The search for the perfect Jaguar officially began in 2001. While I had always admired the E-Type, it wasn’t until then that I decided to acquire one. I was at the point in my career that it was possible.
Plus, I had seen the values steadily increase since the mid- to- the late 80s and thought that I should buy before they were out of reach.
Getting to work
I spent almost a year doing research on the car, deciding what the best of the Series and year I wanted. I became almost a shop rat, hanging out at a couple of local repair shops some mornings before going to work, picking their brains on what to look for, problems, repair costs, etc.
They were all very accommodating and were a wealth of knowledge. My final decision was to buy a 1967 Series One. This was the last year of the Series One, and by all accounts, the best, retaining all of the physical and mechanical upgrades, while retaining the covered headlights and toggle switches.
Then I began a three-year search for the car. Hemmings Motor News was my main source for leads, along with some other classifieds online and elsewhere.
I was pretty set on a red one, with a biscuit interior. I thought that they looked good in red-actually, they look good in just about any color-but thought that the usual black interior would be too hot for Atlanta.
Image: Grayson Guldenschuh
Happily, at this time, I was the CFO/COO of a national real estate company. Visiting properties, both owned and potential acquisitions, was part of my job. I could pretty much find a reason to go anywhere there was a prospective car for sale.
So the journey began
After first discussing the car over the phone, if it seemed to be a good possibility, I would arrange to either fly to the city if it was a major city, or fly to a city and drive to where the car was if it were off the beaten path. My search took me to Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Denver, and many other cities.
Eventually, I found the car only about 100 miles from home, in South Carolina. A prominent attorney had passed away, and he was a significant collector. His wife had taken it upon herself to liquidate his collection, which was split between his Midwest home and his vacation home in South Carolina.
While he had a significant collection, including Ferraris, Aston, an original Chrysler 300C, a Woodie, and many others, his wife told me that this one was always his favourite.
I engaged a local Jaguar mechanic to meet me at the Seller’s house. We spent about three hours going through the car. It was in great shape, with no rust-always a problem in these cars.
The Seller actually decided to sell it to me at a significant discount to what it was worth. She had a lot of cars to get rid of, and she appreciated that I was very complimentary of the car. Other potential purchasers had looked at the car but had bad-mouthed its condition in an attempt to take advantage of the situation.
Owning a Jag is no cheap feat
The car needed about R26 815 ($3 000) in work, which included upgrades, including high-velocity radiator fan, and upgraded radiator.
I’m now in my 13th year of ownership. The car has been largely trouble-free, with an average yearly maintenance cost of about R6704 ($500). I do some shows but never enter into official Jaguar Concourses. I didn’t buy it to have it judged but wanted to drive it as much as I could and enjoy it.
The only significant change I have made is to replace the Clarion cassette player that came with the car when I purchased it, with a period and option correct Blaupunkt am-FM radio.
By way of history, the car is matching number and had a build date of 13 June 1967, and was shipped to Jaguar Cars New York, with a delivery date of 13 July 1967. The original owner was Mrs. Mary Lee of Nashville, TN. She purchased it on 26 September 1967.
Image: Grayson Guldenschuh
The car is listed as an open two-seater (convertible, roadster) and is equipped with a 4.2 litre inline six-cylinder engine. There were 2 500 E-type Roadsters manufactured in 1967, of which 2 274 were exported.
The car was featured in the tombstone for the 2005 North American Jaguar Challenge Championship. It was also selected by Jaguar to represent the E-Type genre at the Atlanta debut of the then new F-Type.