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Jaguar E-type buying guide (1961-1974)

Jaguar E-type Nine out of ten cool cats who expressed a preference reckon the Jaguar E-type is the most glamorous, sensual car of all time. And is that any wonder? There aren’t enough superlatives in the dictionary to do the E-type justice; if grown men had car posters on their bedroom walls, this Jag would grace most of them. All those clichés about setting the world alight are true; this car really did rewrite the rulebook. 



With looks, pace, power, engineering and heritage, the Jag also offered an extra quality – relative affordability. While Aston Martin, Ferrari, Porsche et al had worthy rivals, they were much more costly. That price differential has remained; a superb E-type can now be valuable, but an equivalent DB4 or 250GT will cost rather more.



Jaguar historian Philip Porter runs the E-type Club. He owns several examples himself, and says: ‘There’s a huge spread of values from £5000 up to £200,000 – or £1million for a genuine Lightweight. At one extreme you can buy a 2+2 project and at the other a superbly restored, heavily upgraded Series 1 roadster. 



Jaguar E-type engines



The 1961-1971 E-type’s iconic XK unit is renowned for its durability as long as it’s looked after. Capable of giving 150,000 miles between rebuilds, the straight-six isn’t especially stressed unless regularly thrashed – and few owners drive hard.



Get it up to temperature before testing; listen for any knocks or rattles. Check for oil leaks as well as exhaust smoke; expect a few wisps on start-up, but things should soon settle. Once fully warm, look for at least 40psi on the pressure gauge with the engine turning over at 3000rpm.



Make sure the cooling fan cuts in on tickover. If the temperature gauge needle keeps climbing, the engine may well have overheated once: evidence of a blown head gasket is white ‘mayonnaise’ on the oil filler cap. If the motor is smoking badly or it’s very rattly, it’ll need total rebuild – but don’t panic. You can rebuild one at home for around £2000, or pay double this to get it done professionally. If you go DIY, the XK engine is the easier to revive of the pair.



The V12 that arrived in 1971 is an all-time great; properly kept it’ll do 200,000 miles. Poor maintenance leads to overheating, so idle the engine for a few minutes and watch the gauge. Harshness points to previous overheating having distorted the long block and heads. These are alloy, so anti-freeze must be maintained otherwise internal corrosion is guaranteed, leading to a less-efficient cooling system that ensures even worse overheating.



Low oil pressure at idle isn’t a problem, but check for at least 45lb (preferably 55lb) at 2500rpm. Leaks are common at the rear crankshaft seal; once it’s failed, a full rebuild is needed. A specialist charges £4000+, or you could do it yourself for £600 – if you’re skilled. Cars that have been run infrequently are especially likely to suffer from this, as the seal dries out then wears more readily.



The V12 has 20 rubber coolant hoses; the replacement of perished ones is very involved as the water rails and carbs have to be removed. They must also be to the correct reinforced spec; the coolant system runs at 15lb psi (earlier E-types are just 4lb psi). A full set is £143.50.
 
The original rubber fuel lines will now be brittle, while the Zenith-Stromberg carbs go out of tune when their diaphragms perish. Rebuilt carbs are the best solution; there are four at £350 each. Incidentally, the V12 happily runs on unleaded, as hardened valve seats were factory fitted.



E-type gearbox issues



There’s little to worry about here, but listen for clonks that signify worn universal joints or whining that betrays a dodgy diff. Fixing the former is straightforward; the latter is less easy and rather more costly with a replacement diff costing £750. Gearboxes are also strong, but the recalcitrance of the Moss unit on 3.8-litre cars is legendary. It’s noisier than the later one, too, so don’t expect a box that’s especially easy or pleasant to use, particularly when selecting first or reverse. Expect to pay £900 for a rebuilt transmission, whether it’s a Moss unit or a later one.



Most V12s have a three-speed Borg Warner Model 12 auto, yet the Jaguar four-speed manual is more sought after. They’re both durable, but the latter can suffer from weak synchro on second and third; check for difficulty selecting gears when cold. Expect to pay £400 for an exchange unit.



