Last call for the E-type express
This is the last real-world stop for the V12 E-type value train, so climb aboard now
Soon we may be kicking ourselves that we didn’t buy up all those cheap E-type V12 coupés. Long seen as the least desirable E of all, their prices are now heating up, propelled by the relentless rise of the early Series 1 3.8 and 4.2s. For years you could buy a really fresh low-mileage tin-top V12 for £30k but we were all busy lusting after Sixties E-types. Now the trade is pushing the price of genuine cars towards £100k and the days of the bargain V12 coupé are long gone.
Sherwood Restorations has a mint ’71 silver manual with 36k miles for £80k and a private seller in Nottingham has a 40k mile two-owner, total-historied Primrose coupé for £110k. But look hard and you can still find surprisingly remarkable cars for significantly less. AMS Vehicles in Yorkshire has a green ’71 manual coupé with 25-year ownership, 93k miles and a ten-inch-thick history folder for £35k while Kerry Drum Classics in Edinburgh has a low-ownership red ’72 with 62k for £50k. Best value of all is the private man in Canterbury with a ’71 auto in white with 58k miles in ‘original sweet-driving condition with new MOT’ for £29k. These prices look almost derisory compared to the mega money now being asked for the earlier Es.
And yes, the chubby V12 2+2 wasn’t one of Jaguar’s prettiest designs but it’s still an E-type, still good for 150mph and even comes with a couple of occasional seats in the back. They’ve also got an interesting Seventies whiff to them with lots of weird BL colours like Fern Grey and Green Sand and those slightly odd chrome sculpted wheels. UK cars will hold their value best so avoid left-hook US imports and go for genuine warranted-mileage examples while they’re still relatively affordable. I can see interest from Millennials pushing prices up further as they will see this as an undemanding easy-driving E-type with none of the Series 1 compromises of dodgy brakes, hard seats and cramped cabins. And don’t dismiss the autos – they really are mellifluously silky to drive. Classic car fashion is never predictable but I can see these final cars becoming increasingly desirable. And let’s face it, the rise in E-type prices has been one of the old car market’s great phenomena that shows no sign of abating. Snapping up a V12 coupé now might be the only opportunity you’ll ever get to own an E without having friends at Fort Knox.
‘We’ve all been too busy lusting after Sixties E-types’