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Home after 50 years, this project Jaguar E-type now needs someone to finish it

by James Mills
10 February 2023 3 min read
Home after 50 years, this project Jaguar E-type now needs someone to finish it
Photos: The Market

Rolling up your sleeves and taking on any project car for a restoration often calls for a considerable helping of blood, sweat and tears. After all, it’s only when you start to tackle the work and strip the car back to reveal what lies beneath that the full horror can rear its head.

Which makes this Jaguar E-type, which will be auctioned on 16 February, an intriguing project. The 1969 model is a Series 2, 4.2 roadster and as you can see, nothing is hidden from view because the current owner has made a start on bringing the British sports car back to health.

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Needless to say, despite the best intentions, it is not uncommon for restoration projects to misfire. From a change in financial priorities to the arrival of grandchildren, divorce to ill health, life has a habit of throwing up obstacles when it comes to seeing a years-long restoration through to the end.

But one enthusiast’s loss could be another’s gain.

This E-type began life as left-hand drive model, exported to America, where it remained until 2019 before being bought as a restoration project. So it’s a left-hand drive car, which is likely to deter some prospective buyers in Britain.

Time for some chin-scratching and number-crunching. The estimate set by auction house The Market is £27,000 to £32,000 – and it comments that the reserve ‘is even lower’. The Hagerty Price Guide shows average values – admittedly for right-hand drive examples – for an excellent, condition 2 1969 E-type roadster of £76,500, and for a concours standard model that rises to £105,000. Those that are able to tackle much of the restoration work themselves may find this an appealing project car that could make financial sense.

But what if those numbers don’t stack up, especially if you’d be relying on specialists to handle the work? Well, it still presents an opportunity to put your own stamp on a restored E-type, a dream of many a car enthusiast, and if it’s a car for keeps then balancing the books, so to speak, isn’t a priority.

So let’s consider what needs doing. In terms of everything being present and correct, the E-type is said to be ‘99% complete’. The paint, underseal and, dare we say it, filler has been removed from the body and steel chassis, the aluminium body has undergone a protective phosphate application. New sills and a replacement floor pan are required, and we can see plenty of metalwork requiring attention, the chromework and wire wheels would benefit from being rejuvenated by the likes of A.C.F Howell metal finishers, the seats, transmission tunnel and door cards need retrimming… and… and, well, the list goes on.

As for the 80,000-mile 4.2-litre straight-six engine and gearbox, it’s a runner and is said to have good compression, and the original chassis plate is present, but expect it to require work and much the same goes for the brake system and suspension.

The good news is that the car’s provenance has been verified by the Jaguar Heritage Trust. Even so, anyone that’s not an E-type aficionado would be wise to inspect this car before bidding via The Market, and the good news is the seller, based in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, welcomes viewings. Check out our E-type Buying Guide, as well.

We’ll admit, this Series 2 is not for the fainthearted. But those with experience of restorations, and in particular E-types, who aren’t put off by left-hand drive (or might contemplate having it converted to right-hand drive during the restoration) may find themselves tempted to put their stamp on one of the most prized sports cars ever to emerge from Britain.

Read more

Buying Guide: Jaguar E-Type
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