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Jaguar E-Type Project Cars

When we came across this 1963 Jaguar E-Type here on eBay, we thought the price was way too high for a car that’s been parked in a barn for the past 18 years and isn’t running. As we were reading the listing we realized that the auction isn’t for one car, but this car and a 1964 E-Type parts car. The starting bid is set at $25,000, which may still be a bit high given the condition of the cars.

This red ’63 XKE has been parked in this barn for the past 18 years. The seller claims the car only has 32,600 miles on it. It’s possible that this is the correct mileage, but the seller doesn’t seem to have any way to prove it. This car is in considerably better condition than the parts car, which has been stored outdoors. It’s hard to tell for sure, but the engine looks complete and hopefully won’t need a complete rebuild. Part of what makes the E-Type such a great car is Jaguar’s 3.8 liter straight six engine, which was rated at 265 hp. We doubt the Zebra print blanket has done much to protect the engine, but you never know.

The interior looks complete and needs a good cleaning. It will be difficult to know what all will need to be replaced and what can be reused until it’s been cleaned up. The seller didn’t include many photos of the inside of the parts car, but it appears the interior is packed with parts. Given its overall condition, we are going to assume that most of its interior parts are past being salvageable.

The parts car is a year newer and has been parked outside for the past 20 or so years. Even though these cars are in California, rust has gotten to both of them. The parts car has suffered the worst and has some serious rust. The worst of the rust on the other car is in the doors, which is a common problem for uncared for E-Types. These cars were well built, but water often gets trapped in the bottom of the doors and can cause serious rust issues. We would inspect the complete car for any other serious rust issues.

We aren’t sure how big of a project the ’63 E-Type is going to be, but we doubt it will be an easy task. We aren’t sure if these cars are really worth $25,000. What do you think? Is this seller dreaming or are there enough parts here to justify this kind of starting bid? We would love to go see these cars, simply to see if there is anything else buried in the owner’s barns. If anyone is in the Lake Isabella, California area, we would love it if you could stop by and check this place out for us.


  1. tkd

    huge undertaking. This jag was an incredible machine in it’s day. My friend’s dad had one. We actually “borrowed” it one day when our parents were out of town.We thought we were the coolest kids in the world…aah the memories….

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  2. Cliff Herring

    I think the price is a mite steep. I’m thinking more along 17,000. Of course, if the engine does at least turn over, I think the whole deal would be worth 20,000.

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  3. Dolphin Member

    These cars are truly beautiful, and are still appreciating in value, but they can be very rusty inside even if they don’t look too bad, and that can be very costly to fix properly. The photos show a car that *might* be worth buying, but there are no decent shots of the areas that count—the rockers, the engine bay, the trunk, and especially the underside.

    Then there are the mechanicals, which will not have been done any good by sitting for so many years. The clutch, for example, is a very big job to replace, and it will certainly need replacing since it’s going to be rusted solid to the flywheel and pressure plate. And the engine and the rest of the drivetrain? Who knows? Peter Egan talks about how E-types used to be sold cheap to the owners’ mechanics when they were told how much it would cost to replace the clutch. But you aren’t going to get much information on the car’s driveline with the car sitting in that barn under a thick layer of dirt, and with no information in the ad about its condition. If the doors have “the standard rust for XKEs”, you can be pretty sure the rest of that standard rust is also present elsewhere in the car.

    Be careful. Be very very careful.

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  4. Ron Southan

    He must think that the dust and spider webs increase the value. He is wrong.

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  5. J. Pickett

    The key is the rust. As a monocoque it is essential to keep the cost of sheetmetal work down. Beyond that the drivetrain, Why was it parked? The parts car is a help, maybe if you buy them you can perhaps sell parts off of the parts car.

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  6. paul

    You can buy a new tub ( everything from the cowl back ) as well as anything else for these cars, they had major problems with rust in the floor’s/ rockers, whether this one doesn’t would be very surprising to me. As for the mechanicals well this one’s been sitting a long time. The interior seems OK & can be worked with, however in order to get top money for this wonderful car, ( upwards close to 6 figures ) everything would have to be gone thru, that said, these cars are just parts cars with a VIN # as for the $’s the one outside they would have to pay me to take it away & the one inside I would need to really clean it off & see for myself what all could be used, maybe 8 grand,is all it’s worth.

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  7. Marc Robertson

    Way too much Barrett Jackson for people selling any non running car.

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  8. scot c

    ~ you cannot forget your first drive in an XK E. a bit like losing your virginity or a check from your publisher after a sheaf of rejections. walking around it is pure foreplay. these remind of of why 90% of the population only see ‘old junk’ in the images.

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    • paul

      Scot C
      I am with you for sure these cars could run at 140 all day long & in 65 that was amazing & they handled, as for not being able to see more then parts cars out of these. These cars are very complicated, requiring lots of ability & tools, the engines are massive, the body’s like all cars of the day, didn’t get coated on both sides in many areas, for this reason it is important to replace the tub with new, that is dipped in epoxy primer rather then try to repair the differant areas that rust, particularly at the boxed rockers, repairing these tubs is like a dog chasing it’s tail.

