The Backyard Jags Are Ready To Go!

Jesse MortensenBy Jesse Mortensen

A while back we mentioned that we’d been given the opportunity to help a family sell a few cars. The stars of the herd are this pair of E-Types and we are happy to report that we have both cleaned up and running! We are planning on listing both cars on eBay over the weekend, but wanted to give an update on what we have been up to first. Be sure to follow our seller account and stay tuned for more updates here on the Barn Finds!

Some of you commented on the fact that these cars didn’t look very dirty. Well, after getting intimately acquainted with both cars over the past few weeks, I can assure you that they have been parked in that backyard for at least a couple of years. The silver car photographs so good that it’s hard to see any of the flaws, but the yellow car is clearly showing some grim. Luckily, we were called into save these cool cats before the tin worm was able to cause major damage. A section of the fence had to come down to get the cars into the alley and onto the tow truck, but everything went smoothly moving the cars over to our shop.

Here’s the ’73 getting unloaded. The trip over here was nerve racking because these cars really are precious cargo.

And here they are both safely tucked away in our shop! How exciting it is to have two E-Types around. These truly are achingly beautiful vehicles! After admiring them both for a few minutes, we went straight to work.

First on the task list was new fuel. Luckily, the gas had not sat long enough to turn into varnish, but it still needed some fresh stuff. This is a photo of the pan we started with, but we ended up switching to a plastic box. It turned out to be a smelly job, but after filling up a couple of five gallon buckets we were ready to add new fuel.

We went a different route with the silver car. By just disconnecting the fuel line at the carb, we were able to let the pump suck all the fuel out and right into our buckets.

After that, we dropped new batteries into place and attempted to start each engine.

The V12 in the yellow car took a little coaxing, but we got it running after cleaning the carbs out. We pulled the bottom of the bowls off and let me tell you, there isn’t much room between those carbs and the frame rails!

Here’s a video clip so you can get an idea of what the V12 sounds like.

And here is the V8. It was a real thrill to get to hear this one roar back to life!

And here they are all cleaned up! We have driven both cars and feel like we can present each properly now. We are going to miss them, but are hopeful they will go to good homes where they can get the attention they deserve. We will be posting stories on Sunday with more photos of details, so stay tuned!

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  1. F.A.G.

    I hope you had a nice fire with that extra fuel. That’s a party all by itself. 💡

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Thought about doing that, but decided it would be better to take it to the recycler.

      • Howard A Member

        In N.Wisconsin, many “recycle” late at night. 🙂

  2. erikj

    I love the sound of the silver one, sounds English w/uuph.
    I will watch and poss. bid, but will go way o/b 4 me.

    To go back to the day,I found a early jag. 12 motor all there that was in 1981. $350 was told it ran and was driven into the barn in the50s
    I only seen it 3 times and gone. probly missed another good one.

  3. Chas

    Did you even pour any oil down the cylinders or on the cams before attempting to start those dry, long stored engines?

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      We made sure everything was lubricated and that there was good oil pressure before starting.

  4. Reuben Adkins

    Beautiful cars!

  5. Roger B

    Jesse, what a thrill to find and bring these back to life…well be seen, enjoyed and for others to wow over, this must have been great fun for you guys..Rog

  6. Bob

    You mention the silver car’s V8. What motor is in it? The original motor would be a straight six.

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      It’s been converted to a small block 350.

  7. Howard A Member

    I hope they have XKE’s in the afterlife. It’s the only way I’ll ever get to drive one. Best of luck with these. I think you’ll do much better than the Spitfire. Whole different following. I’ve never seen batteries mounted on their side like that. Lucas strikes again? 🙂

  8. DavidC

    V-8? Did it have a transplant?

  9. Sam

    Well done, hope they find good homes!

    I don’t see a problem with the sbc transplant in the silver Jag…you will save money with the mechanic, have money to spend on the interior resulting in a fun/reliable driver.

  10. Lane Weinberger

    63 e type had two engines. A 3.8 and a 4.2 litre straight six what v8 is in this car?

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Small block Chevy!

  11. Jesse in DC

    To fit a chevy V8, you have to cut the frame rails. Unless the person doing the conversion was a really talented engineer, it is likely unsafe to drive. The frame tubes are pretty much bicycle tubing (although square section), and they really can’t even be welded. Ford V8 might fit, as they are slightly narrower.

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      I can’t see that anything has been cut. It’s a pretty tight fit though. There’s what looks like a professionally made bracket connecting the front frame rails so I’m guessing a pre made kit was used.


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