E-Type Restoration Guide - Buying a Used E-Type

The following was a question on the Jag-Lovers mail list:
>I don't know if this is the correct forum for this, but here goes anyway.
>I am going to look at 67XKE coupe this weekend and I have no idea what
>I should look for when checking this vehicle. This would be my first CAT,
>and my hands are shaking already at the thought of owning this beast.
>I am a confident mechanic and have restored a MGB, so I have some good
>incite to the process. However, I am not familiar with jaguar or the XKE,
>other than I know what a beautiful vehicle it is. At this point in time I am
>clouded by the thoughts of owning driving this and want to make a wise
>decision on if I buy or don't buy. For this reason I am soliciting you good
>people for some facts that will guide me on this quest.

First of all don't be too nervous - E-types are very friendly cars, and parts are easy to find. Once you get it sorted out, you will be very happy. A few pointers:

  1. Jaguar E-Type The Complete Story - Jonathan Wood Jaguar E-Type Six Cylinder Restoration and Originality Guide - Thomas F Haddock

  2. E-Type End of and Era - Chris Harvey

Good Luck!
Mike Frank
1969 2+2 E-Type

We always see cars advertised on eBay where the seller describes the car as needing "light" restoration. As anyone who has lurked on the list knows, a "light" restoration means about 2 - 15 years and "How deep is your pocketbook?"

One lister posted a rather humorous and factual description of what to expect with one of these "light" restoration offers:

Subject: Re: [E-Type] Suede Green on ebay
Date: Thu, 27 Dec 2001 18:12:14 -0800
From: Harold Robertson
To: e-type@jag-lovers.org

Restoration ain't that hard... Just wash off the dirt, buff out the pits in the paint, do a "throttle tune-up", replace broken or burned out lamps, and take to detail shop for the $59.00 muck-out special and it's "Restored" (Several listers could achieve this in under a month, I'm sure.)

Pull out engine (only if necessary), pressure wash, tighten gaskets, spray paint engine (reinstall if removed) and you have a "rebuilt engine" (sometimes called a "Dupont overhaul") (sorry, I lost the receipts...)

I recently saw an E-type on ebay that was described as "restored" that was actually quite nasty looking under the bonnet... compared to that one, my poor old 68 is showroom mint -- which it isn't, sorry to say, but I still love her!

Yes the seller pumps that '67 up pretty good, but he may have no idea what is really involved in even a cosmetic restoration, much less a ground-up restoration. That or he hopes to sell it to someone who has more passion than knowledge.

The text is pretty funny, as in "This car is in the middle of restoration." Obviously "middle" has a much different connotation to him than it does to me. I would expect to see it on a rotisserie...

"...brakes have been done but rear brakes still need rebuilding. It stops fine though." So what exactly does "brakes have been done" mean? What does he mean by "done"?

And I agree, the comment, "A great project for someone who want to take a few months and have a good looking car by spring." is a crack-up. Obviously he's thinking about a buyer with unlimited funds and time... the only way I could make that a great looking car by spring is to put a $200 car cover on it.

It will be very interesting to see just how high it goes and what the reserve is... The current price os $3,550 is very reasonable, heck, if I had the cash it would be worth that just for the parts. The reserve may not be so reasonable.

"I would want the buyer to look at this project before shipping it. I will not hold you to your bid." -- His willingless to not hold a buyer to the bid until after inspection tells me that, hyperbole aside, he is probably an honest seller who really doesn't know anything about restoring E-types.

Anyway, it's fun to pick apart and to watch... think I'll go out in the garage and give mine a hug... and maybe a wax job by spring...

As we go into a new year I always like to take a few moments to consider those things I am especially grateful for... this list is one of them. Knowledge specific to E-types that I couldn't get anywhere else, always entertaining, and quite often funny! Thanks for being there.

Hope you all have a Hap-"E" and safe Holiday!


Harold Robertson -- recent cosmetic restoration (shave and a haircut)
Redding, California, USA
68 FHC 2+2 (unrestored driver) 1E78833BW
71 Volvo 1800e (unrestored driver)

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