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Needs Reassembly: 1968 Jaguar E-Type Roadster

It’s hard to know what stalls restorations, especially when they’re in the home stretch, as this 1968 Jaguar E-Type Series 1.5 clearly is. It’s ready for reassembly here on eBay in Independence, Oregon with a $36,000 bid and the reserve not met.

The owner says the black E-Type was undergoing a “cost-no-object” restoration, and that “most of the hard work is done, [and the car is] “ready for reassembly.” That’s confirmed by a multitude of pictures. The bodywork is done, and the new paint looks very good indeed. The chrome—sparse on the E-Types—has been redone to a high standard, as have the red leather seats. The car comes with a new console, a polished tri-carb setup, multiple wire wheelsets, door panels, and a very attractive option—a factory hardtop with its original silver paint in good condition.

Since it’s a matching-numbers car, the Jaguar twin-cam seen in the photos is a 4.2-liter unit. One of the few things that’s not clear is whether it has been rebuilt, though we know the tri-carb setup has been polished. And was the transmission redone? The brakes and suspension are new, but a new top and exhaust are needed. The title is clear.

Hagerty puts a 1968 1.5 E-Type in good condition at $45,000, but that’s for the coupe—roadsters are way more valuable. I see a ’68 with 28,000 original miles listed for $119,000. This one could be as good, but it will take some time to put the jigsaw puzzle back together.

I look at this listing somewhat ruefully because, perhaps 30 years ago, I stood in a Connecticut backyard and looked at an E-Type coupe of just this vintage. It had been painted also, and the drivetrain was in place. But the seats needed reupholstering, the glass was out, and the chrome off. The owner wanted $3,000.  I passed. Oh for a time machine.

The 1.5s are kind of rare. They were in production only from 1967 to 1968. The 4.2-liter engine was fitted in 1964, and if you want a car with that motor and the covered headlights, go ’64, ’65, or ‘66. The 4.2 has the same 265 horsepower as the 3.8, but more torque. A big plus is that the gearbox was now all-synchromesh. The early gearboxes are the Achilles Heel of these models. Also, a plus on the 1.5s is improved braking.

By 1971, Jaguar had also fielded the V-12 model—more of a grand tourer. They’re all great cars. Reports Autocar, “Today, the E-Type is rightly regarded as a blue-chip classic.”

The current owner of the ’68 E-Type has owned it for more than five years, and freely acknowledges, “The vehicle needs work and is not regularly driven.” With no drivetrain, I imagine not! Any E-Type restoration is daunting, but with all the work done on this one perhaps less daunting than most.


  1. mike b

    If it is a cost-no-object project why not pay someone to reassemble it properly? Too many toys. (None of them looking more interesting than this.)

    Like 3
  2. Terrry

    There’s nothing like an E-type, and unless the price goes totally nuts this would be a good buy for the right assembler.

    Like 4
  3. bobhess bobhess Member

    For the asking money why would you not paint the engine compartment, interior floors and trunk and engine block. Can’t see if the underside of the hood and rear deck lid are painted but all that stuff needs to be sealed before putting anything together on this one. With no pictures there is no telling what the underside looks like. Too much money for a half assed finished product.

    Like 1
  4. John higgins

    I have been here before,tempting but time and money are a big factor as I would be ahead with both by just buying one done for the 125K value.I seriously doubt if this car was originally black which would prevent it from the big bucks buyer paying a premium, then add in the cost of properly rebuilding the driveline plus the sorting through all the bits and pieces if you weren’t the one who took it apart is not for the amateur garage project person.That being said for a knowledgeable XKE shop it wouldn’t be that hard but be prepared for a least a year and and an invoice between 75-100K before you could drive it home.Just for comparison though I just watched a man pay 50K for a one owner 64 E type that had been sitting in a garage under a tarp since 1982 untouched or driven with the engine frozen solid ,no rust but rodent nests everywhere and needing all mechanical components rebuilt and that would make this car look like a steal !

    Like 1
  5. Tin Box

    ‘Cost no object restoration’ ha! – even on my phone I can see that the firewall and interior weren’t painted, has the original wiring harness still in it, and the engine wasn’t rebuilt either.
    Are the front frames new? If so was the body work done with them fitted…was the nose mocked up with them? ….if not someone’s in for a surprise at the end.
    Having restored 20+ E-types, with the majority of them brought in like this, this will be a long painful project if not done by someone very methodical and willing to do a lot of trial assembly.

    Like 6

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