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The Jaguar E-Type must be a contender for the title of the world’s most beautiful car, surely? Enzo Ferrari certainly thought so and he was never one to praise other people’s cars with any regularity. Decidedly phallic in profile, it features inch-perfect lines, some of the best engines in the business, and a cockpit straight out of every schoolboy’s dreams.

First launched in 1961 and still hanging around in 1975, the E-Type was designed to be aerodynamic rather than beautiful, which goes to prove the engineering adage that if it looks right then it probably is.

Offered initially with the gorgeous 3.8-litre straight-six engine that develops a heady 265bhp, the Jaguar was a democratic car for all its potent sexual symbolism and mouth-watering performance; its list price was the equivalent of just over £30,000 in today’s money, which even its detractors – and yes, there are a few of those, believe it or not – have to admit was an absolute bargain.

Its engine capacity grew to 4.2-litres in 1964, at which point the Jag started to go as well as it looked. The changes also included bigger disc brakes and an all-synchromesh gearbox. The so-called 1½ Series cars arrived in 1967 and the main changes were that the headlights now lacked the Perspex covers of the first cars, the US cars had twin Stromberg carbs, and the eared spinners on the wire wheels were now hexagonal.

The Series 2 cars lasted between 1968 and 1971. This iteration grew larger bumpers and relocated rear lights, plus a new, safer interior. The coupe was still available as a two-seater, something that was to change with the introduction of the series 3 cars in ’71; all coupes would thereafter be 2+2, with small rear seats that were really only suitable for children. Introduced to the range in 1966, the 2+2 body added nine inches to the wheelbase, and it was a move that many feel ruined its silhouette.

The Series 3 cars spanned 1971 through to its death in 1975. The 2+2 was now the only coupe on offer, and a 5.3-litre V12 engine sat beneath the bonnet. It was now a very different car to the one that had been launched all those years ago being considerably faster, more comfortable, and reliable, if not quite so pretty.

Having metamorphosed over the years from a lithe, exciting sportscar into the ultimate grand touring car, there really is an E-Type to suit every taste.

PATINA PICKS LINK: http://picks.getpatina.com/2015/06/jaguar-e-type-the-definitive-british-sports-car/

The Vehicle

Restored in the mid-nineties and the subject of careful ownership and a rigorous programme of maintenance and improvement ever since, we are delighted to be able to offer one of the very best early E-Types for sale on the open market today.

And it is an early one. With chassis number 860274, it is the 274th car to roll off the E-Type production line, thus benefiting from a number of features only found on the very first cars such as the original profile rear bulkhead.

In the care of the vendor for the past 16 years, this was the twentieth E-Type he looked at and the very best he could find. Nonetheless, after owning it for a while he discovered that it didn’t drive as well as it looked, so he spent the first decade of his time with it going through it from stem-to-stern ruthlessly eradicating all those little foibles that rivet counters insist give the car character but that everyone else simply finds frustrating. The result is an E-Type that copes with 21st century roads very well indeed and is one of the very nicest we’ve ever had through our hands.

Only for sale as the owner has come to accept that he, like so many of us, derives as much pleasure from buying and fettling his classic cars as he does driving them, two new additions to his collection mean that the E-Type just isn’t getting used. He intends to use the proceeds to help his three grown-up daughters get a foothold on the housing ladder; just like the owner of the Ferrari Dino we’re selling, he’s a thoroughly decent chap and, as we all know, lovely cars come from lovely people.

He’s also got sufficient faith in you lot to consign it to us with No Reserve, meaning it will sell from the very first bid…

On the Outside

With not even the slightest hint of a ripple along its flanks, much less any dings, dents or other damage, this E-Type shows just how good they can be when they’re restored and curated properly. The doors open and close with an authority that speaks of dozens of hours of careful alignment, and the panel gaps are way, way better than would have been achieved when it was first built.

A full machine polish in August 2019 has left the E-Type looking utterly gorgeous. Carmen Red is a classic colour for the model, and this one looks utterly splendid; familiarity can dull our senses, and this example is a great reminder of just how pure and beautiful the early cars are. Free of an unnecessary adornment, the shape is so timeless that it is one of just six cars on permanent display in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.

