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Tom’s First Barn Find!


From Tom L – So I think I may have found my first true barn find. Working on a building survey, I walked into an area that apparently hasn’t been visited for a while and came across what appears to be a relatively low-mileage Jaguar XKE  (from the toggle switches I believe it might be a Mk I?). The building has been sold and the property is going to be renovated, so the previous owner has to move everything out relatively quickly.


I half-jokingly commented that “I’ll take this off his hands”, but I wouldn’t mind taking a run at it. Apparently the owner of the car has declined the occasional offer in the past, but I don’t know how serious the offers were, or if the need to move the car may have changed his attitude for selling. Not sure what to do with this information or how to evaluate its value. Thoughts? I’d love to get some advice/feedback. By the way – love the site.  It’s one of the highlights of my day.


  1. Cort Musgrave

    This is around a ’63, 3.8l. The interior is not original but it looks like it could be a really good base for a restoration project. Happy to see stuff like this is still out there.

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  2. Brian Smith

    Series 1 E type roadsters are extremely valuable. Where is the car located? I’ll come and get it.

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  3. Mark Lawson

    That is most definitely a series one, and a pretty early one, judging by the interior, the toggles, and the bonnet mounted rear view side mirror. Now, if it has exterior bonnet latches or flat floor pans, you have something quite special. Make certain it’s not rotted out on the frame and has a complete, correct drive train, then sell your children or whatever you have to and buy this beauty. I am insanely jealous.

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    • Ross W. Lovell

      Greetings All,

      Mark, these have no frame. The tub is a unibody construction. From the firewall forward, the engine and front suspension is hung on the “picture frames”.

      Never understood the higher priced side latch cars, yes they are early models but have much of their details not yet finalized as they made multiple improvements.

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  4. J Wall

    A restored one just sold on Bring A Trailer for $150,000.00!

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  5. Bobby

    What a find indeed my freind. Id be interested at 25k email me we can talk more i have dealt with situations like this in the past you have to be quick lol i’ve been looking for a XKE roadster for a while now that me and my dad can restore

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  6. Stuart England

    I’d be interested in helping to clear everything out and give a good price for the Jag. Is it still for sale?

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  7. Kyle Croft

    Give me a call and if you don’t buy it I will. I’ve got 2 series one roadsters at the moment that I’m restoring. I’ll give you a finders fee as well. My phone number is (619) 561-3182.

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  8. Stuart England

    OK thanks, unfortunately I see you’re in California, which could not be further away. Am in Richmond VA,

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  9. Mopar madness

    Call me and I’ll fly out tonight and pay tom a healthy finders fee. 707-599-9448

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  10. Bob_s

    Hi Tom,
    I would be willing to give advice as to the year and condition if you want to making an offer. I have been a JCNA Series 1 E-type Judge since 1989.


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  11. rusty

    And so it begins

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  12. Van

    I’m guessing that giving my left nut won’t pay for this.
    It’s been discontinued but you might be able to give it a jump.

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  13. Dennis Collins

    Tom I am a serious buyer on this car and will pay you a good finders fee if we can close the deal.Dennis Collins 972-442-6189 or Dennis@CBJeep.com

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    • Don

      Dennis, I know you can afford her but you need to promise not to let those clowns at Gas Monkey screw with it.

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    • Blindmarc

      Don’t let Richard talk to the guy Dennis!

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  14. Chas

    This is a series 1 roadster, probably 1963, 64 or 65. The upholstery and dash pad have been redone incorrectly, but that can be fixed. This car is really quite valuable. I know and love these cars as wekk as the XK series cars.
    I would be willing to coach and advise you if you wish to purchase it, which I encourage you to do.
    If you are unable to purchase it, I would be a very serious cash buyer and I would be happy to pay a generous finders fee.
    I would purchase to keep and restore or repair and enjoy, and not for resale as I love the E-Type Jaguars.
    I would also grant “visitation rights” so that you could come and drive it once in a while, and IF I ever decided to sell it, I would first offer it to Tom, so that he might have another chance to buy it when he is in a better position to do that.

    Chas Chasgould@mac.com

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  15. Roger Owen

    Vultures! A gaggle of them! And, it’s all to do with money! Leaves a nasty taste…..

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  16. carguy

    May the bids begin, sounds like tom, has people lining up. My advice tom lock up the deal. And then make the calls. ( or keep it). Interested on how it will out.

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  17. Dave Wright

    I am always struck by the comments when something like this surfaces…………( not that it has, the guy probably won’t sell it)………..there are plenty of these cars available on any given day. The only real reason to get so excited about this one is the opportunity to buy it cheep. Otherwise if you love and want one so bad…….all it takes is money.

