• Matching numbers engine
• Under 40,000 documented miles
• Body restored and resprayed in 1999
• Retrimmed in 2008
• 3 previous owners including father and son
• Enthusiast-owned, part of a collection of classics
• Jaguar COA included
Jaguar's E-Type is often said to be one of the most beautiful cars ever made – an opinion allegedly once passed by none other than Enzo Ferrari – and when introduced in 1961 it was also one of the fastest cars in the world.
For its iconic status, the E-Type had a surprisingly short lifespan, with the last “Series 3” cars leaving Coventry in 1974. The car you see here is a late example of the S3, with the famous 5.3-litre V12 in OTS body style.
This S3 was first registered in September 1973 in Swansea, South Wales. The first owner appears to have rather enjoyed the car, racking up some 19,000 miles in four years before it was sold to the second owner in Northamptonshire.
It then became something of a family heirloom; the second owner kept the car for 17 years, passing it onto his son who kept it for another eight – during which time the body was restored and resprayed – before it found its current home in the north-east.
The present owner has just passed his own 18th anniversary with the car but, following retirement, has started to cut back on his fleet of classics. With just under 40,000 documented miles, it makes for a great opportunity for a new owner to pick up an excellent example of one of the last E-Types off the line.
The documentation for the E-Type includes a Jaguar Certificate of Authenticity confirming that the car retains its matching numbers engine, an original handbook in a leather Jaguar-branded wallet, along with an original wiring diagram and a maintenance chart – just to make sure you keep up your end of the ownership experience!
There's a raft of bills and invoices, primarily from the current owner's spell in charge, but also some significant items from before. That includes the 1999 exterior refurb and respray from cream to white, which looks like a bargain at £3,290, and though some panels have been restored the current owner believes they are still the original factory items.
A clutch of MOTs dates back to 1977, with a couple of gaps in the 1980s, and provides a record of the car's mileage. Of course now it is over 40 years old, the annual MOT is no longer a requirement. In 2016, the MOT garage accidentally put a 5 instead of a 3 in to the mileage which can be ignored as a mistake. Paper MOT on file shows the correct mileage at the time of 38,847.
As the name suggests, the OTS – open two seater – body style comes with just the two seats, and they are in great condition. Of course they were recovered in 2008, at a cost of £980, and have seen only 3,000 miles of driving since then, so this is exactly as you would expect; there's not even the slightest sign of wear.
Behind the rear seats is a large storage space, with room both under the lid and atop it, and this appears to in largely good condition too. The carpeting covering this section, and the area where the hood rests when folded, is a little more faded than the rest of the cabin. However the carpets in the front and directly behind the seats is in excellent condition and protected by additional mats.
The cabin is a mixture of black materials and chrome, and it all seems to have fully stood the test of time. All the dials – classic Smiths items – seem to work as they ought and are clear to read, as does everything we could push, poke, and prod. Of course there's not a lot of gadgetry, aside from the original Motorola AM radio, so there's not much to go wrong.
In the boot you'll find a repurposed piece of carpet covering the boot floor, and a full-size spare wheel of the same wire-wheel design as the car's original items.
You also might spot the stuffed “Felicia” doll from Shrek; that was given to the owner by his grand-daughter as a good luck charm and is included in the sale!
Although the paintwork is 22 years old now it still looks like new. Again, that's in part to occasional use only – with around 8,000 miles in that time – but it's in impressive condition nonetheless. We've looked over every inch to find a blemish or scuff, but didn't succeed.
The same goes for those four wire wheels, and classic lobed spinner Jaguar centre caps, as well as the chromed bumpers front and rear, and headlight pods; the S3-characteristic grille is a little less tidy than the rest of the brightwork, but should polish up a treat. All of the lights themselves seem to be in working order and are also free of any cracks or other lens blemishes.
Of course the convertible hood is one of the most important features on the car, and this is largely in great condition, and operates smoothly. The plastic rear window has no cracks or discolouration, and there's only a small tear on the stitching near the driver's side door to count against it.
Underneath, the car looks to have had undersealing to prevent any corrosion, and successfully at that. There's some surface patina on the exhaust, more so at the front section just behind the downpipes, but nothing else of note. It also looks free of any drips or leaks from the mechanical components. As a whole, the underside of the car is clean with good cills.
There is also a black hard top present with the car which will need repainting due to micro dotting.
have been balanced, and the ignition changed from Opus to constant-energy type, and the car fires up and idles well and without issues. The car maintains good oil pressure and temperature at all times
We weren't able to take the S3 out for a spin, but the owner tells us that the engine itself is excellent, and the four-speed gearbox a “delight”, in addition they note that the brakes have been inspected and the discs are clean with the pads being in similarly good shape as well; we can certainly attest to no mechanical issues at low speeds at all.
There's few cars as beloved as the Jaguar E-Type, and it's always a pleasure to see them out on the roads or at classic car shows. While some prefer the early cars, this model, from close to the end of the E-Type's life, is pretty much the pinnacle of what Jaguar could do with the car, including that famously mellifluous V12 engine.
Add in the low mileage, the fact it's had just four owners, and the generally high condition and this is a proper collector's piece that you could be taking to shows yourself.
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