Road­sters firmly in the big league, but tin-tops of­fer great value for money

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying & Selling -

Their val­ues might be ris­ing but com­pared with same-era As­ton Martins, the Jaguar E-type of­fers stun­ning value for money.

At the top end early, ‘flat-floor’ Road­sters in first-class or­der are com­fort­ably into six fig­ures, but an ex­cel­lent 2+2 can cost far less than a good ‘Big’ Healey. Restora­tion projects aren’t un­usual and while low es­ti­mates can look tempt­ing, restora­tion costs can be high due to the E-type’s com­pli­cated body­work.

H&H’s first RAC Wood­cote Park sale saw a 1962 fhc in seem­ingly solid ( but de­cid­edly shabby) con­di­tion sell for £63,000. Stored for more than 30 years and the en­gine not run for more than two decades, it was a deserving project that would make an ideal ba­sis for a full restora­tion.

In March this year H&H sold a 1962 fhc project for £38,812 but with early cars en­joy­ing strong de­mand, once re­stored it might still be sold at a profit.

Of­fer­ing a more af­ford­able route into E-type own­er­ship was a 1968 2+2 project ham­mered away for £15,120: while the ‘fam­ily’ model is seen by many as the least de­sir­able model it of­fers a sen­si­ble way into own­ing an E-type, and one that is likely to grad­u­ally ap­pre­ci­ate in value.

Road­sters con­tinue to draw both the big sums and the con­se­quen­tial head­lines, and Sil­ver­stone’s Fe­bru­ary sale saw a con­di­tion 2/2+ 1964 road­ster sell for £123,750: a 1963 fhc in the same sale was off for £73,370, show­ing that the lack of a roof will come at a pre­mium.

March was a busy time for auc­tion E-types, His­torics sell­ing a shabby 1962 road­ster for a strong £145,600 and Bon­hams’ Good­wood Mem­bers’ Meeting sale see­ing a same-year road­ster make £180,700.

Just like when it was new, the last­gen­er­a­tion Se­ries 3 model at­tracts a dif­fer­ent clien­tele from the ear­lier, six-cylin­der mod­els. More of a tourer than a pure sports car, it combines the so­phis­ti­ca­tion of a lux­ury sa­loon with the looks of an E-type.

In the van­guard of the late-1980s clas­sic boom, Se­ries 3 mod­els change hands to­day for less than they did dur­ing the last market value hike and they are gen­er­ally show­ing less ap­pre­ci­a­tion than ear­lier cars. In April Brightwells’ tidy 1971 fhc made £42,900 and Barons sold a smart 1973 road­ster for £81,400.

Thanks to a long pro­duc­tion run E-type sup­ply is healthy, and with

dry-state Amer­i­can im­ports ad­ding to the mix, the choice is as good as it has ever been.

Early road­sters will com­mand top dol­lar, even though they may have peaked, but Se­ries 2 2+2s of­fer a sen­si­ble route into own­ing this most evoca­tive of Bri­tish clas­sics.

This tidy 1974 Se­ries 3 V12 road­ster sold at Sil­ver­stone’s sale last month for £85,500.

The lat­est deals for fhc mod­els in­clude this 1968 Se­ries 1.5, which His­torics sold for £60k. Road­sters sell at a pre­mium, as His­torics’ 1969 Se­ries 2 model proved last month.

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