Mysterious Beauty: 1966 Jaguar E-Type

Could you ever get tired of looking at this shape? I don’t think I could, although I guess you’d have to ask me when I’m staring down the first big mechanic’s bill to get the whole truth. Still, there are few automotive shapes as pure as that of a Series I Jaguar E-Type, and I think the fastback roofline of the fixed-head coupe like this ’66 is the perfect topper. This lovely survivor adds a layer of honest use on top of those lines; how much is that worth? We’ll have to wait and see; with just one day left on its eBay listing, the reserve hasn’t been met with bidding up to $35,900 as of this writing.

Would you restore or preserve this Jag as-is? I’d lean toward the former—and I suspect a good bath would go a long way, and might have encouraged the seller to complement these photos with some of a clean car—but the photo above does lead me to reconsider and take exception with the seller’s assertion that the body shows “no…accident damage.” What happened to the driver’s side front quarter then? Still, from other angles, the rest of the car does present as very straight, and there’s nothing to contradict the seller’s claim of no rust aside from a holey muffler; the rest of the underside looks quite good. It’s hard to tell how tired the paint is; again, that dirt. The grille-mounted driving lights are a neat addition, even if they do give the car a slightly buck-toothed appearance.

An even cooler period modification can be found inside, where the glovebox has been replaced by some complex-looking aftermarket stereo equipment. The photos aren’t high-res enough to enlarge and get a good look at many of the markings, although the buttons on the right are labeled “Record” (is that like a tape recorder, or a record player?) and “Stereo,” and the brand name “Lafayette” is clearly visible. Any experts on vintage audio equipment able to shed more light on this setup? Otherwise, the interior has been more thoroughly cleaned than the exterior and, some seam splitting aside, looks really lovely. Aw, to heck with it, here comes the “P-word”: it has absolutely perfect patina. I’d kill to spend some quality time with my butt on that leather and my mitts on that wood.

This being a Series I coupe, Jaguar’s 4.2-liter inline six is resplendent under the hood, with a four-speed stick handling shifting duties. The seller spent most of the very brief description listing the original documentation and tools that come with the car, which is very neat, but neglected to say whether the car actually runs or is drivable. I think that they might have had an easier time reaching their reserve if they had answered more of the basic questions like these, said something about the car’s history and the period accessories that make this coupe unique, and included before and after photos of the car in as-found condition. Beauty will take you so far, and this is a beauty; what would it take for you to get this Jag over the finish line?

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Comments

  1. Mark S.

    Buddy of mine had a ’67, same color and everything except it had a slush bucket instead of the stick. He rebuilt just about everything on that car himself. Good thing he’s good w/ British cars or all that would have cost him a fortune to pay someone. I got to drive it after it was done, really quite a car.

  2. Luke Fitzgerald

    That is the poxiest thing Ive seen – looks like a cross between an 8 track and a radar detector – car looks remarkable solid & original – bet it doesn’t go, or go well

  3. stillrunners LAWRENCE Member

    Neat-o……

  4. JustTheCaptain

    That is a pretty good whack to the left front, playing fast and loose with the no body damage claim.

    • Peter

      sellor claims no acident damage ( : 3 mins to go…..

  5. spacelifer Member

    It’s an old Lafayette stereo level indicator used for setting up speakers in various locations from a single control point. No idea why it would be hooked up in a car with an eight track though, except maybe it looked high tech back in the day!

    • Christopher Wenz

      I would look into who the original owner was. Might be a worthy search that could turn up an unknown history.

  6. Fred W.

    Not sure about the “record” button on the dash, but there were lots of 8 track recorders back in the day that could record songs off the radio in glorious stereophonic.

  7. Brad

    Those driving lights would have to go, unless I was willing to nickname it Sir Hiss…

  8. jdjonesdr

    Boy… I’m here to tell you, I could just sit in that drivers seat and look at that interior for a long time. I’ve always been crazy about these things, but never crazy enough to buy one. Came really close once, but couldn’t agree on a price.( we were stuck between 2200 and 2400 and both of us were hardheaded) Perhaps a blessing in disguise.

  9. Steveb

    I suspect it runs, based on the car being moved around for the photos.

