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

Classic Cars (UK) - - Chasing Cars -

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’

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