Decaying Jaguar E-Type Has Seen Better Days

After a weekend away I returned to NYC on a Sunday evening. Inevitably all the primo spots were taken, so I was forced to venture into the depths of the multi-level garage. As I idled along, eyes trained for any open spot, my brain registered what I’d just passed and I immediately forgot all about parking.

I yanked the handbrake and went to investigate. It appears to be a Series III E-Type, as commenter McMike so kindly pointed out: 

“It’s a Series 3 2+2 (they didn’t make the fixed head coupe (FHC) past 1971). 5th in the pecking order of E-Type models (only followed by the S2 FHC, and the S1 2+2 and the S2 2+2.
They lost the covers in 1967 with the Series 1.5, and gained the larger marker lights, larger mouth, and wrap around rear bumper in 1969 with the S2. All these “safer” traits (as well as a few other details*) carried on until the end of the S3.
*four exhaust outlets, fender flares, LWB only, grill inside radiator opening, non-wood steering wheel, larger bumpers, different rear end sheet metal, 5.3 V12 engine (which happened to make no more power than the original 3.8 six that debuted in 1961)”

The chowder-y beige paint covered in decades of dust, and a bit of rust too, but I bet it looked amazing when new.

It had some dents and dings all around, but overall the body looked to be in pretty good shape. As I worked my way around this neglected British coupe, I found an inspection sticker from 1981 on the windshield. Holy heck this Jag has been sitting for over thirty years.

Now for the really weird part. The rear wheels appear to be shod in some sort of knobby tractor-style tires. Looking closer, you’ll notice the pronounced rust on the rear of the wheel well. My best guess is that in 1981 these were the best snow-tires money could buy. But…was someone actually driving this thing in the snow?!

If so I salute thee; having driven CCC’s previous E-Type on many nice sunny days, I can safely say any E-Type would be a massive handful in the snow. I’m imaging the owner as some sort of Burt Reynolds/David Hasselhoff epic human combination…it’s all making sense now.

There’s a certain fascination that overcomes me when I happen upon an obviously abandoned vehicle tucked away in a garage, just like the S-Class I spotted earlier this year. And unfortunately, without access to a DMV database there’s little possibility of finding out more information. What would cause someone to leave behind such an iconic and beautiful coupe?

Then the thought-train shifts. Why wouldn’t the garage have it removed after 30 years? Didn’t I read somewhere that garages often auction cars like these off for what amounts to chump change? HM! So many questions, and again, so few answers.

Keep up with JBH on Twitter/Instagram @JBH1126

Using Format