Third Time’s the Charm? 1964 Jaguar E-Type

This poor 1964 Jaguar E-Type has been unlucky twice, but perhaps its past misfortune will be the next owner’s good luck! All the pieces seem to be present to put it back together, so a patient new steward could end up with a desirable Series I roadster to enjoy at a considerably smaller initial outlay than what fully restored cars are going for these days. That asking price is $45,000 for this New Orleans-based car, which can be seen here on craigslist (archived ad).

If you saw New Orleans and thought “Hurricane Katrina,” well, we’ll get to that. This car’s first misfortune occurred in 1997, when a trip through what must have been an especially large puddle “got water into the engine and…sent a connecting rod out through the oil pan.” That’s when the hood and engine were removed; the project fell to the back burner and, yup, the car and garage were submerged in the flooding of 2005. The good news, I guess, is that the car wasn’t insured at the time, so it still has a clean title, and the seller says that there is only minor surface rust on unpainted surfaces and a few bubbles on one of the rockers. Still, it doesn’t look like the car was thoroughly cleaned after the flooding, so there may be some lurking biohazards to contend with.

Depending on your feelings on E-Types, I suppose you could count it an additional misfortune that this is an early enough Series I car to feature the smaller 3.8-liter six instead of the more tractable 4.2—along with the attendant non-synchro gearbox—but not early enough to be one of the ultra-rare “flat floor” cars built at the beginning of production in 1961, or that its colors have been changed from opalescent silver blue over navy to BRG over tan. Frankly, I think most of the interior will have to go anyway, so that won’t be an obstacle if you want to change the colors back.

The original, numbersmatching engine and transmission are still with the car, along with a donor 3.8 from which the seller planned to remove the crankshaft. The seller also has a number of other spares available separately, including a synchromesh transmission from a 4.2 E-Type; unfortunately, the factory hardtop shown on the car is among the extra-cost items.

This hapless old Jag has seen enough bum luck, don’t you think? I hope it can find a luckier lot in life with a new owner; fortunately, it’s not beyond hope—and a cat always lands on its feet!


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  1. Red'sResto

    Why does the decision matrix for many of these projects have the same two options: 1) buy this car and have an unhappy wife or 2) don’t buy it and have a happy wife?

    • PAW

      Guys – marry right. Really.

      Unless these are solely jokes, I fail to see how so many are concerned on what Mrs says on your purchase. This comes with natural presumption that standard of living is not adversely impacted due to filling in toy box.

      Yes, I have a wife. Has she ever gotten upset on my purchases. No! Has she been laughing on the crap I haul home? Lately almost each time. So what, life goes on

      Like 1
  2. BobinBexley Bob in Bexley Member

    Just for the hard top !

  3. Andre

    ^ you obviously don’t have an ex-wife.

  4. Sal Monelli

    After an explosion in prices starting in 2008 or so, E-Type prices have receded a bit …. 1964 is a desirable Series I model, but probably the least valuable of the 1961-’67 cars…. fully restored examples can be had in the $120-130K range … To pay $45K for a car in this condition would be financial folly !!!

    • ROAR

      $120-150 is for the know nothings that’ll send it off to a shop. It STILL wouldn’t be cheap to do it yourself but it’s all just metal etc that follows rules: remove the part, refurbish it, remove another—Take a class at the local college and read lots of DIY books then practice on something cheap!
      If you’re just after $$$ go to bitcoin or such.

      • hodgepodge

        Anyone who enjoys restoring cars wants a genuine car from a genuine seller who wants to see the car restored at least as much as they want to make a few bucks selling it. Often that is a car that is willed to a wife, son or daughter who doesn’t know what to do with it or it is the car of an enthusiast who is now too old to work on it. The best cars are the ones who’s sellers want to keep track of the car after it is sold so they know it was treated right. This car doesn’t seem like one of those. This car sat, broken, for two decades. THEN it was flooded in Katrina and sat for another decade. Now it is being sold by somebody with the sole purpose of selling it to make as much money as possible. Selling key, required pieces separately? Sorry, that is pure greed and the mentality of a used car salesman who knows that eventually somebody with more money than brains will come along and buy it. The seller didn’t even bother to pull it out and take reasonable pictures of it. The ad says 41 years owned (32 years broken). By the current seller? Hmm. Is this car still worth restoring? Probably. But the restoring party will have to really, REALLY love restoring cars because it will cost far more than the going price for a well sorted S1 jag. The seller may get his price but I really hope the buyer has very deep pockets and is just planning on sending the car off to a good restoration shop.

