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Jaguar E-Type Project Find

Jaguar E-Type

We’ve never been ones to be bashful about our love of cars! We are the glass half full kind of car guys. Show us a rusty old station wagon or a dirty old Pacer and we will look for its redeeming qualities. You can look for the worst in any car, but to see its good traits first is what it means to be a true car nut. Don’t be mistaken, certain flaws can’t be completely overlooked, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still find the good. We have to admit though, sometimes we get so fixated on the good that we miss or overlook some major flaws. Take the Jaguar E-Type, it is in our opinion one of the most gorgeous cars to have ever graced the road, but it’s easy to overlook some major issues simply because of how much we love the way they look. When Peter M sent us this E-Type that’s been listed here on eBay in the UK, we thought it would be a good chance to look at both the good and the bad.

Jaguar E-Type cowl

To start out, yes this car is in the UK, but that doesn’t mean this discussion doesn’t apply to buying one anywhere else. This first bit of advice also applies to just about any old car and that’s to watch out for rust. We will admit that we’ve purchase a car or two thinking that a small spot of rust on the fender would only be a small problem, only to discover after purchasing the car that that small bit of rust was just the surface of a much larger and much more serious issue. It’s difficult to see from these photos if this Jag is rusty or solid, but there are a few things that make us worry. If you take a close look at the first image, you might notice stripes running the length of the car. We’ve seen strips like this before and they happen as a result of being stored in a barn with a leaky roof, which means this Cat has been wet on a regular basis. Something we also noticed was that spot of rust on the firewall; it doesn’t look serious, but could suggest there is more rust on the firewall.

Jaguar E-Type motor

Rust isn’t an issue that is saved just for the body, it can also be an issue for mechanical systems. In the case of the Jaguar, it’s easy to see the 3.8 liter straight six is missing a few important pieces, like the head, which has allowed rust to form in the cylinders. Anything can be fixed or saved, it you have the budget and means to have it fixed. We have no doubt fixing this motor is going to be expensive and seeing as it is going to need a complete rebuild, we aren’t going to touch on any of the other possible mechanical issues. We will however touch on the chance of corrosion and damage to the wiring. We would plan on installing new wiring and on having more than a few issues with the Lucas electrical system.

Jaguar E-Type side view

Your probably wondering when we are going to talk about the good things with this car. All we have to say about that is it’s a Jaguar E-Type! Sure it needs just about everything and is going to be a costly undertaking, but when it’s done you will be the proud owner of one the best looking and driving cars on the road. When you’re buying a project like this you have to be critical or you might end up getting in too deep, but at the same time you have to dream a little and stay excited about the finished product or you will lose steam and never finish. You have to be the judge of what you can tackle and what you can’t, but no matter what, remember to always look for the good or you’ll always want something different right away! Our thanks to Peter for the submission!



    Used to love these Jags until I was around them enough at a friends Body Shop that specializes in restoring them.

    Now I look at this one and see putting a 2JZ in place of the rusted out 6 and making something stupid :P

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    • Jim-Bob

      Exactly! If it’s too far gone for a proper restoration, why not just cobble it together as a unique Frankenstein of a car!

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        Well at the Foreign Resto shop that my friend first worked at they brought in a XKE convertible back int he late ’80s that was found sitting in a creek in the woods where it was wrecked for years.

        Someone used it as a field beater and just left it there to rot and rot away it did. Some of the metalwork I witnessed then fabricate was incredible but with was it worth it for what the car was worth :?

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  2. Manuel Override

    Lots going on here that didn’t occur in the original build. Take the tail lamps….Looks much like those found on an Volvo 1800ES. Deffo not the ones you’d expect, yet they seem to work aesthetically… -and no series one car was built with side marker lamps…still, could be a fun iteration of an iconic shape

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  3. paul

    Being from the US I have never seen those tail lights & of course the spacing for the tag is larger.Too bad about the flare job but I suspect a complete new tub is in order.

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  4. Catfish Phil

    Those tail lights look like the ones on my ’75 Triumph Spitfire… suspecting some major rust there, too.

