A damaged Series 1 Jaguar E-Type was sold on June 4 for an amazing $48,150 at the Bonhams Greenwich Concours d’Elegance Auction. You’re probably wondering why somebody would pay such a huge amount for a damaged car. Well, because Series 1 Jaguar E-Types are rare and very expensive.
The Jaguar E-Type is probably one of the most iconic British sports cars ever made. This smooth and elegant yet fast and powerful car was produced by Jaguar Cars Ltd between 1961 and 1975. Its mix of aesthetics, high performance, and relatively low price for its category placed the E-Type in the hall of fame of the automotive history.
The E-Type was ahead of its time; while other cars still used drum brakes, live rear axles, and performed poorly on the road, this Jaguar was hitting the road with a top speed of 150 mph and a sub-7-second acceleration from zero to 60 mph. The car was so good that on the day of its release (March 1961), Enzo Ferrari described it as “the most beautiful car ever made.” More recently, in 2008, The Daily Telegraph placed the Jaguar E-Type at Number One on its list of the “world’s 100 most beautiful cars” of all time.
The most desired and the most valuable E-Type Jaguars are the Series 1. There are two models of the Series 1 E-Type: The first one was produced between 1961 and 1964 with a 3.8-liter engine and a non-synchromesh transmission; and the second model was made between 1965 and 1967, with a bigger engine size, a fully synchronized transmission, new reclining seats, an alternator in place of the prior generator, an electrical system switched to negative earth, and a few other pieces of equipment that made it more modern. Although the car got modernized, it retained the beautiful classic design.
This particular Jaguar was produced in 1966 and it has a 4.2-liter engine. The car spent all its working life in the United Sates. Its original owner, Jack Larman, received the car in the spring of 1966 and kept it for eight years. John Shuck, the last owner of the car, acquired the E-Type in 1974 with all the original documentation. Sometime in the 1970s, an unfortunate accident happened in John’s garage that significantly damaged the poor car. A fire hydrant that blew up above the garage flooded the Jaguar completely. Before the accident, the E-Type had covered over 60,000 miles and it was in perfect driving condition.
Immediately after the flood, the owner took the engine out and rebuilt it professionally. Although the engine was saved, the water and the long-term storage reflected badly on the Jaguar’s bodywork. Rust destroyed its elegant shape. Luckily, the owner, who is a huge car enthusiast, kept the car in hope that one day it would be completely restored. Besides the complete original paperwork and a heritage certificate, Shuck’s Jaguar was sold with many replacement parts and original sheet metal for the body work that will surely be needed for the repairs.
When it was brand new and undamaged, this Jaguar E-Type was painted white and had a black interior, chrome wire wheels, whitewall tires, and a black top. Although Series 1 Jaguars can be sold for much more, this one was sold for only $48,150 because of its poor condition, but even this is a huge price when you take into consideration that the car is not in a driving condition currently.
Just for comparison, one of the most expensive Jaguar E-Types sold at an auction was a 4.2-liter Series 1, with matching numbers, original paint & interior, and had the same owner for 45 years. it was sold for $467,000 in 2013. Another one, a 1961 Series 1 E-type, was sold for $528,000 in 2014.
This car will be an interesting project for its new owner. With its history, matching chassis numbers, and the fact that it is an authentic Jaguar E-Type, it could be at the center of attention at the car shows.