They are all projects, roll up your sleeves, get busy. Love it or get out of the hobby. JMO.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      I assure you, if I’m ever able to purchase one, it won’t be flipped, or even sold, until I’m gone. :-)

      • Zaphod

        Ah, you’ve never owned one… They’re like Trump’s wives: pretty but costly

  8. bcavileer

    Not talking about you, Jamie. I can tell your into it for the love of it. Just seems that the conversations just go there constantly, instead of our restoration and ownership experiences, likes and dislikes and the fun of the collector car hobby. Such a rich history in automobiles and their effect on our society being reduced to another money market game for some. Please don’t take offense to my comments, just want to see the hobby go back to what it was before it became a big business.

    • Ross W. Lovell

      Greetings All,

      bcavileer, don’t see the hobby going back as too much feeder businesses have been built up around the hobby now that it has evolved or devolved.

      On the other hand, the ups and downs always find some losers and winners.

      Forty years ago the quality of restoration/metalworking abilities were hard to come by, not now, but it does come at a cost, everything does.

      Not bustin’ you but how exactly would it go back, genie being out of the bottle and all?

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      None taken!! And I,too, tire of conversations that seem to always go to “what’s it worth?” I frequently put more into our cars than I could EVER get back out, and that’s doing most work myself. But it’s what we want to do!

  9. Jersey Joe

    Hello Gentlemen, Way too much fun to miss out on things when you get caught up in the “BIG” money car world. Unfortunately I need to flip to survive now. I always try and give it to a “regular hobbyist” for much less first, but some of this junk is way out of my price range. This is what I usually come up with (pictured). I’ve been around a bit, so I believe that I can tell the front from the back, and that’s a start. She kinda looks like a good E-Type project, from 100 yards?
    Shit, just keep having fun with “regular” iron and spend your money on beer and singing lessons.

  10. bcavileer

    Cannot go back. Thats not the point. Just a shame it just another investment game, not a passion anymore. Was at an AACA event dinner last night, the conversation always turned to valuation, purchases and anticipated returns via auction, etc.
    Should have been about driving experiences, histories and restoration advice. Again, just my observations after restoring cars for the last 30 years. BTW, never made money doing it, but have great memories of dozens of cars.

    • Ross W. Lovell

      Greetings All,

      bcavileer, I think as time goes by and the level of disposable incomes continues to drop, everything will eventually will become more monetized, the pie is only so big.

      Before 1913, we had roads, buildings and infrastructure, but no income tax.

      As the government, pick your party, takes and wastes more and more of our income other things will be looked as investment opportunities.

      Guitars, cars, cookie jars, stamps, coins, all of which will bring people out whose only purpose is to seperate the buyer from their money.

  11. ccrvtt

    It’s an E-type for Pete’s sake! Who cares about the state of the hobby or the flippability? Anyone who looks at this car and doesn’t form an immediate emotional attachment has no soul. The points are all well-taken about the costs and the amount of involvement necessary.

    But – It’s an E-type!

  12. Jersey Joe

    WOW!, And I thought Fiat Jolly’s for 80 grand only had soul. Please note: Enzo Ferrari was drinking heavily when he said the “E-Type was the most beautiful … “

  13. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    Jerry Joe, Normand Dewis of Jaguar would tell you Enzo wasn’t drinking…..

    • Jersey Joe

      Hello, I’m with you Ross. Absolutely a most beautiful car. I was just trying to get the Jaguar guys fired up a bit.

      • Ross W. Lovell

        Greetings All,

        Jersey Joe, looks are one thing but yeegads didn’t Jaguar screw the pooch when it hung those tail lights and signals off the later series cars like an after thought?

        I can live with a lot of the later changes but those……….

  14. Zaphod

    Just don’t try to drive one at any speed. Heresy perhaps but give me a Corvette any day over these things. I’ve. Fixed too many to lead with my heart. Actually I’d much prefer an XJS: shorter, lower, faster, actually handles…

  15. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    Zaphod, not sure about that. A ’61 E versus a ’61 Vette. The Vette has the edge in straight line acceleration, but no disc brakes to stop and the handling leaves a lot to be desired.

    The ride is far more comfortable in the Vette, if it’s consolation.

    • Zaphod

      IMHO: the 61 Vette is a better all round brakes non withstanding. 61 Girling disks were bad brakes: leaky, weak, prone to disk warping and the rears just a royal pain to service. ETypes have pronounced oversteer and dive characteristics worthy of submarines. Sayer was an aircraft designer, the body produces lift from almost every angle. The Vette was a far simpler machine: easy to fix, hard to break, cushier ride but built for Freeways. In spite of their slinky looks, E Types were not built for twisties.
      Simpler is better.

