Less Dirt, Please: 1964 Jaguar E-Type

My title may seem antithetical to the spirit of this site, but here is, in all likelihood, a very special car that is being done no favors by its seller. A highly desirable Series I 3.8-liter Jaguar E-Type, simply not enough information or documentation is being offered for me (as if!) to even begin to consider its $120,000 asking price. I mean, as much as we love a good barn find story around here (duh), for six figures we expect to see both the dirty, as-found shots, and, you know, what’s under that dirt. It looks like it might be nice! For that kind of money, I need assurances that it is. If you’re a more indulgent sort than me with beaucoup bucks to burn, you can check it out on eBay, where it’s on offer out of Napa, California.

I mean, for this kind of money, I’m gonna need to see more of the interior than this. And no, the close-up of the speedometer doesn’t count. What kind of condition are the floors in? Is everything still there? These are questions that should be answered without having to commit to calling the seller or schlepping out to see the car at this price point. Don’t the wealthy get that way by not wasting their time?

Here is the inline six, which is said to run and drive, but at the same time the car has apparently been in storage since 1979 and hasn’t been cleaned yet, so I’d be awfully wary of driving it. What work does it need? Again, is everything there? Is it numbers matching? Who knows!

I know I’m coming down awfully hard on the seller of this car, and I’m not saying that it’s not worth the asking price. It’s a Series I E-Type; it almost certainly is worth $120,000 in today’s market. There simply isn’t enough information here to justify looking further into this car to find out. It doesn’t help that if you scroll down to the bottom of the page, eBay will show you other Jags that don’t have this problem. Here, for example, is a stunning ’64 coupe just 60 miles down the road from this car in Pleasanton, California, that has no apparent cosmetic needs and likely needs just minor mechanical refreshing (minor by vintage Jaguar standards anyway) for $15,000 less. Prefer a roadster? Here’s a Series 1-1/2 1968 in Florida that’s already been mechanically restored but needs floors for nearly $100,000 less at current bidding. Also, buddy, if you’re the second owner, this is no longer a one-owner car. That’s just math.

What do you think? Am I just being crotchety? Does the dirt make this E-Type more intriguing that others at its price point? Does the aura of mystery make you want to offer even more than the $120K ask? Enlighten me in the comments!

Fast Finds


  1. Jeffro

    For that kind of money, I expect it to fully detailed with a good amount of pictures. Lazy seller. Atleast he took it off the trailer.

  2. Joe Nose

    Like a woman caked in mud, the promise of beauty can only be revealed after a good bath in fragrant bubbles.

  3. kenneth

    Ridiculous amount!

  4. Todd Fitch Staff

    Bathe her and bring her to me.

    • Keith

      Only 9 people got the Beavis and Butt-Head reference?

  5. George

    I’d move on to something better for that kind of money.

  6. Charles

    Respectfully, I disagree completely. The “as found” barn dirt is testimony to the authenticity of the find, and many new owners may want to unveal the beauty themselves. And if you are too lazy to go for a personal inspection on a $100K plus purchase, than you have way too much money.
    This will weed out the tire kickers and dreamers, and any serious enthusiast will make the effort to inspect this car in person. It looks pretty nice under that sheath of dirt, and if I were the purchaser, i would like to do the first wash myself, and only after extensive documentation with photos and videos.
    I think that this is a more effective sale strategy on a car of this caliber.

    • Jeffro

      I have to respectfully disagree. On some cars, yes, leave it “barn found fresh”. But for that money, I would want it as presentable as possible. Would someone roll it through Barrett-Jackson like that? Some might, but most people, would clean it up. Just my opinion.

  7. jimjim

    I’m more interested in the Tiger in the garage. . .

    • Steve R

      It’s an Alpine that’s also listed for sale on eBay.

      Steve R

  8. Jay E.

    To me it looks like “As Added” dirt to try to make it look more like a barn find. Especially the front where someone apparently just threw a couple handfulls of dust at the car. How can the windows and headlight covers be so clean otherwise?

    • Joe Cat

      Jay E — I agree

  9. Dan

    A fan and a couple of handfuls of Texas dirt should produce the same effect!

  10. Dave Wright

    It’s in Napa, the monthly mortgage on a small ranch can cost that.

  11. highmiles

    Tape it down the middle and do a “NuShine” demo. Best of both…
    E-bay just provides free advertising I suspect and agree that an interested party will likely negotiate not just the price but whether or not it should be/need to be cleaned to understand the condition. Hard to tell how experienced the seller is from e-bay, they have not had much activity.

