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Lost Cause Weekend – So, you want to restore that Classic Jaguar of your dreams…

Jim Brennan November 17, 2012 For Sale, Weekend Edition 11 Comments

Continuing on with our lost cause weekend, where we highlight the metal that is for sale at the Beverly Hills Car Club, where most of the inventory is turning into Iron Oxide, and it is now time to look at the Jaguar Inventory. Jags have always been a bit of a gamble, even when running right, and impeccably maintained. So, what are the chances these once exquisite motorcars will ever become your magic carpet ride?

I’m going to do things a little backwards this time, and start out with this tempting 1971 Jaguar XKE 2+2 V12 Coupe. It was once bathed in a color called Primrose, it is equipped with a proper 4-speed manual, and it has Air Conditioning. But look at it now… the paint has seen better days, and there is a lot of the body work that has folds and creases where they shouldn’t be. The biggest problem, as far as cosmetics, has to be the interior. All of the leather trim will have to be replaced, and the carpets will need at least a shampoo. The dash actually looks serviceable, but there is no word as to the condition of that magnificent V-12. Asking price for this Jaguar V-12 is $10,750. See the listing here, but be forewarned; You will love her, until you hate her…

What could possibly be more tempting than a Jaguar XKE V-12 Coupe? Why it may be this Jaguar XKE V-12 Roadster from 1974. Compared to the above Coupe, this Roadster looks a lot more pleasing to the eye, but looks can be deceiving. The Maroon Paint Work leaves a lot to be desired, and the entire bonnet will need either replacing, or many many hours or meticulous body work. The dealer states that the engine turns freely, which means it doesn’t run at all. Along in an inoperative engine, the Borg Warner Automatic will probably need servicing as well. Then there’s the interior and the soft-top that will need attention in a big way. However, the biggest problem with this car may be the optional hardtop, with the rear window that has been either damaged, or is delaminating. Replacement glass for this accessory will be very costly. Speaking of costly, the asking price for this non-running E-type Series III is $26,750. See the listing here, and see if you think this Jaguar is worth saving.

Here is a 1967 Jaguar XKE Fixed Head Coupe, the last year for the covered headlamps here in North America. It is equipped with the 4.2L Jaguar inline six-cylinder, and a proper 4-speed manual gearbox. Besides the blotchy paint all over the car, there is only a little extraneous dents and dings over the body, but there is the matter of rust… The floorboards are about to come off because of the tin worm, and that can get costly. There is no mention as to the state of tune that lovely lump of an engine may be in, but as I said before, Jags with proper maintenance are notorious for unpredictability. Then there’s the interior, which is currently rubbish. The asking price for this problematic, but still pretty Series I Coupe is $19,500. See the listing here, and be prepared to have your heart shredded.

Now this car is a rather rare 1958 Jaguar XK150 Fixed Head Coupe that was once a factory overdrive car. Emphasis on once, because this car is neither equipped with the transmission that came from said factory, nor is it equipped with an engine altogether. The body work looks taken care of, and looking at the chassis, there were some rust repairs that seem to have been taken car of. There is no interior to speak of, but the instrumentation has been modified, and not in a tasteful way either. This looks like a project that was started but never finished, and it looked like it was going to have a non factory engine/transmission combination installed (Though I could be wrong about that bit of information). Asking price for this non complete project Jag is $13,750. See the listing here, and tell me if you are man (or Woman) enough to finish this project.

Last Jaguar, and talk about rarity. This is a 1956 Jaguar XK 140 Fixed Head Coupe, the first Jaguar Sports Car that was offered with a fully Automatic Transmission, and this particular car is equipped with one. However, this car will need a lot of attention as there is rust on almost all the lower panels. Once the metalwork is done, the paint will need to be applied, but before that, there needs to be an interior sourced. No word as to the viability of the engine, or whether that rare Automatic is functioning, but they state that the entire car is original! Asking price for this piece of English Lawn Art is $16,750. See the listing here, and tell me what you can do to save this once magnificent car.

Which of these Jaguars you would be able to turn into the Cat's Meow?

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  • TheTurboFridge

    Jaguar is TurboFridge's Kryptonite!

    All of them, please. I got bit by the Jaguar bug when I was 17 and working at an auto auction, and made the mistake of tooling around the lot in a black '67 XKE.

    The brakes were bad on it, but that doesn't matter, when you are a 17 year old tooling around in a black '67 XKE.

  • Sjalabais

    I'm surprised at the prices, considering the condition of every single one of them.

    If there ever was a car to be spoiled by Camry-underpinnings, a worn-out E-type might be it! There will probably be space under the hood for a kompressor or a horde of turbos. Would be nice with a reliably longhood like that.

  • EmbracingEntropy

    The E-Types have always been the popular choice, but honestly I'd rather have a Mark 2 sedan. I've always loved the shape and front fascia, and for an old four-door, they are nicely proportioned.

    • Alcology

      I'm with you! I saw an amazing mk 2 at a gas station that must've been restored as it was super clean. A big decal 2 on the side, loud as hell and black as hell. A guy was driving it with his kids. How amazing would that be for a ~7 year old?

      E-types have never been all that interesting to me. The XK150 is more in line with the jag lines I enjoy.

  • smalleyxb122

    The only one that I'd really like to have is the roadster, but that is waaay overpriced for a series III in that condition.

  • rovingardener

    I would go with the XK150 since it is missing the drivetrain parts that are most likely to cause problems, anyway. I consider it a sacrilicious choice and would bastardize the hell out of it anyway with some other powertrain that would be more reliable and up to date.

    Say for instance a Coyote or a 6.4L Chrysler SRT motor and a TCI 6-Speed. I'd have to replace everything of the electronic and mechanical persuasion but I would also have the most reliable Jaguar in the world, eventually.

    Or maybe a BMW inline 6 drivetrain including the ZF 8 speed auto since it is imaginary money. Then I could have some potential failure (HPFP) to keep all right with the world.

  • Van_Sarockin

    Sure, they're all immensely overpriced. Any other car, these would hardly be parts cars. But, you know you want them. So suck it up and understand that they will require every last cent of your annual income in perpetuity, and enjoy the ride.

    • Sjalabais

      Or not.

  • Like Mr. Presley says, 'I can't help falling in love with you…' How can you lead off with that 1971 Jim!?

    I am smitten!

  • rusty

    You will need many donor cars, and wheelbarrows of cash to make any of these a serviceable ride.

  • what is this, kings of restoration?haha