Recently Revived: 1971 Jaguar E-Type Roadster

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One of the greatest challenges facing enthusiasts searching for a Jaguar E-Type project candidate is locating a car without significant rust issues. That is where this 1971 Roadster rides to the rescue. It recently emerged after four decades of hibernation, but its rust issues are confined to surface corrosion. The seller revived it, allowing a new owner to contemplate their restoration path while enjoying everything the Jag offers. Why not take a close look to decide whether you would preserve or restore this British survivor?

I will never shy away from my belief that the Jaguar E-Type Roadster is one of the most beautiful cars in automotive history. Its enormous hood and swooping lines created a sensation when unveiled, and these classics will still turn heads many decades later. The seller confirms they located this Series II classic in a garage, a spot it had occupied since 1984. They dragged it out of hiding, working through the process of returning it to a roadworthy state. They describe the paint shade as Claret Red, which is interesting. That color was part of the E-Type palette in 1961 and 1962 before disappearing for the rest of the production run. However, it looks right because it is too light for Regency Red and too dark for Signal Red, both of which were available in that model year. That means someone may have performed a color change, or this Roadster was a Special Order vehicle. The new owner has choices to make because the paint has deteriorated markedly. That makes it a prime candidate for restoration, although another option is worth considering. The underside shots reveal heavy surface corrosion but no evidence of penetrating rust. The buyer could treat the corrosion to prevent deterioration and cultivate the “shabby-chic” look by preserving the car in its current form. With no pressing needs, they could enjoy the car as-is while they formulate their future plans. The Black soft-top and glass are in good order, but the wheels and other trim pieces would benefit from a refresh if the buyer plans a high-end restoration.

This Jaguar’s interior is serviceable and unmolested, although the new owner will undoubtedly splash their cash on a new carpet set as their first port of call. It would be worth handing the car to a leather specialist to allow them to weave their magic on the seats because, with no visible rips or tears, they might return the seats to a presentable state that would eliminate the cost of a retrim. This strategy is worth contemplating because trim kits start at $5,000. That is a significant cost that could determine whether or not this project is financially viable. The dash is in good order, and with no aftermarket additions, it is refreshing to see the factory radio occupying its rightful state.

Jaguar introduced the E-Type powered by its 3.8-liter DOHC six-cylinder powerplant, enlarging its capacity to 4.2-liters in October 1964. This motor remained the only choice for buyers until the 5.3-liter V12 replaced it in the Series III model that hit the showrooms in 1971. Our feature car is one of the final Series II cars, so its six produces 246hp and 263 ft/lbs of torque. The ponies feed to the independent rear end via a four-speed manual transmission, and with four-wheel disc brakes, this classic stops on a dime. The seller confirms the car hadn’t fired a shot in anger since 1984 when they discovered it last year. However, the previous owner adopted a meticulous process before placing it into storage, and revival proved surprisingly easy. This beauty runs and drives, allowing the buyer to enjoy the car immediately.

I remember seeing my first Jaguar E-Type Roadster, and it was love at first sight. I often wondered whether the driving experience could meet the expectations provided by its swooping lines, and I wasn’t disappointed when I finally slipped behind the wheel of one of these classics. That day was decades ago, but it remains as vivid and fresh as if it were only yesterday. The seller listed this 1971 Roadster here on eBay in Saugatuck, Michigan. They set the BIN at $44,500 with the option to make an offer. A high-end restoration would yield a potential value above $70,000, but would you restore or preserve this British diamond in the rough?

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  1. Jon Calderon

    The design is def not for me. Especially the hard tops. Ugly is all I can say.

    Like 1
    • EuromotoMember

      A minority opinion to be sure, but I respect it.

      Like 15
  2. tompdx

    Fair price if it has #s matching drivetrain. I’d consider it if I was in the market.

    Like 2
  3. John

    I’d love to have one of these, and personally I like the idea of a 6 over a 12. I don’t think the respray is British Claret though. The Claret paint (number 50552) was described as Dark Maroon, which this car is definitely not. Also in looking at the driver door where the newer spray has flaked off you can see the original paint is considerably darker, which I think IS the original Claret, much of the reason being that I restored an ’84 Raleigh Record Ace road bike several years back that came from Birmingham and it was also painted in Claret and it matches the exposed paint and not the new spray.

    Like 1
    • tompdx

      That driver door, and maybe the areas aft, were definitely repainted. And perhaps the door was replaced. But I’m not sure the color isn’t original. Compare the under-bonnet photos of the picture frame, cowl, and firewall to the exterior. To my eye, they seem to be the same color. They probably have the wrong name for the color, but I doubt this car ever had the level of rotisserie restoration required to get the painted areas under the bonnet to match the exterior. Plus, to me, those plastic wire keepers, etc., on the picture frame look original.

      Like 0
  4. Hank R

    From a driver standpoint, the later 4.2’s were great cars to drive compared to the earlier 3.8’s. By then the cooling problems had also been resolved.

    Like 2
    • tompdx

      And the 4.2 seats are SO comfortable!

      Like 0
  5. 370zpp 370zppMember


    Like 0
  6. Don Holt

    Rust covered with red paint.

    Like 1
  7. PRA4SNW PRA4SNWMember

    Buy it and drive it.

    Like 0
  8. Greg G

    If l were a collector and wanted to add an XKE to my collection this is where I’d start and restore it. Great price and it doesn’t look like it needs much to become what you’d want. Enzo Ferrari said this was the best looking sports car he’s seen looking at this car l see what he saw. Gorgeous Jaguar.

    Like 1

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