If ratio changes are jerky on the auto, or there’s any slipping, a service involves fresh fluid, filters and band adjustment. For an overhaul, budget £1100. Clutches, diffs and driveshafts are durable, but check for vibrations, clonks or whines.



What about the suspension, steering and brakes?



Jack up each wheel and rock it diagonally, feeling for wear in the bushes and bearings. If there is no play at the rear, the bearings have been set too tight and will probably overheat and fail. There are some in the hub as well as the lower fulcrum; a little play in each of these can lead to what feels like an alarming amount of movement at the wheel, but it should be no more than an eighth of an inch or so.



Remove the rear wheels and look at the axle cage mountings, which can perish or break. If you’ve already driven the car by now and it feels rather lively at the back, it could be due to rear-wheel steering as a result of the wear. While you’re under there, ensure there’s no oil leaking from the diff onto the inboard rear brakes. 



Any signs of trouble and it’s an axle-out job to sort. If there are creaks from the rear suspension, it’ll be because the lower hub pivots have corroded; if not greased regularly they wear rapidly or seize.
At the front there shouldn’t be nearly as much play, but don’t be surprised if you can detect a small amount. If it’s bearing wear, that’s easy to sort, but it might be worn lower wishbone balljoints. These act directly on the wishbone, which can be shimmed only so much before replacements are needed at a little over £100 per side.


The rack-and-pinion steering is reliable, but wear in the column joints is normal; replacement is easy at just £65 for the pair. The brakes should feel very strong, but imbalance is usually caused by that oil on the discs we mentioned. The handbrake can also give problems; the self-adjusting mechanism often seizes through lack of greasing. Try to roll the car on a level surface and see if it quickly grinds to a halt; if it does, fixing is simply a case of freeing off and lubing.



Although steel wheels were standard, chromed wires are now fitted to many V12s. The usual checks for damaged spokes and worn splines are essential; this is especially important with a V12 because of the torque generated.

Should you buy a Jaguar E-type? 



It’s easy to overlook the differences between the various iterations of E-type, but they’re highly significant. Buy the wrong car and you’ll wonder what all the fuss is about. Also, don’t get taken in by the glamour of the roadster when the coupé is more affordable and every bit as good to drive. 



Original right-hand-drive cars are a lot rarer than you’d think. Around 85 per cent of production was exported, so many right-hand-drive cars have been converted from left-hand drive at some point. Just ensure the car you buy is what it claims to be. Check it has the correct engine and that it’s not a roadster which left the factory as a coupé. The Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust is invaluable in providing details of the car’s original spec. Philip Porter’s book Original Jaguar E-type (details in books listing), will highlight any inconsistencies in the specification.



If the car does need work there’s no need to fret about parts availability, because everything is available to revive an E-type, no matter how tired. With the right tools and enough time, a competent home mechanic can tackle just about any job that’s likely to crop up. Crucially, there’s no such thing as 
a bargain E-type. It’s quite common for someone to buy an example that’s priced at £20,000 below what would be expected. Then the new owner starts delving and discovers that to get the model up to the standard they were expecting, it needs £50,000 spent on it.

Few cars at any price are as rewarding to own or drive as a well-restored E-type. And there’s the rub; it must be properly renovated if it is to give any pleasure – and there’s a huge amount of enjoyment to be gained from E-type ownership.

Words: Richard Dredge
Jaguar E-type
Last updated: 3rd Dec 2014
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Jaguar E-Type cars for sale

135 Search results
Jaguar E-Type
40000 125000 GBP
  • 1971 Jaguar E-Type S2 4.2 Coupe

    £50,000 - £55,000 est. £50,000 - £55,000 est.