  10. John D

    It looks like the negative of the eBay 1st engine picture is reversed with the exhaust manifolds on the passenger side. I wonder how I would fit in the coupe, my head was firmly stuck to the canvas on my roadster, so I mostly drove it with the top down

  11. TriPowerVette

    I have owned 5 Jaguars, including the XJ-6 that is my current daily driver. 2 of those were XK-E’s. Both were DHC’s. When I saw those fog lamps crammed into an already too small radiator opening, the hair on the back of my neck stood up.

    Many years ago, I was test-driving a ’65 Coupe, with the idea that I would buy it (the price was right). An already gloomy sky finally let go, and my test drive included an inclement weather proof as well.

    As I put the cat through its paces (as best I could, in wet weather traffic), there occurred to me the thought that this was exactly the weather the car would have been designed for back in Jolly Wet England (a rarity, though, in Jolly Bone Dry Scottsdale, Arizona). Just as that slight comfort had set in, the radiator let go, too, and I experienced something that I had never even considered. A chilling thundershower and an overheated cat (nothing unusual about the second part, but in a downpour?)

    I didn’t buy the ’65.

    The fog lamps on this ’66 demonstrate unequivocally that the owner of this one hadn’t the slightest clue what his car was all about. Be very wary of any evidence of severe overheating. Might cost the would be buyer his or her matching numbers.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!

  12. noexit

    “The car has a great original body with no rust or accident damage.”

    Correct. The left front was done on purpose.

  13. John

    If I remember right, the outward “flare” on the front hood is what happens when it falls off of a jack whilst “exchanging” the tires. Going to consume a good bit of the coin of the realm to un-flare it. But this could be a gorgeous car. Heck, it IS a gorgeous car. Unfortunately, I am sadly lacking in coin of the realm. I hope it finds a great home.

  14. Rob

    I learned to drive stick on one just like this, 66, 4 speed. So much torque, just let the clutch out slowly until it engages, stop for a second, and then let it out the rest of the way.
    Awesome car, steep maintenance costs, but, fun, wow.

  15. fred

    I agree that claim of no damage and the left front picture don’t go together. Maybe he was talking about a different car.

  16. Enrico Roselli

    My father Luigi (GT Car Service) had a Jag repair shop, gorgeous cars, wish I had invested in one in my younger days!

  17. dan

    Jag dash with toggle switches, doesn’t get any better than that

  18. Charlie

    I think that Lafayette products were made and sold by Radio Shack. Decent but not the best.

    • Lance

      Charlie, No not exactly. Lafayette Radio was headquartered in Soyesset, New York. Allied Radio Shack was headquartered in Dallas, Texas. They were rivals. LaFayette folded sometime in the 1970’s

  19. Peter

    $47,550.00

  20. Drew

    Wait, did somebody say RadioShack and Decent in the same sentence…..?

  21. charlie Member

    If any car could be said to be erotic, just sitting still, this was it, in fixed head or convertible guise. And, to drive it, well, I was only 25, and got turned on easily. Top down, 4 speed, FAST for 1967, Girlfriend whose father owned the car, noticed, told her it was her influence, but really, it was the car.

  22. Duvi

    Hi from England.

    Lafayette Radio Corp.; New York, N.Y., 100 Sixth Avenue (Syosset).
    Formerly: Wholesale Radio Service Co. Inc.
    Trade names LaFayette, Trutest.
    The company sold radio sets, amateur radio equipment, citizen’s band (CB) radios, and other communications equipment, as well as electronic components and even tools, through retail outlets as well as by mail-order. Rider’s names the organization (for model D6): “Lafayette Radio” and below that: “Radio Wire Television Inc.”

  23. Duvi

    Another picture

  24. Maestro1 Member

    Under $25,000 purchase price and then you are North of another $25,000 to get it reasonably fixed. The whole front clip has to be replaced; it’s all one piece practically to the windshield. Parts aren’t hard to get but a big number. It’s worth it; these cars have big upside but watch the costs.

  25. KKW

    There it is again, my Johnny Speed remote control car, the closest I ever got to the real thing. Lol

  26. Alford Pouse Member

    When did they switch over to the 4.2 from the 3.8?

    • Jim

      1966

  27. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended: Jan 02, 2018 , 5:02PM
    Current bid:US $47,550.00
    Reserve not met
    [ 82 bids ]

  28. Jim

    I would call it a series 1.5, these 66 models where a mix of series one and 2 parts. The bodies on these can be an expensive nightmare to put right.

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