    • will

      this guy’s on drugs

      • sluggo

        Hodgepodge, Well said! Very true here and sadly very true with many vehicles. I would rather sell my projects to a true enthusiast any day of the week.
        Years back running my own shop I had some great advice from an old guy.
        He said when jobs come in that look problematic, either the owner or issues with the vehicle (usually the owner is the worst problem) then Bid the job really high and you will always be glad you did. With any luck they will turn tail and leave doing you a huge favor, or, at least you get financial compensation for the BS and generally it is never enough.
        This car deal is just like that, dirty car and poor pictures and seller playing extortion, what can go wrong with this picture? I love old Jags, but even at free I think there would be serious regret.

  5. Barney Goofry

    So, I pay you a hundred bucks for the car, and you’ll knock my teeth out as a bonus? Sounds like a bargain to me!

  6. Ben T. Spanner

    Estimate the cost of “restoration”. Double it. Add the cost of the car. Add the cost of multi year storage. Take the total and buy the best example you can find. Drive and enjoy.

  7. Rick Member

    I’ve always heard the adage expressed above – you’re better off buying one already restored. However, many enjoy the process, there are so many cars for sale as “restoration just completed”, and many more think they can save money by doing much of the work themselves. The market for these late 3.8 models must be strong as I have a couple of full price offers, the first one contingent on some rust condition verifying pictures. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  8. Rick Member

    I’ve always heard the adage expressed above – you’re better off buying one already restored. However, many enjoy the process, there are so many cars for sale as “restoration just completed”, and many more think they can save money by doing much of the work themselves. The market for these late 3.8 models must be strong as I have a couple of full price offers, the first one contingent on some rust condition verifying pictures. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  9. 247carstuff

    Engine is not correct, should be a Triple Carb 3.8l, and the price is simply way way too high for what will be needed to bring it back

  10. Jack Quantrill

    $45,000, for this submerged rust bucket is madness!

  11. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    Here in Connecticut…….we would throw in a wood chipper to seal the deal.

    That would at least make the complaints somewhat less.

  12. john from ct

    Hey Ross, Doug just bought my wood chipper to go with his E types.

  13. Fran

    EZ fix as they say. LOL
    forgetaboutit as I say!

  14. Bill McCoskey

    Just because the owner has a title that’s not been stamped or marked as a flood car does not mean it’s got a clear title. Before buying this car or another possible flood car, check with the state dept of motor vehicles to see if there is any problems with the title.

    With today’s connected computer systems, taking that “clear” title and filling it out, then submitting it to your own state dept of motor vehicles will result in them checking with all 50 states to ensure it’s a genuine title without encumbrances, & may result in the flood info coming back and then your new title gets stamped as a flood car.

  15. Clinton

    Said it more than once…

    When I get screwed, I like it to feel good.

    And the parts are extra. Good grief.

  16. Rolf Poncho 455

    Andre u can get rid of your wife but not your X-Wife
    if u have children that is
    the problem so the E-Type will do to me

  17. CanAm

    An e-type project I would enjoy – but you’d have to lose a digit to make this one financially viable

  18. Rick Member

    This car sold today (with all the extra parts) for the asking price to a premier restorer who will bring it back to it’s former glory to the tune of a #1 Hagerty value of $258,000. Sounds like a bargain to me. Several others offered full price. Thank you Barn Finds. The reason I listed the extra parts separately was so a buyer could get the car for less than the asking price if they didn’t want the extras – some negotiating room. This buyer did want them. The engine shown in the picture next to the car is from a Mark II sedan (as described in the write up) to provide an identical donor crankshaft – everything else with that engine are extra parts that can be used on another project or sold. All the parts for the original, numbers matching, 3.8 E-Type engine, including the triple carbs and a replacement oil pan are included in the sale. Again, sounds like a bargain to me. Happy seller who laments finally letting go of his project car that he drove for 10 years in his and the cars former glory days, and happy buyer who will keep his shop busy and make a profit when he sells it at auction some time next year. Win Win.

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