  12. JRP

    I almost bought a twin to this car back in 69 for 4K. Backed out because of a fist sized hole rusted in one rocker panel. Other than that it was in great shape. Heck it was only 5 years old. If I’d only known then what I know now. But I was a dumb high school kid then and couldn’t even afford the 4K and another car to drive so I could store the Jag. I probably would have just drove the snot out of it and ruins it. Damn the 20 20 hindsight!

  13. Stevefed

    Hi folks, I live in Napa, and if someone was seriously interested I could contact the present owner and attempt to drive over and take some more pics. Judging by the name on the selling ebay account, this might actually be a parent of a former student of mine. I am in no position to purchase, and this holiday weekend is three days of 108 and higher temps forecast, but it might let up on Monday a bit. Just putting it out there.

  14. jimbosidecar

    Looks like someone took a shovel full of dirt and threw at at the car just to get a spot on Barn Finds

  15. Rustytech Member

    What is the matter with sellers like this? If this guy would spend $30 on a pressure wash, he might get $150k for it!

  16. Peter

    The dirt doesn’t bother me, its the price that is a concern.
    A 100 point restored car of this model year / type will fetch around $160K.
    Even a sympathetic restoration of this car is going to cost around $50K, and a 100 point restoration around $80K.
    And you can’t just do the simple math.
    At best this car should not fetch more than $80K, but given the “delayed gratification” experienced in buying a car that has to be restored, waiting for the job to be completed for 2 years, tends to knock a bit off its value.
    So $60K is probably a reasonable value for it given this.
    The other thing to be considered is the concern floating around that E Type prices have peaked, and the flood of cars suddenly coming on the market is starting to hurt the selling prices.
    The current peak value for a series 1 roadster is $180K for a 100 point potential concourse winner. A lot of good minds in this game think it is sitting around $20K to $40K over priced, so real value may well fall back to a top of $160K.
    Imagine buying this beast for $120K, pumping in $50K to get it to top draw, then finding it won’t fetch more than $150K – Ooops !

    On the photo appearance, the seller is not a true salesman – no idea how to market it. Take a bunch of “as found” photos, then do some hard work cleaning it up and in running state, then photo again. You will catch a buyer around $80K to $100K that way.
    The way the seller has presented it won’t get him a single bite ………

  17. MR_TUDE

    That has got to be the worst eBay post ever…it’s not a $1,200 Craigslist car dude – wash the thing and more than 6 pictures for that kind of money…ignorant, pretentious, or both IMO….you take a couple of dirty girl pictures, then clean it up for a a proper photoshoot when you sell a 6-figure car

  18. Alford Pouse Member

    Looks like a Mercedes G series that I towed out of the woods in Germany using my Tank. Diesel smoke covered the hood and windshield, just glad the German Polizei requested and approved the tow. LOL

  19. Dave

    Love the series one Jags! This Jag took me back aways. I had a 1961 primrose yellow with luggage rack back in 1968 in high school. Traded my 1967 Mustang 6 cylinder, three speed even for it. Worked at Safeway grocery after school back then. This car brought back a lot of memories. Had to have the Jag to try and get a girl back that broke up with me. Didn’t work, but got a lot of other gals in the process. lol

  20. KevinR

    Count me in the “just wash the car” contingent. Failure to clean the car makes me view the seller and the car in a bad light.

  21. Ian McLaren

    Again i have to agree. Post as found photos (preferably where it was discovered) then clean it up and show us what you actually found. Quite frankly the dirt on this one doesn’t look that old, call me suspicious. Discovering a barn find is great but but trying to sell it in as found condition doesn’t make sense to me, I know it’s done as I have seen them at auction at and around Pebble Beach in the past few years but that is different than just in pictures as in this case. All that aside this could be a worthwhile car.

  22. John D.

    It should have been hosed off at least. When I was wholesaling some of the roachiest trades, I always said a quick wash and vacuum was worth an extra hundred dollars or more. So they hit the wash rack first and even were done before sold units.

  23. Bish

    The lil Red Alpine sure looks nice!

  24. Dan W

    It looks like the original auction ended, and the car has been washed, relisted and more pictures added. Same item description…

  25. EHide Behind

    Never a jag fan, it was English and it sucked, cheap upholstery rugs, bling on dash but never carried it quite off.
    Electronics sucked, was not any better in twisted than US Vettes.
    That said the can be money makers, not this example, way to costly and to put it into the hands of true collectors no way.
    Lots of them, some daily drivers, for half this price, well 2/3 .
    Girly boys loved these, but they wereboy and chic mahnets.
    Always reminded me of what a piimps best momma drove, flash on outside rotten on inside.

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