Rust-Free Survivor: 1969 Jaguar E-Type Roadster

This 1969 Jaguar E-Type Roadster is an original survivor that is claimed to be rust-free. It is a stunning looking car, and it’s one that I wouldn’t mind parking in my garage. It is looking for a new home, and when you look at its overall condition, the asking price appears to be very competitive. The Jaguar is located in Huntington Beach, California, and has been listed for sale here on craigslist. Hand the owner $69,995, and you could be driving home in this elegant classic. I have to say a big thank you to Barn Finder rex m or referring the Jag to us.

Regular readers will undoubtedly know that I have a love for the E-Type, and when I spot a Roadster, I tend to go slightly weak at the knees. They are long, low, svelte, and possess some beautiful curves. And yet, they still remain purposeful and instantly identifiable as a British Classic. It’s easy to see why an E-Type Roadster was the vehicle of choice for the original Austin Powers movie. Thankfully, this one doesn’t wear the, er, distinctive Union Jack paint scheme of the Austin Powers vehicle. This was the final year that Jaguar offered Cream as a color choice, which is what we find on this car. The owner admits that the Jag did receive a repaint around 20-years-ago, but it still holds an impressive shine. The Black convertible top also seems to be in good condition. The panels look to be straight, with no evidence of dings or dents that might spoil those beautiful curves. One of the E-Type’s greatest enemies is rust, which can consume floors, valances, and rockers at an alarming rate. There is no guarantee that this example is 100% rust-free, but the owner says that there is none that he is aware of. However, getting this classic up on a lift to get a better look wouldn’t be a bad move. The chrome and glass look to be in good condition, while the same is true of the original wire wheels.

The Roadster is a numbers-matching vehicle that features a 4.2-liter DOHC 6-cylinder engine, backed by a 4-speed manual transmission. With 266hp under the right boot, performance is pretty respectable. This classic should be capable of romping through the ¼ mile in around 15.1 seconds. With enough open road, the Jaguar should make its way to 144mph. That brings us to one of the great deceptions that Jaguar pulled on both motoring journalists and potential buyers when the car was originally launched in 1961. The company placed great emphasis on the fact that this was a sports car capable of hitting 150mph. In reality, the production version fell 10mph short of this mark. Even removing items like the bumpers and the exterior mirror to reduce weight and drag saw the E-Type fall short of this mark. With launch day rapidly approaching, Jaguar knew that the motoring press would expose this shortcoming. The answer was to build a single car for use by the media for road tests. If you can find copies of road tests from the period, you will probably spot that they feature an Opalescent Gunmetal E-Type wearing a “9600 HP” plate. It started life as a prototype but then continued on as the press car. That vehicle underwent a full restoration in 2000, and that’s when the truth emerged. The 3.8-liter engine fitted to that car wasn’t entirely standard. It featured many components derived from the competition D-Type, providing a significant boost in horsepower. That was a car capable of hitting the magic mark, but the reality was that it was faster than production versions. It was an excellent example of “smoke-and-mirrors” marketing. This car has recently been treated to a new clutch and slave cylinder, along with an aluminum flywheel. Throw in a fresh set of tires, and it is a classic that runs well, drives well, and stays cool. Somewhat amazingly, the owner says that it doesn’t drop any oil at all.

The E-Type’s interior remains presentable for an original survivor, and there is nothing that would require urgent attention. I think that the foam is beginning to collapse on the driver’s seat, and this might need to be replaced. The covers are a bit stretched, and it would be interesting to see if new foam would improve this. If the next owner is seeking perfection, then they could choose to replace both covers. The armrest on the console is also badly stretched, and that would need to be replaced if the interior is to present at its best. The rest of the trim and carpet appear to be in excellent order for a vehicle of this age. The only aftermarket addition that I can see is a radio/cassette player in place of the original radio. Whether that stays or goes would be a matter of personal choice.