The lights and glass are spotless, and while the car’s chromework might be minimal compared to other versions, it is all in superb condition with barely any aging whatsoever.

Speaking of chromework, the chromed wire wheels are in a similarly sensational condition. They are also shod with a full set of four Vredestein Sprint Classic tyres, which were fitted in September 2017. The tyres are, thanks to the car’s gentle use since then, showing barely any wear and look like new.

As we will never tyre of explaining, our experience shows that matching high-quality tyres are an infallible sign of a caring and mechanically sympathetic owner who is prepared to spend the appropriate amount in maintaining their car properly. Their presence does not, of course, preclude the need for a thorough inspection - something the vendor would welcome, by the way – but do give you a shortcut into their attitude towards maintenance.

In summary, it’s all but flawless. We’re struggling to find any blemishes at all, which makes for a dull advert but a great car to buy.

You’re very welcome to pop along to see us here at The Market HQ near Abingdon to check it out for yourselves. We’ll pop the kettle on while you cast your eyes over it; if you’re in the market for an early E-Type we promise you’ll struggle to find a better one for sale in the UK today, particularly in this price range.

On the Inside

The interior is pure E-Type and ticks all the boxes with a wood-rimmed Mota Lita steering wheel, machine-turned dashboard, OE Bakelite gearknob, the original radio (not functional), low-backed black leather bucket seats, and an aircraft-style array of switches and gauges. The driving position, long and low, is perfect too and the view through the tiny windscreen, complete with its iconic three-windscreen wiper set-up, is hard to fault.

The headlining is excellent as are the door cards, carpets, dashboard and sun-visors. As with the exterior, the interior is almost perfect with only the very gentlest of rubbing to the outside of edge of the driver’s seat to show that it has ever been used.

The boot is a study in effortless cool and industrial chic and it is, of course, in perfect condition. The side-hinged rear door pivots open to reveal a very clean and straight boot that is home to the genuine Jaguar toolkit and Shelley jack, plus the spare wheel and a bespoke wooden tool to remove those gorgeous eared-spinners on the wheels. That rear door is also very strong on its hinges – not always a Coupe strong point.

The owner is as fastidious in the way he uses his cars as he is in the way he maintains them, and only a loose fastener on the offside front chrome door trim ruins the interior’s concours appearance.


Restored in the early to mid-nineties, the work was carefully catalogued both in writing and by way of a photo album. The written record is fascinating and very detailed, revealing that the work – and this was a home restoration don’t forget, so there were no labour costs – set the owner back £23,573, or around £50,000 in today’s money. So, it’s fair to conclude it was done properly.

You doubt us? Well, the E-Type comes with a letter dated 19th October 2006 that details the car’s mechanical condition along with a few areas that the owner might like to consider rectifying. We aren’t saying that the writer indulged in a little nit-picking, but when you hear that just about the only outstanding issues he identified were the need for new HT leads, a lower bush, a radiator header tank, a new oil bypass hose, and incorrectly routed brake and clutch pipes and the wiring for the starter motor and engine earth strap, you soon realize that there really wasn’t a lot wrong with it.

In fact, the letter ends: ‘In my opinion this is a good amateur rebuild and is in general good order and is one of the better examples that you are likely to find.’ This was, you’ll recall, written in 2006, and the E-Type has been the subject of a continuous programme of maintenance, repair and upgrading ever since, so it’s probably in an even better condition now than it was then…

This is partly due to a number of modest upgrades designed to make the E-Type more usable in modern road conditions. These include:

• PowerLock rear differential

• Radtec alloy radiator and CoolCat electric cooling fan with a manual override switch

• Spin-on oil filter conversion

• Positive earth Dynalite alternator (disguised as a dynamo)

• Hi-torq starter motor

• Coopercraft front brakes (the old calipers have been retained and will come with the car) and larger XJS rear brakes Converted to silicon fluid. Good, strong brake pedal.

