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Priced To Sell: 1969 Jaguar E-Type Convertible

An all too common occurrence with restoration projects are shops that go to town on a particular car and not keep the owner informed of the costs piling up along the way. That’s not to say the owner of a car like this 1969 Jaguar E-Type shouldn’t have kept on top of the technician charged with bringing it back to life, but I’ve seen plenty of good cars end up parked because the invoices kept piling up, shattering the owner’s perceived budget. That’s the fate that put this E-Type convertible here on eBay, where bidding is at $14K with the reserve unmet. 

One of the biggest challenges I’ve seen in the shop/customer relationship is the customer being unaware that a simple problem became a big one, and the shop continues on with the list of work without telling the owner that one job cost three times more than expected. Who knows if that’s what occurred here, but it’s obvious this Series II droptop was deep in the restoration process before work stopped. The seller notes the restoration started ten years ago and the E-Type was put into hibernation soon after.

The Jaguar is located in Long Branch, New Jersey, not exactly the salt-free capital of the world. Still, the seller claims the body remains in good condition and that “…a lot of work has been done.” No invoices or receipts are provided establishing what that work includes, but hopefully, one record would show that the numbers matching 4.2L inline-six received some servicing as part of the owner’s unexpected costs. Series II cars are a bit less desirable, owing to the increased emissions controls (and reduced performance) along with the loss of the enclosed headlamps.

Still, these will always be drop-dead gorgeous cars. As a true two-seater, this E-Type is still a cut above the unloved 2+2 cars. With a view of the whole car, it’s obvious some level of bodywork was carried out which hopefully means rust is at a minimum. We’d love to know the backstory of how the E-Type got so close yet remained so far from completion, and hopefully, the seller’s claim that it’s “priced to sell” holds true and the reserve is soon cleared.

Comments

  1. 86 Vette Convertible

    This seller has at least Jags listed. I’ve loved XK’s for years but this one is a total question mark. No telling if it’s complete and what would be required to get it back on the road. Go into it with open eyes and a very large checkbook.

  2. Ben Member

    I may not know these Jags as well as some of the BF readers, but the pictures show the one piece hood lifted up, and the fender wells/wheel wells definitely don’t look correct to me. They are also all bent up…..

    Good luck to the buyer.

  3. Pete

    It looks to me like an unskilled body person tried to fix that front bonnet and missed the mark. You would need a replacement assembly along with the frame supports. If you can find one it is gonna cost you probably around 5 or 6k unless you get real lucky. The actual frame might also be twisted up which would cause it not to fit correctly at the firewall. Your gonna really need to know your jag stuff to buy that one and eyeball it real close like before ya do. If all that is the matter is the bonnet. Then you might can do ok with a restoration. If they sell for 50K all pretty, can you buy it, fix it and then drive it for 35K or less. If yes then it’s doable. Ok I just saw more pics and it is already at 16K bids. The engine is out and taken apart. I dunno bout all that.

  4. Dolphin Member

    Definitely one of the most important factors in having a “great experience” with a vintage or collector car is pinning down the total cost, or at least being aware of any increase in the cost as work progresses, and agreeing—or not agreeing—to the cost increase.

    Many of the top restorers doing big-$$$ cars that have big-$$$ resto bills periodically bill the owner as the work progresses. Not necessary or appropriate for every resto, but the shop and the owner need to stay in touch.

    I am not aware of a restoration or complete bare-metal paint job on a valuable collector car that ended up with a bill that was lower than the estimate. Maybe there have been some, but not too likely.

    As for this Jag, there are a lot of things about the description that are garbled or vague, like the numbers that are claimed to match. The VIN, which Ebay has a place for in car listings, is missing. This ad would definitely make me want to check the car out first.

  5. Tim

    This is a classic case of ‘don’t buy sight unseen’. I’m sure the seller is well meaning but there just aren’t enough good clear pictures with all the details to buy this without going and running your hands (and a magnet!) over the body. Given they rot, given the standard of some existing repairs, the fact it’s New Jersey, etc, etc nobody should bid without visiting it in person. If they do, then good luck!

  6. george

    i dont understand how this buyer can sell anything without seeing it and just flips it from photos he gets from the last seller. ???

  7. Coventrycat

    There are no “unloved” Jaguars. Well, except the X Type.

  8. mike D

    ended because of an error in the listing..(??)

  9. Mickey Dorsey

    As the owner/operator of a restoration shop in the mid ’80s, I can vouch for the fact that some customers ignore what has to be verbal estimates, because of the unknowns, and assume that a verbal estimate is a final cost. I had a project like this with a customer who flaunted his money and position, brought dignitaries to the shop to see the project, and then six months into the project informed me that his business was slow and he would not be able to pay the bill. I stopped work and put the car in the corner and started on the next one in line. When he came back to pay, I told him he would have to wait until we finished the current project. Needless to say, it turned into a legal battle. This type of experience soured my lifelong love of old cars and I closed the business after 5 years. To be fair, there were some wonderful customers too. But there were more bad than good. Anyone who wants a car restored should accept the fact that it will cost more than expected and be willing and able to pay for unexpected surprises. Restoration is not a good business model unless you have deep pockets or customers with deep pockets.

  10. Robert G Thomas

    I remember waiting to gain entrance into something in downtown Manhattan back in the 1980s and a bare-chested man dropped someone off in a really dingey silver E-type. Even in that condition, the car attracted incredible admiration from people around me. I think I remember reading somewhere that Enzo Ferrari himself admitted this was the most beautiful car.

  11. johnny

    wow dunlop sp sports tyres… now thats a good reason to take it on ..

  12. SteveN

    what if you don’t restore it? just bolt it back together, bodge an electric system and drive the snot out of it

  13. SteveN

    what if you don’t restore it? just bolt it back together, bodge an electric system and drive the snot out of it!

    Like 1

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