Stalled Project: 1973 Jaguar E-Type 2+2

I know Series 3 Jaguar E-Types aren’t nearly as desirable as Series 1, but given how valuable early cars have become, I would be happy to settle for a Series 3. The V12 doesn’t provide the same kind of experience as the inline 6 and the visual changes aren’t necessarily appealing, but they are still nice cars to drive and the looks aren’t bad. This 1973 2+2 looks to be solid, with decent paint and a worn but complete interior. A previous owner pulled the engine out to restore it, but never got any further than that. The engine and transmission are thankfully still with the car and come with it. You can find this one here on eBay in Corona, California with a current bid of $10,100.

The final generation of E-Types was a product of the times. As emission regulations strangled the inline six, Jaguar started looking for ways to bring horsepower numbers and top speed back up. They had recently developed a V12 for racing and it was capable of producing 254 horsepower, which was 9 more than the emission controlled six in the Series 2, so they decided to modify the E-Type to make it fit. They widened and lengthened the car enough to give the 5.3-liter engine enough space. While it did allow for a 0-60 time of 6.8 seconds, it increased weight by almost 300 pounds. It didn’t help that they softened the ride, added options like A/C and shipped most cars with an automatic.

The V12 actually produces quite a bit of power, so it isn’t all bad. Change out the shocks, install the engine, sort out the manual transmission and you would have a very enjoyable car to drive (one that can cruise comfortable at highway speeds). The real travesty isn’t the engine or even how much they civilized the car, it’s those darn federally mandated rubber bumpers! Get rid of those, install a Series 1 grill and you would have a much nicer looking car. A set of headlight covers would also improve the looks, but that’s just my opinion.

We’ve watched values for early Jaguars steadily climb over the past few years. With early E-Type fetching big money, I think these later cars are a great option for those that want to actually drive their E-Type. Hopefully, this one goes for well under $20k, which would make it a decent buy. Getting the engine rebuilt and back in the car won’t be cheap, but once it’s finished it will be a car you can truly enjoy and still get your money back out of if you need to. Now does anyone know where this garage is? I want to see what else is hiding in there!

Fast Finds


  1. Dana Friedman

    OMG, this is my dream car. Please, please tell me it’s still available.

  2. Sam

    Very nice…don’t forget to replace every inch of wire! There must have been a post war electrical engineer shortage in Great Brittain….just like dentists.

    Nova, Saab, Lincoln and newer Challenger in the background.

  3. Matt

    I want to like early Jaguar E-types, I really do. I just…can’t.

  4. Alex

    “….install a manual transmission…..”

    Install THE manual transmission, it’s a 4 speed manual :-)

  5. Rex Kahrs Member

    I have always loved the E-type, as any red-blooded human being would. I prefer the coupe over the convertible, and (here come the boos), I really like the 2+2 body style the best.

    Yet I always hear a lot of problems about the car, and those who have restored them seem to ache the loudest. I guess the XKE is a lot like Elizabeth Taylor, another British icon…beautiful yet troublesome, and you’ll get rid of her only to marry her again. Like most XKEs, Liz got passed around a lot, probably both are too high-maintenance.

  6. Dave

    The blue plates shown date from around 1982. Original CA plates would have been six character not seven. Also, salvage title for stolen stereo? Be wary….

    • Steven

      I’m not sure Dave if you live out here in California but a lot of times the car doesn’t have to be an accident to be a salvage title, also don’t you know that California blue plate was produced in 1969 first year and ended up in the 80s, so you’re saying my plates are not original on the car? And there’s nothing to be worried about come look at the car in person and bring cash if you’re serious not a tire kicker,

  7. glen

    Maybe it was sarcasm, can’t say for sure, but I’d be happy to “settle” for this car, and no, they don’t look bad, either! If the V12 only produced 9 more hp, why go to all the trouble of modifying to make it fit?, couldn’t they squeeze a few more hp out of the 6?

    • billy

      My guess was that performance was out and going upscale to fatten the company bottom line was the intent here. The V12 had less boyish racer charm but more country club snob written all over it. Why make most automatics with air? Not saying its a bad car, just a different idea altogether.

      • glen

        Yeah,I see what your saying, V12 does sound more impressive. I think they were working on an engine that runs on Grey Poupon!

      • Muz

        Jaguar like all other car makers are in the game to make money. They do that by making cars people want to buy. They figured, quite correctly that most American buyers wanted Auto & A/C. The price bracket this would sold in would have demanded it.

  8. JRATT1956

    I graduated from South Gate, CA high school in 1974. This car looks just like the one my music / English teacher Mrs. Patrica Mann drove to school each day from Venice, CA. Same color. I loved the car then and now, I would love to own one someday.