    1971 Jaguar E-Type S2 4.2 Coupe

    Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 0DE
    Auction Date: 23 Sep 2015
    RESERVE PRICE
    Last update: About 12 Hours Old

    • Engine size: 4.2

    Auction Date: 23 Sep 2015
  • Brightwells
    01568 611122
    see details
  • Das hier vorgestellte E-Type Coupe wurde gemäß Jaguar Heritage Zertifikat am 9. Januar 1965 an Jaguar Cars in New York ausgeliefert. Der erste Besitzer war die Pacific Steel Building Co. 1990 wurde der Wagen von einem schwedischen Enthusiasten in Los Angeles erworben und nach Schweden importiert. Dort ist er über einen Zeitraum von sechs Jahren komplett zerlegt und sehr umfangreich restauriert worden. Zu den Restaurierungsarbeiten ist eine Fotodokumentation vorhanden. Der Wagen präsentiert sich in einem sehr schönen originalgetreuen Zustand. Er ist als Coupe der ersten Serie der Inbegriff des atemberaubenden E-Typs und heute durchaus seltener anzutreffen als der entsprechende Roadster. According to the Jaguar Heritage Certificate the here presented E-Type Coupe was delivered on the 9th January 1965 to Jaguar Cars New York. The first owner was the Pacific Steel Building Co. 1990 the vehicle has been purchased from Swedish enthusiast in Los Angeles and was imported to Sweden. There it has been over a period of six years completely disassembled and extensively restored. A full documentation with photos about the restoration is available. The car presents itself in a very beautiful ori

    • Year: 1965

    Last update: 5 Days Old
    For sale
  • Thiesen Automobile Raritaten
    0049 40 450 3430
    see details
  • Jaguar E-Type

    £125,000 £125,000

    Jaguar E-Type

    1965 Jaguar Series 1 E-type DHC Chassis Number: 1E 1090 Exterior Colour: Cream Interior Colour: Black with White Piping Quote Ref: NFCC0122 UK Matching Numbers Car Original Right Hand Drive

    • Year: 1965

    Last update: 5 Days Old

    • Mileage: 44500 mi

    • Engine size: 4.2

    For sale
  • see details
  • TSN 332M is a genuine RHD home market UK specification Jaguar E-Type V12 Roadster. The car was registered on 4th September 1973 and is a low mileage example recording just 58,000 miles with MOT certificates supporting the mileage back to 1984 at 46,553 miles. The E-Type has the highly desirable manual transmission and is finished in an excellent colour combination of British Racing Green with Biscuit upholstery and excellent chrome wire wheels with Pirelli tyres. The E-Type has a Black mohair hood and matching hood cover and the boot is lined correctly with Biscuit trim to match the inside of the car. This outstanding E-Type presents superbly and we can confirm the car is in top class condition throughout. The bodywork is truly exceptional with beautiful straight panels and excellent gaps. The car has a stunning, clean underside and inner wheel arches are pristine. The bulkhead and space frame are in excellent condition with no corrosion issues and the bonnet is also first class. The spare wheel well is presented in excellent order and is painted correctly in body colour. This British Racing Green paintwork is exceptional with a stunning glass finish that is perfectly complimented

    • Year: 1974

    Last update: 6 Days Old

    • Mileage: 58000 mi

    For sale
  • see details
  • Category Cabrio/Roadster Make Jaguar Model E-Type S1 Roadster Engine power 195 kW / 265 PS Transmission Manual Kilometres 16 km Date of first registration 28.06.1962 Total price Price on request Value Added Tax not reclaimable (§ 25a UStG) Sales advisor for this vehicle >>

    • Year: 1962

    Last update: 10 Days Old
    For sale
  • Auto Salon Singen
    07731 99 55 44
    see details
  • Very nice and correct Jaguar E-type series 2 Convertible LHD. Body clean, rust free and with correct panel fittings. Nice beige leather interior, Nardi steeringwheel and chrome wire wheels. Mechanically very sound and in a great overall working/driving condition. Over 350 Classic and sportscars in stock. More information and photos on www.thegallerybrummen.nl. Or contact us by phone: 0031-575-564055

    • Year: 1969

    Last update: 10 Days Old

    • Mileage: 42780 mi

    For sale
  • The Gallery
    +31 (0)575 56 40 55
    see details
  • The whole project has been undertaken with a 'no expense spared' attitude and a record of all the bills are present, which total in excess of £145,000. This is an exceedingly rare vehicle and must be considered a unique opportunity to acquire a very early Jaguar that is deeply entrenched in the early history of the company. The car is fresh from restoration and in superb condition throughout being ready to use and enjoy immediately.