If you have the time and patience, it is possible to find the occasional 1969 Jaguar E-Type Roadster for sale for under $60,000. However, those cars tend to be the exception to the rule. Generally, good examples will start at around $75,000. From there, values can balloon into six-figure territory pretty fast. If this one is as rust-free, original, and mechanically healthy as the owner suggests, then it is one that is well worth a look. You never know, but you could become the next owner of one of the most beautiful cars ever built.

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Comments

  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Still miss the above bumper taillights but this is really a beautiful car. Enzo was right.

    Like 8
  2. Dusty Stalz

    True survivors wear their original paint.

    Like 4
    • robert semrad

      Yes…you’re absolutely right….as well as the original tires….they wore out, so they got new ones, so it’s not a true survivor.

      Like 2
  3. charlie Member

    “Seats could benefit by new covers” Where does one source new covers?

    Like 2
    • Lowell Peterson

      Upholstery kits available from XKs Unlimited in California. You can almost build a 1-800-XKE.

      Like 1
  4. kent gordon

    When you talk about price, don’t get series 1, series 1.2, and series 2 confused. Do you really think a good running non-restored series 2 starts at around $75? Just curious because I bought a 1970 series 2 partially restored for $58,000 and hope it is worth “six figures” after completion, (or about $20,000 more bucks).

    Like 1
  5. Gerard Frederick

    The seller claims it´s not leaking any oil. Well now, if it isn´t, it´s the only E-type in existence that doesn´t leave a trail. They also overheated in California summers – badly. Their two puny little electric fans situated behind the equally puny little radiator would kick in far too late. Those fans also tended to deteriorate quickly. I have always thought of the E-type as a beautiful lady with a raging case of Aids — look but don´t touch. Their initial smoke-and-mirrors marketing stunt merely shows the disdainful, arrogant attitude of the factory top brass. What a disgrace.

    Like 3
  6. John

    I know a guy (me) who sold one of these to buy a Lotus Europa. I needed something more reliable at the time. But it truly was a beautiful machine.

    Like 3
  7. matt

    i had a ’66’ XKE 4.2 4 speed convertible, the later models could not compare.
    I never should have sold it!
    I did it to help a family member out of debt…

    matt

    Like 3
  8. RodL

    Have to tell you guys, I never owned a Jag that had any more letters then XK. Though they were 1951 series matching, I could take that engine out and put it in any E-type. They were all the same crummy engines. Though I am a totally original restorer, that was one car I would put a 350 in and enjoy the ride.

    Like 1
  9. charlie Member

    Had a 1960 XK150S. When that engine ran, it RAN. Incredible, for the day, responsiveness, almost erotic, it was so good. That long hood out in front, your ass nestled against the rear axel. But, frequently, it did not run. Previous owner was a woman who did not change the oil – 16 quarts as I remember it – and could not afford to do it, she said. Paid $350 for it in 1967, sold it for the same, not running, in 1974. Would turn over, but not fire. Had a mortgage, kids, and no spare money to spend on a toy and lost its garage space. So, like Vanderbuilt’s yacht, if you have to ask what it costs to maintain, you can not afford it. I could not then, and could not now.

    Like 2
  10. Gerard Frederick

    A bunch of honest guys! The recurring theme is — when it ran it was a gas — the problem was it rarely ran. Putting in a good ole 350 and enjoy it is the absolute truth.

    Like 1
  11. Kenn

    I owned a 120 and put up with the engine running problems because the sound was unlike anything else, 350’s nothwithstanding.

  12. Charles Sawka

    Yup the joys and sorrows. In the early 70’s, if you were a mechanic, you could buy these ,fix a few things,drive em and then let someone else have a turn. Then the “collectors “ started going nuts and screwed up the whole deal. Friends, these things are very pretty but at today’s prices they’re ridiculous. Now they’re starting the same BS with Austin Healy and Triumph.

  13. kent gordon

    Charles, you’re just angry because you sold yours. I had the same “problem”.

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