This unrestored, desirable early 3.8L Series 1 E Type Roadster, or “Open Two Seater” if you prefer, is a very special example that I know extremely well as I have owned and cared for it for years.
Delivered new just as it is now in Olde English White over Red Leather, it was owned by the Mayor of Asheboro, North Carolina from new until 2004. It has never been restored, only maintained and been treated to one quality exterior repaint in the early 1990s. During the 42 years of ownership by the Mayor’s family their cherished E Type was only used for weekend joy rides and, obviously, various Asheboro parades! Upon his passing it transferred to his daughter who sold it in 2004 with just over 40,000 miles on it. Today it just turned 50,000 miles from new.
Clearly the exception rather than the rule, this E Type has never been rusted or damaged and is amazingly well preserved throughout. Its willing 3.8L engine is original and numbers matching, its original red interior with the desirable “barrel-back” bucket seats and aluminum dash presents as-new, and the engine compartment is extremely tidy.
The body is as good as you’ll find, with all original metal, impressively precise original gaps, and doors that fit as well as operate perfectly- a detail few restorations seem to capture.
More import is the fact that this E has been thoughtfully upgraded and fully sorted regardless of cost so it performs like few others. A Classic Jaguars 5 speed conversion has been installed, without any modification to the car or chassis, along with an uprated aluminum radiator and cooling fan, electronic ignition, and a stainless steel exhaust. New speed-rated redline tires in the proper 185VR15 size have also been fitted, and the fuel system from tank through the carburetors rebuilt and made Ethanol fuel safe.
The obligatory Jaguar Heritage Trust certificate is, of course, in hand and the full history of this spectacular E Type is documented from new.
In the world of E Types these early production, aluminum dash 3.8L Series 1 versions are the top dog. But the real issue in the market has become the staggering amount of shoddily restored and “puppy mill” auction restoration specials that rising E Type values have literally dragged out of scrap heaps and, by the looks of it, even swamps. Reproduction panels, unknown histories, color changes, and suspect origins are the norm and Series 1.5 and Series 2 cars converted to S1 cars, chassis numbers and all, is far more common than you’d think. Worse yet, even if no deception is in play, is the reality that E Types are complex vehicles that are very hard to “put right,” if you’re into epic understatements.
So if you want a great E Type that will not disappoint, and aren’t dying to have a 3 minute conversation with an auctioneer while buying a UFO, you may have just found your dream car: Right spec, right miles, right upgrades, and air-tight history. Hard to do better than that, wouldn’t you agree?