Rusting Jaguar E-Type discovered by a builder sells for £41,000

  • This 1965 Jaguar E-Type 4.2-litre Fixed Head Coupe is the 19th model of its kind ever made
  • It is one of the first E-Types produced by Jaguar with the 4.2-litre 6-cylinder engine replacing the 3.8 unit
  • Despite having covered just 60,000 miles in 53 years, it has fallen into a shocking state of disrepair
  • The car was sold for £41,625 at the weekend, but classic valuations suggest it could be worth up to £128,000
  • However, E-Type specialists said it could cost £150,000 to fully restore a car, putting the owner in the red 

We’ve seen a few classic cars that have fallen into decrepitude in the past but this 1965 Jaguar E-Type is one of the shabbiest yet.

Being just the 19th right-hand-drive 4.2-litre Fixed Head Coupe ever made, it’s an early example of the Series 1 Jaguar that even Enzo Ferrari – founder of the Italian marque – hailed as the most beautiful car ever made.

However, we’re not sure if he’d have been so full of praise if he saw this particular one after it was left to crumble into a state of disrepair in the car port of a Yorkshire property, before being found by a builder.

Still, someone paid a staggering £41,625 for it at auction at the weekend – though that’s just a fraction of its potential value if returned to like-new condition.

While records might state that this is a 1965 model, it was actually built toward the end of 1964 before being used as a display car in Henly’s London Piccadilly showroom for five months.

Registered on 27th January 1965 when it was sold to the first owner, the last 53 years look to have taken a significant toll on the once sleek coupe, neglected for much of its recent existence.

No exact details of how long it has been stood in a dilapidated state are available, but the auctioneers – H&H Classics – confirmed to MailOnline and This is Money that it was recently discovered at a Yorkshire property by a builder who was working on the owner’s home.

And while it might look like a ‘barn find’ classic, it was actually stood in the car port at the side of the building – which goes a long way to explain the oxidised exterior and general weathered appearance.

Fortunately, the vintage vehicle was uncovered just in time for it to be salvageable.

Described as a ‘perfect project’ ahead of it going under the hammer at the Imperial War Museum Duxford sale at the weekend, it will need some serious attention if it’s to be returned to its former glory.

And while £41,000 might sound a lot for a vehicle in this battered shape it might just turn out to be a little goldmine.

Should the winning bidder recommission it back to an original state it will be worth more than three times what he or she paid for it.

In pristine condition, Hagerty Classic Car Insurance estimates that this very model could be worth at least £128,000 – a value increase of more than 200 per cent.

However, Jaguar E-Type specialists said the owner could risk going into the red if many of the parts are not useable.

Previous barn-find projects have cost between £140,000 and £150,000 to complete, one UK restorer said. However, the values for these machines are still likely to continue appreciating into the future, so even with high costs it could still be a strong investment over the long term.

That’s because the earliest E-Types produced with the 265bhp 4.2-litre six-cylinder XKI6 engine at its heart are a rare find these days.

The larger capacity motor replaced the original 3.8-litre unit from October 1964, around the time this one was completed.

Despite the increase in size, performance compared to the 3.8-litre six-cylinder motor was almost unchanged.

The 4.2 was promised to have the same top speed – 150mph – and an equivalent sprint time from zero to 60mph in 6.4 seconds to the powerplant it succeeded.

And back then, little would have matched it in a head-to-head race, with the E-Type the pinnacle of sports cars of the late ’60s.

H&H Classics claims this early example even boasts a number of ‘crossover features’ that show the switch from the old motor to the bigger substitute, and has matching chassis and engine numbers that are still visible to the naked eye – a sure-fire guarantee of its future value if it is eventually polished back to showroom condition.

Other changes as part of the 1964 update included a faster-shifting all-synchromesh gearbox, better brakes and electrics system, and more comfortable seats – not that you can tell from the heavily worn leather chair in the vehicle in question.

Despite it being missing in these images, the E-Type was sold with the clamshell bonnet cover included – which we assume is also in a corroded condition – and plenty of other original parts that have dropped off the car over time.

That includes body panels, engine components and sections of the interior, all of which have been left in the boot compartment to gather a coating of cobwebs, dust and dirt.

The whereabouts of the missing passenger seat is unknown, though.

Just 7,770 4.2-litre Fixed Head Coupes were ever built between 1964 and 1968 and 1,957 of these were right-hand-drive examples.

And as well as being hard to find these days, not many examples have covered as few miles as this one.

Because while it might look like it’s been run into the ground, the tachometer reads just 60,410 miles – which H&H Classics has verified.

That works out at an average of 959 miles covered each year since it first went on the road.

Being such an early edition, this crusty banger could return a handsome profit if the buyer is willing to splurge big on a full restoration job and hold onto it for long enough.


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