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  5. Bryan Cohn

    Interesting fender flares too. This one has seen modified at some point in its life, might be good, probably bad….

    Run for your life, no good can come of this poor Jag.

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  6. Dolphin Member

    – wrong, overlarge, ugly tail lights
    – butchered headlight surrounds
    – ugly incorrect fender flares
    – wrong exhaust
    – tiny aftermarket steering wheel
    and that doesn’t even get to the rust, general deterioration, and any other parts that are missing.

    This was a boy-racer’s car, and since then it looks like everything but the engine block has been removed and is…..who knows where?

    No information or documents, but if the December, ’62 registration that’s claimed is correct it might be an early flat-floor car, which means that someone will buy it and likely pay way more than anyone would have thought. Even if everyone thinks the guy overpaid, in a few years the car will probably be worth the purchase price + restoration costs, or probably more. The world of collector cars works in strange ways.

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  7. Rob K

    I did a DVLA check on this car and it was first registered 11th December ’62. They list it as white in colour and that it was last registered for road use in 1986. It’s obviously had a hard life and extensive fiberglass modification/repair. There even looks to be a hole under the rear licence plate, and I suspect that there is a lot of filler and fiberglass hiding elsewhere. The seats, mirrors, lights and side markers are all ugly and wrong. This would take someone with deep pockets to make it better. They’d be better off buying a more viable project or restored car in my opinion.

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  8. William Baron Graham

    No one has mentioned the unusual console and shifter, pop-up gas filler, the rear wiper arm, through the body exhaust outlets and aftermarket outside mirrors. No, I have had a lot of rough E-types, but this one needs to be left alone….it’s scarry!

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  9. Matt

    There is LOTS wrong with this car. Having been elbows deep in a S1.5 ’65 E-Type, I can say with near certainty that the only thing holding the floor together in this car is rust. The head has been off the car for quite some time, and the engine is likely ruined.

    As others have pointed out, there have been many ‘mods’ done to this car, including that rear wiper (hideous) – I’ve never seen one on a FHC E-Type.

    The seats are clearly from something much newer.

    The build tag on the bulkhead would certainly clear up a lot of questions about this car, but the seller doesn’t seem to know much about the car.

    If there is no racing pedigree that can be realistically documented, this is just another S1 FHC, dissolving away. While I wish and hope that someone in the UK saves it, I don’t have high hopes for it’s full recovery.

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  10. le-stick

    Initial thoughts were this was a jpr-wildcat kit car and unfinished (they started making them in 1984), it was registered in 62, as another poster has said, but thats only based on a licence plate, not a vin, and the running gear for the wildcat, couldve come from another pre 62 car (maybe a white one :) )- i hope im completely wrong but the look of the interior / rear end and other markers suggest its been interestingly modified to say the least, and the hole in the rear looks like GRP as well – having owned 2 etypes before, i wouldn’t even bid without seeing it in the flesh……

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    • le-stick

      i think this could have been a US import too, converted to right hand drive? i thought only US spec cars had the driving lights as seen on the rear arches, cant think of any RHD model that had them? – it certainly might have an interesting history at least?

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    • Rob K

      JPR was my first thought too, or possibly a Series 3 that was being made to look like a Series 1.5, but I assumed that a JPR would be a fiberglass body and there is way too much rust on the body for it to be anything other than steel. The Dec ’62 registration date ruled out the Series 3 theory and the roofline looks too low as well. If it was a US import as someone else suggested, then the first registration date would have reflected the date imported rather than the date it was built. Either that or we are looking at a cloned car, that was cloned simply to get the registration number off a wrecked or rusted series 1. Stranger things have happened….. Either way, it’s a shed, in a shed. Steer clear!

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  11. Rene

    You can say “project” again!

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  12. Pat Calhoun

    I love tilting wind mills but I ‘ve played with just a few of these and from what I can see its parts.

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  13. Aussie Pete

    It has flaired wheel arches and a massive dent in the roof and exhaust pipes that are just wrong

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  14. alan

    Nuts! 16,000 quid for this. It would have been cheaper to go shopping in the USA and stay at top hotels for less money.

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