June 17, 2015

1963 Jaguar E-type roadster is no longer offered for sale

In fall 2016, I decided to keep it, but I figured that I’d keep this page intact, mostly. I’ll take out the price I posted. It was higher than what I expected, of course, and there’s no sense in keeping it up just to taunt. The process of putting the car up for sale is a good exercise, I discovered. You do meet people, and you do confirm your motives. For me, this amounted to a confirmation that I was in fact happy to have the car in the bay. I look upon it now as a project “in progress,” which after all is what engaged me originally.

So, I have kept the old thing. I’ve even fashioned a new cover for it out in the Garage Mahal. And I figure I’ll probably write about the experience at some time or another.


The car restoration is one of the most complete and illustrated on the web, and can be referred to for information about the process of restoration and the research conducted to execute it.

General information about the car is here. It has nearly 44,000 miles (believed to be correct).

Below, I provide some information of particular use to a next owner of the car. The restoration journal indicates what I did, but here are some things that I thought about doing next.

In no small measure, a next owner becomes custodian of this vehicle — something a bit different from mere owner. The transfer of “ownership” is in part a matter of determining suitability for that special role. This is not a transaction in the normal sense of the word; it is, rather, a hand-off from one custodian (who mainly cleaned up a mess) to another (who can maintain and refine the work).

I’m interested in finding someone who will use the car, but not use it up.

Hagerty’s car valuation

The Series 1 Jaguar E-types have done pretty well in recent years, after suffering a dip from the 2008 recession. The Series 1 is a coveted model, and examples are getting more difficult to come by. Values have consistently gone up in the recovery.

For current information on the car I’m offering, see

https://www.hagerty.com/apps/valuationtools/1963-Jaguar-E~Type-SI_3.8?id=112625.

My car isn’t a show queen, and yet it’s too nice to suit as a “daily driver” (which was my original intent). It has promise to be pushed up in the hierarchy of cars with some additional care and attention, though that isn’t something that I personally find particularly interesting to do. Rust has been handled in this restoration. In Hagerty terms, I place the car somewhere between a “3” and a “2.” Hagerty’s ratings are explained on their valuation web site.

Information on the car

The body is in pretty good shape, since rust has been handled and the floors and badly damaged parts repaired or replaced (go through the restoration journal for the gritty details). I chose not to do any chrome work on the front or rear bumpers, and I chose not to fit the front bumpers and overriders. I do not have the bumper “elbows” or the motif bar for the front of this car. In part my reluctance to rechrome the bumpers has to do with a certain distrust I have of platers. If you have someone trustworthy, go for it!First drive after restoration, August 2013

The original 3.8 liter engine goes with the car, and information on it is included in the restoration journal. It is disassembled and needs a rebuild, if anyone wants to put the original engine back into service. Some of the parts (e.g., the value covers) are installed on the 1980 4.2 liter engine that’s in the car now. The original cylinder head was machined and is in good shape, as it’s seen zero miles. I decided to install a 4.2 liter engine before completing the rebuild of the original engine. The 4.2 liter, because of its year, is able to accept unleaded gasoline, whereas the 1963 3.8 liter was not designed for unleaded fuel. The restoration journal has quite detailed information on the engine work.

The SU carburetors can stand someone with grey hair and experience to fettle them into shape. The car runs rich now and still drives well. SUs seem to require a member of the carburetor priesthood to pray over and bless them. I suspect that other E-type owners wonder about the things, since I have heard someone say that the word carburetor is French for “get the things set and never dare to touch them again.”

Also accompanying the car is an original hardtop, partially restored. This is the rounded version that Jaguar manufactured, not the more angular after-market version that is sometimes seen. The fiberglass shell has been painted black. Inside upholstery, of course, has been removed. Rubber trim is available, as are “windscreens.” The original acrylic rear windshield was crazed and exhausted. Chrome window trim — “unobtainium” for a long time — comes with. Those pieces of chrome may actually be more valuable than the rest of the hardtop.

One thing that should probably be added (and for which I have a workaround for functionality) is a new turn signal indicator switch. I removed the old one, thinking that I would refurbish it. But now it’s a lost cause, and I have now decided that I’ll pass that on to the next custodian to accomplish.

A “nice-to-have” might be a new bonnet, since I spent a huge amount of time on the restoration of that section. It looks great. But I think that a new alloy bonnet would be a nice upgrade, maybe resulting in some better fit. But cosmetically I don’t think it would change much. So it’s a toss up in my view.

Side mirrors aren’t fitted, and those would be nice. My preference would be the common flat-housing kind instead of the fancier “bullet” shaped housings that (if I’m correct) typically sit further forward on the bonnet. The little inside rear-view mirror is, I have to admit, rather lousy for visibility.

I do not have “bonnet hinges” installed on the car (they were absent when I picked the car up), and I have not connected the heating pipes. The bonnet hinges would be nice, though I have to admit I’ve not missed them. A pad on the floor protects the bonnet finish quite nicely. And heat? Who needs it for a car that doesn’t go out in adverse weather, much less icy cold!