    Last update: About 14 Hours Old
    For sale
  • DK Engineering
    01923 287 687
    see details
  • Mayfair 020 7125 1400 | Maldon 01621 879579 Jaguar E-type 3.8 Litre Roadster. Old English White/ Black Interior and Black hood. Chromed wire wheels. Original factory colour specification and matching numbers. Total professional restoration to original factory specification completed in 2014. Test miles only since completion an excellent example. Please contact us for further details.

    • Year: 1962

    Last update: 13 Days Old
    For sale
  • JD Classics
    01621 879579
    see details
  • Mayfair 020 7125 1400 | Maldon 01621 879579 Two Series 1 4.2 Litre JD Sport E-Type Roadsters currently under construction. Final specification can be tailored to your individual requirements and colour preference. A choice of Left or Right Hand Drive. Standard specification will include JD high torque engines, JD 5-speed manual gearbox, JD AP brakes, electric power steering, handmade stainless steel exhaust manifold and exhaust system, JD suspension, JD handmade alloy radiator and electric cooling fan, JD Sport stainless steel 16” competition wire wheels, choice of carburettors or JD fuel injection. Please contact us for further details.

    • Year: 1965

    Last update: 13 Days Old
    For sale
  • JD Classics
    01621 879579
    see details
  • Mayfair 020 7125 1400 | Maldon 01621 879579 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 3.8 Litre RHD Fixed Head Coupe. Opalescent Gunmetal / Red interior with original leather seats and painted wire wheels. Matching numbers original UK supplied car with original registration documents, large history file, original tool kit, sales brochure and four owners since new. Subject of a Fullbridge Restorations total restoration with photographic record completed in 1996. Uprated front brake callipers with vented front discs, upgraded radiator & electric cooling fan, stainless steel exhaust system & exhaust manifold, upgraded alternator electrics (original equipment supplied with car). A superb example. Please contact us for further details.

    • Year: 1962

    Last update: 13 Days Old
    For sale
  • JD Classics
    01621 879579
    see details
  • Mayfair 020 7125 1400 | Maldon 01621 879579 1962 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 3.8 RHD Roadster. Similar to picture above. 2 owners from new, first owner up until 2003. UK delivered, full matching numbers and original UK registration number. Original colour specification of Opalescent Silver Blue with Dark Blue Hide. Local car to JD Classics since new. JD Classics are completing a total restoration of this vehicle. Please contact us for further information.

    • Year: 1962

    Last update: 13 Days Old
    For sale
  • JD Classics
    01621 879579
    see details
  • Mayfair 020 7125 1400 | Maldon 01621 879579 Jaguar E-Type Series 3 5.3 litre Right Hand Drive Roadster in Red with Black hide interior. Chrome wire wheels. An excellent UK supplied matching numbers car completely restored to concours standard. Winner of concours events in both the UK and USA including Jaguar Drivers Club and Benson & Hedges Concours, major JD Classics mechanical inspection and correction just completed. A superb restored car for the collector who appreciates both visual and mechanical perfection.

    • Year: 1973

    Last update: 13 Days Old
    For sale
  • JD Classics
    01621 879579
    see details
  • Mayfair 020 7125 1400 | Maldon 01621 879579 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 4.2 Roadster. Old English White with Black hide. Factory right hand drive UK supplied example. Factory hardtop. Subject of a substantive JD Classics cosmetic restoration and fitted with the following upgrades: JD Sport stainless steel sports exhaust, JD Sport shock absorbers and adjustable roll bar, JD Sport 5 speed gearbox, JD Sport wide rim competition stainless steel wheels, JD Sport cooling upgrade and JD Touring Specification full engine overhaul including cylinder head with unleaded fuel conversion. Extensive history file including receipts of works at JD Classics. A superb restored and upgraded example, ideal for continental touring.