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  18. Howard A Member

    Cool find, Tom. Regardless of all the little things, stay on this. The squeaky wheel get’s the grease. I feel, all of us that are into cars, get ( at least) 1 shot at a good find, just because, right place and time, and someone else may not even have known what that was. It’s every red-blooded gear head’s dream to own an XKE. This is YOUR chance. I’ve given up on ever owning one, and will “settle” for a TR-6, as these have gone beyond what I will ever be able to afford. Price is always a rough spot. I’d start by saying “what’s it worth to you” ( I watch a lot of American Pickers) and see where it goes. If it’s a silly amount, like 100g’s, well clearly, he doesn’t want to sell it, but if it’s like 10 or 20g’s, it would be so worth it. ( again, I’m out of the loop, and maybe even 10 is low, but you get the idea) These aren’t exactly rare and Hemmings has 29 XKE’s, and of course, prices are all over the place, a low of $19,500 for a ’69 2+2 to a high of $225-$275,000 ( at auction, and who knows what the “inquire” ones are)for a ’63 roadster like this ( in impeccable condition, I’m sure) with a median of about $80,000. Good luck, pester the heck out of the guy, seriously.

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  19. Dan h

    Typically, this will go 1 of 4 directions.
    1. The owner unsuspectingly sells it to one of the first offers
    2. The owner has a strong emotions attached to said car and will only sell it to someone he or she “connects” to (usually after multiple long consversations)
    3. A bidding war ensues and the price reaches unrealistic numbers.
    4. The owner decides to keep it after hundreds of calls from buyers.

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  20. Chuck Foster Chuck F 55chevy

    What does the owner say when you ask, “How much do you want for it?” OK, sold. I’m kicking myself for not buying a local 69 coupe for $9,000 last fall.

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  21. Dave Wright

    Series 1 roadsters looking much worse than this have been selling in the 100,000 range, I am sure he will appreciate a 25,000 offer.

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  22. Matt Tritt

    I think I would have kept it quiet until AFTER I managed to find a way to buy it. ;-)

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  23. Chas

    I agree with Matt. Keep this discreet until you nail it down. And whatever you do, do not give away the location or the owners identity, so that you don’t lose this opportunity.

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    • Matt Tritt

      Yes. It’s like bragging about what beautiful, smart and rich girlfriend you have in a locker room full of jocks. Don’t do it.

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      • Dave Wright

        Great analogy but it is more like bragging about her before she agreed to a first date…………

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      • rusty

        Yea but if you have a beautiful, smart and rich girlfriend stored in a locker room full of jocks then you are looking for trouble! Hee hee.

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  24. redwagon

    people have already downloaded the pictures and have scoured them looking for information that might – just might – indicate where this cat has been sleeping. once that is figured out tom will be out of the loop.

    is it sad? yes it is, but as with anything considered valuable folks are willing to do what it takes to get a shot at the item.

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  25. Mark S

    If given a choice between this jag and the earlier post with the corvette engine I believe it was a 150, I’d take the 150. It would be more fun to own and I wouldn’t have to constantly be worried about it getting a scratch or a ding. The restoration would also be Cheever and easier to find parts. Also the 150 is a cooler looking car IMHO.

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  26. Bob S

    Let me buy it and I’ll flip it for as much as I can next week after a polish. Hopefully the owner is close to senile and I can bring some good Scotch or at least some OK Scotch in a nice bottle.

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  27. Bob_s

    Just so there isn’t a miss understanding. There appears to be 2 Bob_S here. I never said I would buy it. I offered to help evaluate the car Tom L.

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  28. bcavileer

    Tsk, tsk tsk… here we go again. Roger is right, vultures .

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    Where’s Wayne Carini?

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  30. hhaleblian

    This is legit. Right. All the sharks are circling for nothing. As PT Barnum said……
    If this is legit, I’d like to hear the story on the purchase.

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  31. Woodie Man

    Yikes……….everybody take a deep breath!

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  32. Michael Simpson


    What a find – do not let this slip from your fingers

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  33. Colin W

    I hate to think how much that would be worth here in the UK even in LHD! It’s great that those cars are still around in the US – definitely take the opportunity whilst it’s there though. You may never have the chance again. As someone else said, do whatever you have to to raise the cash – it’s a great investment and an awesome car to own as well. Good luck!!

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  34. Mike Burnett

    It’s so sad! This feeding frenzy damages the classic car scene and brings out the worst in people. It used to be all about the fun of classic car ownership. How could it have gone all so wrong?

