1968 Jaguar E-Type Series 1½ 4.2 Litre Roadster ***NEW PRICE***
The Swallow Sidecar Company was founded in 1922 by William Lyons and William Walmsley. In 1934 Lyons formed SS Cars Limited to effectively take over the operation from Walmsley. The SS brand was quite successful, though their cars had a reputation for having ‘more show than go’. The Jaguar name first appeared as a model name on an SS 2½ Litre Sports Saloon introduced in 1936. For political reasons, Lyons changed the name of his company to Jaguar Cars in 1945.
The SS100 built between 1936 and 1941 is today regarded as one of the great pre-war sports cars, however, it was the launch of the legendary Jaguar XK120 at the London Motor Show in 1948 that really put Jaguar on the map. The car caused a sensation, which persuaded Jaguar founder and design boss William Lyons to put it into production. The XK120 morphed into the XK140 and ultimately the XK150 and in total, just over 30,000 cars were built over 15 years of production.
In 1961, at the Geneva Motor Show, Jaguar introduced the E-Type, which like the XK120 all those years ago, took the motoring world by storm. The body styling was simply gorgeous and technologically the E-Type was an engineering masterpiece and it set new standards in all areas.
Whilst automotive styling is somewhat subjective, the E-Type is often ranked atop lists of ‘the most beautiful cars’ and in fact it has been described by Enzo Ferrari as ‘the most beautiful car ever made’. And it’s not just about the looks as the E-Type is often at the top of other lists such as ‘the best sports car ever built’ or ‘the most significant cars’. It is truly a motoring icon.
As a testament to the success of the E-Type, production evolved through three series from 1961 until 1974 during which time circa 70,000 cars were built.
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale 1968 Jaguar E-Type Series 1½ 4.2 Litre Roadster.
The Heritage Certificate on file confirms this particular example was despatched from the Jaguar factory on the 1st May 1968 to PJ Evans, a dealer in Birmingham, UK. The car was first registered with the Birmingham issued plate of NOV 555 G.
This car was delivered new in ‘carmen red’ with a black soft top and a black interior with red piping, a colour scheme the car still wears today.
The Heritage Certificate also confirms that this highly desirable factory right hand drive Series 1½ 4.2 Litre E-Type Roadster has matching chassis, engine block and body numbers. The cylinder head was replaced in 2016.
The very early history of this car is not known. It does have any excellent history file dating back almost 40 years to 1986. By that time the car had found its way to Australia and it then resided in NSW and was registered as JTW 579. There is an invoice dated 28th August 1986 for an engine overhaul and at that time the mileage was noted as 25,457 miles.
The next owner purchased the car on the 11th May 1993 from AJ McGrath & Co in North Sydney and at that time the odometer read 27,800 miles. The car remained in NSW and remained registered as JTW 579. In 2001 the car’s then owner moved to Deakin in the ACT, taking his E-Type with him. The car was subsequently registered in the ACT with the registration YCJ69N. Around 2018 the owner moved back to NSW with the E-Type in tow. The car was then registered in NSW as DSL42G. At that time the odometer read 54,835 miles which confirms the car had travelled a tick over 27,000 miles in the last 25 years. The mileage is supported by the extensive history file.
Later in 2018 the car was acquired by a dealer in Brisbane, Queensland. At that time the car was in need of some TLC and the odometer read 55,336 miles.
The car was sent to highly regarded classic Jaguar specialists Concours Sportscar restoration in Tuggerah, NSW. They performed a detailed inspection on the car, which included a compression test and an external oil pressure test. A plan was hatched to return this E-Type to its former glory. There was a significant amount of work completed on the car over a 5 month period. The engine and gearbox were removed, the front suspension was removed and the entire front end of the car was disassembled. The front frames were stripped down to bare metal and some minor rust spots were removed before they were repainted. There were some minor cracks found in the firewall which were repaired. The engine was fundamentally healthy. It was cleaned up, the inlet manifold was hydro blasted, polished and refitted. A new sump and exhaust manifold were fitted. The cam covers were cleaned, repainted in the correct colour and refitted. New gaskets and seals were used throughout. The front suspension was zinc plated and then rebuilt. A new clutch was fitted, a new stainless steel exhaust system was fitted and the cooling system (radiator) was tested and serviced.