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  9. Ian @ Jewel or Jalopy

    Wow, $25k for two non-runners that need a complete restoration? I helped a friend buy a running 2+2 for $2500. I know the 2+2 isn’t as nice as the 2 coupe, but not 10x nicer.

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  10. Chares Pospisil

    I work on these bad boys and the hours needed to do the work is endless! If the body is rust free on perfectly straight,that might be it’s only saving grace,but i doubt it seeing that the owner took sooo good car of the car. Don’t you know there will be one guy out there asking if it runs and some lucky shop will get to make fortune on it restoring it. this Jaguar could boost the economy and generate so many jobs the nat bebt could be lowerd HA! HA!

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  11. Rancho Bella

    who lives like this……………..

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  12. chris

    I get so tired of old hippies who have seen an episode of Barrett Jackson and suddenly seem to think their rusty pile of crap is worth something. How many of you besides me has seen some idiot trying to sell his Mother’s 1979 Boneville for 16K? Take that crap, drive it as fast as you can into the nearest tree. Worthless idiots.

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  13. Larry

    Here’s where I will get some people upset, I had a 63 roadster back in the early 70’s, got it with no engine or trans. ok here it is, I put a small block chevy in it with an automatic, it pissed off alot of people back then. but being in my early 20’s and not much money and alot of chevy parts it just made sense.
    Now I would never do that now. I would love to have a nice XKE now, but nice these, I agree with every one else, RUST is the issue.I see a lot of money being spent here and i believe you would have more in it then it would be worth.
    Why would someone put this away for 18 years and forget about it?? There has to be a reason it was parked, don’t ever forget that.

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  14. Chris

    Anyone getting into this project better have both deep pockets and restoration skills. Any work that has to be outsourced will be expensive. One of the problems with parts cars is the weak spot or worn out parts on the project car are more often than not matched by the same problem in the parts car. The clutch was a weak spot and replacing it required removal of the engine. Clutchs weren’t that expensive, hourly labor to do it right was. You’ll be dealing with 50 year old Lucas electrics, a complex IRS and inboard brakes, etc, etc. E types remind me of my gorgeous first girlfriend, both were high maintenance and almost worth it.

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  15. Andacar

    I agree with Marc Robertson that this is another example of someone watching too many Barrett Jackson auctions on TV. It’s all worth 8 grand tops, and it would be a huge pain to move it. I see years of late nights, busted knuckles, growing credit card bills and liberal amounts of swearing if anybody wants to restore this mess. As for why it was left to sit, who knows? I know a guy who has a half finished XK 120 in his garage and is “going to get around to it eventually.” He’s in his 70s and has been saying that for fifteen years. It happens.

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  16. twwokc

    Cant see where the parts car will be much help in this situation. I hope the buyer has the abilty and the resourses to do this one right…they will need plenty of both.
    I weep when I see E-types in this condition.

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  17. D. Jeffrey Craven

    I helped restore a 69. We ended up having to replace the entire underside of the car. The 63 has so much dust on it that it would have to be thoroughly cleaned just to know how bad it is. The 64 might have been the better car, as I believe 64 was a transition year for the 4.2l and full synchro transmission. Too bad about the rust.

    Any e-type these days is probably worthy of restoration, but it would be super easy to get upside down on these cars, even at $25k for the both. I think I’d be closer to $15k for both, depending upon overall condition. The nice thing about the 63 is that the interior looks to be serviceable. If it isn’t rotted and mouse-eaten, that could save a fair chunk of change. Still, both cars should be considered full resto candidates at this point, which means big dough. If the rust issues on the 63 aren’t too bad, it might be better as a patinaed car than a resto project, in terms of selling at auction.

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  18. Doug M Member

    Wow!…. just looked at the pictures on ebay. …..let’s all observe a moment of silence……. It is calling to me, yet I know it is an “upside down” project starting at $25k! ….Used to own a red 63 coupe just like that one in the seventies, and can’t get it out of my system!

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  19. stu

    I’m just finishing up a complete restoration on an E roadster, and trust me this is a huge undertaking. I’ve been at it since 1995, and honestly when you get one of these things all apart it looks like an airplane has crashed. I was lucky, mine wasn’t very rusty, but I still worry about the front frames (they hold the engine and suspension) rusting from the INSIDE. Since this one is a coupe, you would have a hard time coming out right-side-up if they gave you the thing for free. Also, 65 was the first year for 4.2 engine and all synchro trans. This one will have the 3.8 with the Moss rockcrusher. All that said, they drive beautifully and make some of the best sounds you will ever hear. Buy a good one. Enjoy it now.

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  20. Beach Roo

    Brings back memories of the first one my dad got in 1970… A 64 convertible that we restored and while we were restoring that one, he stumbled on a 63 that had been hit in the back and needed some attention… We wound up with both and had them until he passed away (When mom sold them to keep me from destroying them…) I remember my first time behind the wheel with Dad… I 95 in Wilmington DE… Nothing like it on corners of the country roads of the DELMARVA peninsula…

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