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  35. derek

    Tom L,

    As others have suggested, don’t breathe another word about this. Help the owner move the car, clean the garage, reminisce about your childhood dream of owning an e-type, offer to help him get it running and feel him out one day about buying it. If he is clearly not going to sell it or thinks it’s worth more than $70k as is– still stay in touch and don’t tell anyone as one day he may need the money or realise he’ll never restore it (or you may buy it from his widow or kids.) Patience sometimes pays off, being aggressive and pushy seldom does. The key is to stay in touch– call him when the correct seats or missing console shows up on ebay, offer to help work on the car… and don’t tell anyone.

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  36. Bob S

    Seems this thread is all about buying something valuable for cheap. Only a fool would store a Jag like this one in the dust amongst boxes of clutter . I’d give that a wash and wax for free and put some Leatherique on those seats, just cause I like that car. Must be fun waxing a Jag. (same offer applies to any 250 GTO)
    BTW Bob_S, I will change my handle if you have been here a while longer than me. I kinda wandered over from my old haunt at Bring a Trailer and find this place far more interesting these days. Well done Jesse.

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  37. Coventry Cat

    All about the money, secrecy, and carrot on a stick offers of “finders fees “. The whole thing makes me sick – it’s just a stupid car, E type or not.

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  38. Dougm

    yikes! with all the drooling my screen is filling up
    This will be interesting to see where it ends up,
    hopefully with a BFer
    Play Fair kids!!!

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  39. Roger Owen

    Your’e right there Mike, been the case as long as I can remember. In the late 1960’s I travelled several hours to see a TR3 advertised in a car paper. I was just standing chatting to the seller when a guy wearing a flat cap and a sports jacket and driving an XK150 bowled up and shouted across to the seller – ‘Whatever he offers (pointing at me), I’ll give you more’. I looked across at the seller, shrugged my shoulders, shook his hand and got back into my TR2, and headed home.

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  40. Derek white

    For many, it’s not just about the money and it’s not just a car. It’s about the hunt, the history, the people you meet tracking down parts, the blood, sweat and tears, the highs of the chase and capture, the lows of saying goodbye.

    The “nut” in carnut is from “nutty”, not a female threaded fastener.

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    • Coventry Cat

      Agreed, Derek – but that doesn’t appear to be the case here. The car has already been found, so the hunt is over- now it’s pushing each other out of the way to be first. Just to be able to brag how cheaply it could be bought and how much was made when it’s flipped. Suggestions that one should friendly up with the owner in hopes to gain the car sounds sleazy. Pay fair market value and be done with it.

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      • Chas

        I disagree completely. Suggesting that one “Friendly up” with the owner, as you describe, is exactly what a true enthusiast would do, and what would be appreciated by an owner, especially if the interest in helping the owner is sincere, and not a facade to steal the car from him for low ball offers.
        It takes time to gain trust in any transaction, and if you spend that time (which may be months, years or decades), the seller should be able to determine if your interest is sincere and fair, or merely someone trying to take advantage of the owner.
        Most owners want their old dream car to go to someone who will cherish it and return it to its former glory. I have made friends with many owners. I have eventually purchased a lot of those cars, and I have persuaded other owners not to sell to me, and then got the car back on the road for them to keep and enjoy. Each of them has genuinely appreciated my efforts and many have called me decades later when they were finally ready to sell, or their wives, sons or daughters have called and offered the car to me in appreciation for my help in letting the owner enjoy his car for a little longer.
        I didn’t always do it to get the car. I did it for a love of cars and wanting the owner to enjoy his car for as long as he can. The fact that they appreciate my efforts is just a perk of being nice to people.
        And for the record, I have not resold or “flipped” any of those cars to make money. Although a few were sold years or decades later if I had to fund another project, most remain in the collection today.
        Finally, you are not being completely honest if you don’t admit that nearly everyone (including you) who buys any type of old car, tries to “friendly up” to the buyer, whether it be for ten minutes or for ten years. No seller wants to sell to someone who is not friendly.

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  41. Bugnbox

    umm… What’s wrong with vultures? Vultures are an important part of the food chain you know…without vultures, things are left to rot and decay. This car has been left to rot for too long…let a vulture pick it out of there and bring it back out in the light again.

    Go get that car man and get it quick, bring it out in the world for everyone to see, if you don’t have the dough, pony up with someone that does and you can both profit from the adventure.

    We are all vultures deep inside, we all have that inner “picker” that wants to find the treasure. There is nothing “sad” about someone making a profit, it was what makes the world go around. The only sad thing is denying that fact.