• Sports coil and electronic distributor

• Stainless steel exhaust

• Differential changed to 3.31 and the speedo was re-calibrated.

• Improved headlights with H4 halogen bulbs.

• Clutch replaced in 2004. Cost around £2K (misplaced the invoice!).

It also has an overdrive on the gearbox. This is an unusual modification, and we’ll leave it to the owner to describe it: ‘The gearbox is from an XJ6, and [the work] is done by cutting through a cross member, and the perceived wisdom is that this weakens the structure. However, mine has been done very well, with additional cross bracing. I have a report from an independent engineer before I bought the car which stated that it has not had any negative impact. Given that the shutlines are good and there has been no issues over 16 years, I have not worried. On the plus side, as the 3.8 E-Type tends to be high revving and you can be looking for a 5th gear, having an overdrive switch which drops the revs by 500 rpm is great. All of the above is reversible, and the crossmember could be replaced and the gearbox replaced with a Moss box or later 4.2 synchro E-Type gearbox.’

The owner also spent £6,000 in 2018 on refurbishing the IRS, suspension and brakes with new hubs, bushes, seals, dampers, springs, etc. The work done by Ken Verity, an independent E-Type specialist based in Rotherham.

We’ve driven it and can confirm that it is an absolute delight to drive, starting easily and performing as well, if not better, than any E-Type we can remember – and we’ve driven a few.

The underside is very nearly as clean as the coachwork. Utterly free from rust, damage and all the other imperfections that some sellers disguise with a thick coat of underseal, this one is bare and open to the world and looking utterly glorious.

Oh, and the engine bay is in virtually concours condition and is one of the very nicest we’ve ever seen. It’s utterly lovely under there and in need of nothing other than airing at every opportunity to let everyone see what a wonderfully clean engine and front suspension lurks underneath that long, elegant bonnet.

History Highlights

The Jaguar comes with a current MOT certificate that expires in September 2020. The online MOT history shows nothing of concern whatsoever and the E-Type hasn’t gathered a single advisory point since 2012.

The car comes with a large number of expired MOT certificates plus its original green card registration document, a letter dated 10th July 1991 from Jaguar confirming the car’s original build specification, a Haynes workshop manual, a loose-leaf Jaguar workshop manual, and a photo album that documents its restoration in the nineties.

There is a large (and heavy…) box with original spares, including:

• Original smooth air plenum

• Original starter motor (works fine) and starter solenoid

• Original Dunlop calipers (worked fine)

• Original oil filter case and bolt

• Original distributor, cap, leads and conduit

• Some Carmen Red touch-up paint

• A spare oil filter

• Underdash Hardura.

It also comes with - and we can’t overstate how rare these are - a full Jaguar toolkit from a MKII car, and a Shelley jack. Aficionados will appreciate the value of these items, especially the latter…

There are also a few old invoices and bills. Dozens of ‘em in fact, which is a measure of just how well this E-Type has been maintained and improved over the years.

If you’d like to inspect the car prior to placing a bid – something we would encourage – then please contact the owner to arrange an appointment.

What We Think

Being offered with no reserve, we think the (virtual) hammer will drop with at least a seven at the beginning, which is strong money but given that this is an even better car than the one we sold for £85,000 last summer, we think it could go higher, all things considered.

Because, when the market softens, investors and collectors default to what they know – and everyone loves and knows the E-Type. They also want early, original cars in the very best condition – and this example ticks those boxes too. For that reason, we think this is a car that will appeal to the Jaguar E-Type enthusiast with an eye to maximizing their investment over the coming years.

Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; to arrange an appointment please use the ‘Contact Seller’ button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

If needed, please remember we have a network of trusted suppliers we work with regularly and can recommend: Classic & Sportscar Finance for purchase-financing, Footman James for classic car insurance Thames Valley Car Storage for storing your car and AnyVan for transporting it.

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at the vehicles delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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  • Location: Abingdon
  • Seller Type: Private
  • Odometer Reading: 7,000
  • Chassis Number: 860274
  • Engine: 3800
  • Gearbox: Manual
  • Colour: Carmen Red
  • Interior: Black leather

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