  9. Squanto

    Here’s a tip:I wouldn’t tell the young lady sitting in the passenger seat “Well you know, many people find the Series 3 less desireable than a Series 1” It might ruin the mood.

  10. Howard A Member

    Hmm, let’s make a 4×4 out of it,,,:0 Why not, these fruitcakes do that to everything else. Kidding, of course, nicest car ever made,,,,period.

  11. ClassicCarFan

    @Sam – I fear that you might be getting taken in by the world of internet myth and stereotypes, where an idea gets read and repeated enough times on the internet that it becomes “lore” – or, maybe you really can entertain us with the story of the British car of this era which you owned, which needed every inch of the wiring replaced?

    Having owned, restored, serviced and driven several old British cars with Lucas electrics I find the reality to be nowhere near as bad as the internet myth would suggest. True, they are not the very best electrics in the world, but no worse than, say equivalent Italian cars of that era (though somehow crappy Italian electrics manage get a free pass, as the classic car community is so blinded by the glamour of Italian sports car maybe? ) Some Lucas system are poorly designed, some components were of questionable quality, but in reality on a typical British classic car (which is likely 40, 50 or more years old now remember) most issues are caused by poor grounding. Anyone who claims to be a competent home mechanic should be able to make a car with Lucas electrics adequately reliable. It’ll never be like a recent model Honda Civic, but if that is a problem for anyone, I’d suggest they should probably stick to the Honda Civic (which is an excellently engineered car).

    The comment about the Brits and dentists is pretty much a myth too. It is based largely on the fact that historically orthodontists and cosmetic dentistry were not such a big thing in the UK so people might have healthy but crooked teeth. (that’s changed now, British teenagers just as likely to have braces these days as their American peers). Standards of actual dental health between US and UK were pretty comparable. Britain had universal health care since the late 1940s so everyone had access to dental care. Living here in the South of the USA, you can pretty much tell someone’s socio-economic status by looking at the state of their teeth ( sad but true…..)

    • Muz

      Well said Sir….

  12. Nova Scotian

    My my Jeeves, those green seats look down right nasty mouldy…We would have to install new leather right away…and that would change the interior atmosphere 100%, and indeed, it would be a most enjoyable riding automobile. Quite “do-able”. Don’t you agree?

  13. ClassicCarFan

    As for this car…. I agree that the Series III E-type is still pretty desirable, even if not as hot property as the earlier cars. It’s a bit like saying “yeah….I never thought Raquel Welch was quite as sexy as Bridget Bardot…” hmmm, maybe not, but it’s all relative.

    I don’t mind that it has the V12 engine, nor that it is FHC….though the 2+2 style does ruin the fantastic shape of the car unfortunately. While the extra weight and trimmings mean that this does not have the same pure sports car feel as the Series I & II, a V12 model with manual transmission is not a slow car by any reasonable standard, and even with the softer suspension of the SIII, few cars in 1973 could get anywhere near the combination of ride and handling offered by these Jaguars.

  14. bcavileer

    4That v12 pulls like a freight train when tuned correctly. To bad most can’t get a grasp on the concept of sycronization. Grossly underestimated cars. They are a blast when set up correctly. And yes, the suspension could be a tad soft…
    But what a looker. Nothing ever like that body.

  15. Steven

    Hi guys I’m the owner for the vehicle right now I’m actually selling it on eBay, just to let everybody know that what I said in the ad is from what the original owner told me everybody has an opinion but it really comes down to coming down and taking a look at the vehicle in person and stop making false accusations on the vehicle, yes the car is not in perfect condition it’s an all original condition I don’t see any signs of bodywork or paint work, The car doesn’t need to have an accident to get a salvage title look it up yourself, the original owner told me The stereo was stolen and a few other parts don’t know exactly he’s a Olderlea man and didn’t want to ask too many questions, as long is he sold me the vehicle that’s all I cared for, my plans was never to sell it it was supposed to be restored and put away in my collection, The car is in decent condition for its age as we speak there is no major body damage or no major dents yes it does have road rash and some scratches but what do you expect i’m not axing 50K for it, and yes he did take the engine out to restore the vehicle like I said in the ad, and yes the engine is missing some parts but as long as he had the V12 engine with a 4-speed transmission I don’t care if it’s matching numbers or not because it’s not a serious 1 and it’s not a convertible, I could actually part out the car for just as much as it’s going for an eBay now, but on whoever’s bidding on the car happy bidding and don’t be worried you guys can give me a call and come down and take a look at the car in person or send someone over very reasonable truthful guy,

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