    Vultures get a bad rap…they are amazing birds. There is a reason they are so big…what they do works well. That being said…I will happily throw my beak in the ring if this thing surfaces and can be bought. I promise not to pick to the bone…there is potentially enough meat to feed everyone involved here quite well.


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  42. Chas

    So long as people deal honestly with each other, why is it so bad that people want to step up to purchase this Jaguar E-Type. I thought that Barn Finds was all about finding neglected cars and getting them into the hands or new owners who would cherish and enjoy them.
    Why is this different just because this example happens to be desireable and valuable? I understand that many people resent the “flippers”, and that it a whole other debate, but many of these offers appear to be sincere.
    Everyone was thrilled when Brian stepped up to buy that rusty old Ford Model AA dump truck. Why should you resent it when capable buyers step up to buy this desireable E-Type?
    Expressing a desire to purchase ANY car listed on Barn Finds does not make one a vulture, and it is refreshing to see a really nice condition, desireable car listed on the site, as it contrasts the rough examples that are often viewed here.
    With the exception of that 25K offer, none of you have any idea what many of these buyers are willing to offer and what they intend to do with the car, Perhaps they have lusted for an E-Type for years and this will be the final culmination of that hunt. Perhaps they will llovingly return it to daily use and enjoy it for years. Why is this any different from your own quest for a Falcon, Chevelle, or GTO? The only difference is the value and desireability of the Jag, That does not mean that the quest is not sincere, or that it is solely made by vultures.
    I think that people just resent the players who can afford to play at this price level, and that is not a good attitude to have in this hobby. In fact, a find like this might allow someone who might not otherwise be able to afford an E-Type, to finally acquire the car of their dreams.
    Sure, Tom should have first crack at it, and he should definitely buy it if he is able to. However, if he is not able to purchase the car for whatever reason, would you prefer that it sit in the warehouse for another fifty years?
    I agree that lowball offers might be inappropriate, but I have no problem with the genuine interest displayed by the comments, and why shouldn’t Tom get a respectable finders fee for putting buyer and seller in touch with each other if he does not buy it himself. Also, many of these comments have warned Tom not to disclose too much information because a real vulture is one who would steal the find out from under Tom, instead of working through him.
    Just my 2 cents worth.

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    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Tom isn’t even sure if the guy is interested in selling. It will be interesting to see what happens though.

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      • leiniedude leiniedude Member

        LOL! Sorry, I have already seen what has happened. Going to remove the T-tops and clear my head. Its a beautiful day.

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  43. Roger Owen

    Here here, Coventry Cat. ‘Flipping’ seems just to do with making money by buying something below market value (by devious means?) and then selling it on as quickly as possible for considerably more money.

    It’s nothing to do with classic car enthusiasts – who just love finding something that needs TLC, and get great enjoyment out of bringing it back to it’s former glory.

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  44. Mike Young

    Good luck Tom… as for me I’d rather drive a Datsun two litre. Factory 5 speed ,150 hp stock… 100 mph in 3rd gear! I’d never settle for a TR 6….

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  45. derek

    I don’t consider the asymmetry of information to be “devious”– just a part of the market reality. I nearly bought a very nice looking “rust free” Mercedes pagoda a month ago for what I considered well below market value. Luckily I borrowed a lift and saw the rot underneath (which had been carefully touched up.) The seller commented something like “well what did you expect for only $40k” so he clearly knew the market. If I had been impulsive and bought it without due diligence I would have blamed myself, not the seller.

    Who honestly starts off negotiating a purchase by telling the seller what the true market value is? Like most collectors of moderate means, I try to buy low, put in some honest sweat and cash to save or improve the car, and if I sell it, sell as high as I can to fund the next project that has caught my eye (but occasionally holding onto a “keeper”)

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  46. Bob_s

    Hi Bob S
    That would be great, I have been here for quite a while. Even though I do not post that much.

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  47. BradL

    I bet Tom’s thinking, “What have I done?”

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  48. Glen

    Vultures throw-up on themselves in self defence, and urinate on themselves to cool down. Any of these “vultures” showing either of these signs? As Cliff Claven would say; ” it’s a little known fact” .

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  49. MikeK

    Wow… the possibility of one expensive car being available, and what is normally an enjoyable site, with stories, insight, and various perspectives on all sorts of vehicles degenerates into, well, crap. Disappointed.

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  50. Mike Young

    Well put Chas…. I still like this site. Just a bump in the road.

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  51. PAR

    Look at the address lables on the cartons in the foreground!! Tom I hope you have bought this thing already!! You will have a heap of fun cruising in your resurrected
    E Type, how cool is that!?!

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