  16. Adam Wright

    I keep getting calls for cars but they must be “investment grade”. WTF is that? I drive them!

  17. Jersey Joe

    Ross, I hear you regarding those later lights. Did Jaguar have to do that for US safety requirements? If I was privileged to have a Series II, or a Series III for that matter,… I could got over those lights pretty quick.
    People tell me to get those Zenith Stromberg’s off the engine, put those triple 2″ SU’s back on it and you have much better performance. That’s all I would consider changing. You don’t see those lights when your driving it anyway. It’s like wearing a ugly tie, you don’t see much of it. Regards

    • Ross W. Lovell

      Greetings All,

      Jersey Joe, I’m a Jaguar guy, that and .02 cents will still leave $2.43 short for a cup of coffee.

      You’re right about the Feds Safety Requirements but forgot about emission. I had a Series 1 1/2 Roadster. Jaguar’s in between car of 1968.

      My roadster had covered lights, and an alternator, French Motorola, it received a GM unit. The lighting was improved by an aircraft sealed beam unit that had a different pattern that seem to work with the glass covers, the alternator was a definite improvement over the generator.

      Best thing Jaguar modified was the cooling system. The original had a single lawnmower style blade fan running ever so slowly on what look like a modified wiper motor by Lucas. Later ones had twin electric multi-blade fans.

      The Feds dictated taller mounted headlights, nixing the glass cover. Swapping the eared knock-offs for these pictured abominations to keep us from living out our Ben Hur fantasies. Substitution of the rocker switches for the original toggle units. The addition of a 4-way flasher system. New standards for how m. any square inches of lighting gave us those lovely lights.

      I don’t mind the change but did Jaguar designers have to go to “Trailers’R’Us” to get that rear assembly for tail lights that looks like it belongs on hanging by bungi cords off the back of a towed accident vehicle? Only willing to blame so much on BLC and the new V12 using any extra personnel for teething problems.

      The newly created emission standard found SU without a product that could go stateside in Jaguar, Triumph, and MG, hence Zenith Strombergs were fitted somewhat hastily but did the job. I feel the same, prefer SU’s and triples on Jaguar XK engines and have adapted several of my cars, no E’s currently, to this configuration along with the addition of the Laycock OD.

      Oh, just so you know…….Jaguar used triples on the XK 150’s, the E-Type and the MKX. If swapping over to SU’s on an E, get the right intake otherwise it won’t clear the bonnet, they are most assuredly not the same.

      Originally, thought that Zeniths Strangleborgs deserved their name but starting to see them somewhat differently.

      Love SU’s and their 4 moving part design, but The ZS’s suffered from first, only being a dual carb design, add the extra carb and my feeling is the missing HP would reappear, but could it pass emissions over the long haul?

      Zenith’s had one advantage the SU’s didn’t have, the automatic option, though I wasn’t a fan, works flawlessly with the ZS whereas the SU’s had their share of issues, which I believe were due to the transmission’s vacuum modulator and the carbs fighting for a limited source of vacuum. The ZS design has a much smaller vacuum chamber and 1/3 less due to having 2 carbs.

      Like always………looking for a 1930’s era Standard flathead engine for my SS1 SWB Tourer. If selling or have any leads……

  18. Jersey Joe

    Hello Ross, There is a gentleman in Monterey, California Rich Saylor
    (831) 372-9215 selling some 1936 SS Saloon parts.
    He wants to keep his drivetrain though. He might know of something out there. He is posted under Parts for Sale on the JCNA site. I haven’t had any pre-war parts in a long time. Regards, Joe

  19. Ross W. Lovell

    . Greetings All,

    Thanks Jersey Joe, already know of him. Have his e-mail. We were commiserating on parts availability for our projects.

  20. ccrvtt

    I have zero actual experience with any Jaguar, let alone an E-type. I just always loved the shape, but I will defer to the opinions of those with real world contact.

    Btw – I drive a C4 and absolutely love it.

  21. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    ccrvtt, As far as Jaguar most of my tastes run before 1985.

    The Corvette has been the benchmark for sports cars for about the last 30 years.

    You have to spend at least 50% more to find some that goes as fast and handles better.

    Love Jaguar but they are overly complex now along with overpriced and a dealer network that needs attention.

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