In addition to all the mechanical work, the interior was also given a makeover. The seats, dash top, centre console and gearbox tunnel were removed from the car and stripped. The centre console and the tunnel were sand blasted as were the seat components. The seat runners were zinc plated. The doors were stripped and new door straps and rubber seals were fitted. New stainless heater pipes were fitted behind the dashboard. The windscreen was removed from the frame and refitted with new rubber. The interior was then retrimmed in its original colour.
The car was treated to a major refurbishment and there is an invoice on file for a tick over $90,000.
The current owner acquired the car in August 2018 where it joined an interesting collection of cars.
The car has been sparingly used in the last 4 years and today the odometer reads 55,559 miles.
Today this Jaguar E-Type Series 1½ 4.2 Litre Roadster presents well. Our first look at the car was with the bonnet up and you are immediately drawn to the immaculately presented engine bay. Given all the work done to the car forward of the firewall it is not surprising that the car is ‘like new’ under the bonnet. On closing the bonnet you immediately notice that it shuts and latches easily and that the panel gaps are very good. Walk around the car and you observe that the door gaps are similarly good, though the boot gaps are slightly off. The cosmetics of the car were not touched in 2018 works. The car has been repainted at some stage and we suspect many years ago. That said, first impressions are pretty good. In general, the paint work presents well and it carries a nice shine and a deep gloss. Upon closer inspection there are a few imperfections on some of the panels. We also noticed some slight discoloration of the red paint around the boot area. It is just slightly faded. The external trim is similarly presented to the paintwork and overall in good condition. The chrome and bright work on the car presents well, as do the badges, lights, lenses and the glass. It should be noted that both side windows are marked, which appears to have been caused by something rubbing on them while they were down. All the rubbers are near new and still present as such.
The wire wheels are a feature on this car and they are all in very good condition. They are shod with Retro Nanking 185R15 tyres which are currently 5 years old and in excellent condition. Inside the boot everything is clean and there is a spare wheel and a jack with the car. The springs that (should) hold up the boot lid are very week and require attention.
The interior is just a ‘very nice place to be”, again no surprise with all the recent work done and the very limited use of the car since then. We like the red piping, which is original and quite unusual for a car of this period. The seats are firm and comfortable. All the instruments are clear and in good working order. The wooden steering wheel on this E-Type is a real feature and in very good condition including the E-type centre piece.
There is only one way to use an E-type Roadster and that is with the top down. The soft top on this car is in excellent condition, but it is of course to be used for emergency purposes or ‘secure’ parking when need!
Now that we know this E-type presents well both inside and out, the next question is, what is it like to drive?
Just like all classics fitted with SU carburettors this Jaguar E-type needs full choke to start when the engine is cold. You turn the ignition on, wait a few seconds for the fuel pump to prime the carburettors and then you press the starter button. The engine hesitates for a second and then fires up. It quickly settles into a smooth idle. First impressions are good, really good! The engine sounds fabulous, making all the right noises.
It’s time to hit the road! Once the car gets to operating temperature it is an absolute delight to drive. The engine pulls strongly through the rev range, the gearbox is precise and the synchros work well. With all the recent work done on the car we had high expectations and we are not disappointed. There are plenty of ‘sloppy’ E-Types out there, however, this car is not one of them. It is tight on the road and there are no rattles or squeaks. The suspension is firm but not overly so. This car handles, steers and stops as you would expect.
Given this car has not really been used since the major works were completed in 2018, it really needs to be used and driven as its makers intended. We would suggest that after say 1,000 miles the car would benefit from a tune and basic service.
The E-Type’s current owner lives west of Brisbane and the car was driven around 150 km on its journey to our showroom where it did not miss a beat.
A change in direction has resulted in the current owner now reluctantly offering this car for sale.
- A factory right hand drive ‘matching numbers’
- Finished in its original and timeless colour scheme.
- Desirable Series 1½ 4.2 Litre E-Type Roadster.
- $90,000+ spent in 2018 at Concours Sportscar Restorations.
- Good history file with Jaguar Heritage Certificate.
- A well presented car that’s ready to use and enjoy.
- Jaguar E-Type Series 1½ 4.2 Litre Roadster
- 55,450 miles