    • Year: 1967

    Last update: 13 Days Old
    For sale
  • JD Classics
    01621 879579
    see details
  • - Supplied new to the legendary footballer George Best and owned by him until 1974 - The car that George Best used to drive out of Old Trafford for the very last time following a bust-up with Manchester United manager Tommy Docherty

    • Year: 1971

    Last update: 11 Days Old
    For sale
  • H & H
    08458 334455
    see details
  • This Jaguar E-Type Series 1 3.8 FHC is a UK matching numbers car presented in original Jaguar factory colour specification; Gunmetal Grey with Grey leather Interior. This Jaguar E-Type S1 was restored in the mid 90's to a high standard with both extensive bodywork and paint work carried out including a full interior re-trim and engine re-build. Performance upgrades have been fitted including high torque starter, electronic ignition with sport leads with coil, electronic cooling fan, 5 Speed Gearbox and silicone hoses for longevity. This is a nice genuine Jaguar E-Type S1 with an extensive jaguar service history folder to matcht. Genuine Jaguar UK RHD 3.8 FHC E-Types are proving more and more difficult to find and needs to be seen to be appreciated both as a future investment and as a part of British driving history! Please note that the number plate shown will not be sold with the vehicle. For further details please contact ourselves on 01732852762 Back to Vehicles This 1970 Jaguar E-Type Series 2 FHC is presented today in Original factory combination, Old English… The Duck House Barn, North Frith Farm, Ashes Lane, Hadlow, Kent, TN11 9QU +44 (0) 1732 852 762 info@etypeuk.com mark@e

    • Year: 1962

    Last update: 15 Days Old
    For sale
  • E Type UK
    01732 852 762
    see details
  • This Jaguar E type has undergone much recent work which has included, a full respray, new hood, recent MWS multi-spoke high performance wire wheels & engine strip and re-build. Under the bonnet has been wonderfully detailed, the frames are excellent and there is no nasty underseal on the underside of the bonnet. Without doubt amongst the best of the S3's that we have ever owned, a must see if you are seriously in the market.

    • Year: 1972

    Last update: 23 Days Old

    • Mileage: 61859 mi

    For sale
  • Arun Ltd
    01798 874477
    see details
  • Jaguar E-Type

    £41,750 £41,750

    Jaguar E-Type

    JAGUAR E-TYPE SERIES 3 V12 2+2 COUPE - 1971 This Jaguar E-type V12 was supplied new to a client in the United States. After 26 years and a remarkably low odometer reading of only 78,165 miles, the E-type made the crossing from California to Germany in 1997. Here, its loving new owner had a lot of work done to the car to place it in excellent mechanical and cosmetic condition. Not only was the car perfected in order to comply with strict German registration requirements, it also received an engine overhaul. All the relevant invoices are present with the car. The E-type was imported into the Netherlands in March 2002 to form part of an exclusive Ferrari- and Jaguar collection. In 2004, the car was purchased by its current owner, who added this car to his own Jaguar- and Rolls-Royce collection. In 2005, by special request, the Jaguar E-type was fitted with – amongst others – a manual gearbox to replace the original automatic transmission that, of course, comes with this car. The current owner is selling the E-type V12 because he’s in the process of reducing the size of his collection. For more information and photos, see our website: www.noblehouseclassics.nl

    • Year: 1971

    Last update: 28 Days Old

    • Mileage: 89124 mi

    • Engine size: 5.3

    For sale
  • Noble House B.V.
    +31 36 532 5300
    see details
  • 1967 Jaguar E-Type Series I 4.2 OTS roadster, S/N 1E 14607, Engine No. 7E 12759, Dark Blue with grey, blue convertible top. 4.2 litre in-line 6 cylinder engine with three S.U. carburetors, 4 speed manual gear box, disc brakes, covered headlights, chrome wire wheels with knock-off hubs, original engine, delivered new February 5, 1967 by Belgian Motor Company of Brussels, originally Opalescent Blue with blue, extensive history file dating to early 1980s, Jaguar Heritage Trust certificate, recent major servicing to all systems, a nicely presented and well cared for example of the last year of Series I production.

    • Year: 1967

    Last update: 29 Days Old

    • Mileage: 165000 mi

    For sale
  • Copley Motorcars
    781.444.4646
    see details
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