All eyes in the collector-car world are focused on the auction today in Paris of one of the most spectacular “barn finds” in history, the collection of nearly 60 European cars – many of them extremely rare and valuable – that recently were discovered stored in open sheds in western France.
Those cars, which include such things as a Ferrari 250 GT short-wheelbase California Spider, Bugatti 57 Ventoux and a Maserati A6G 2000 Gran Sport Frua, will be offered at Articurial’s auction during the Retromobile classic car extravaganza.
With that in mind, our Pick of the Week offers a distressed European classic that’s just come out of very long-term storage, according to the advertisement on ClassicCars.com. With just 38,367 miles showing on its odometer, the 1964 Jaguar XK-E coupe was put into dry storage in 1975 and is in all-original condition, the seller states. That means it shouldn’t be nearly as beat up as the French barn finds.
The seller, a classic car dealer in Beverly Hills, California, that seems to specialize in finding and marketing desirable cars with needs, has the Jaguar priced at $54,500, which shows the rising tide of values for classic European sports cars and original-condition barn finds in general.
“Shown here in its sought-after and original opalescent gunmetal gray with red-leather interior, this car is an excellent original candidate for restoration,” the seller says. “It has covered headlights, triple SUs (carburetors), wire wheels, and it even still has the handwritten body number in chalk on the firewall and the factory bonnet. It also comes with the original jack and tool kit.”
The photos show that the attractive E-type coupe needs just about everything – paint, interior refurbishing, mechanical work – and it looks like something weird happened to that right front fender. But if all is as described, it should make a decent basis for a pricey restoration by someone who doesn’t mind spending that kind of money.
Such a project could go upside down pretty quickly, although these iconic Jags are fetching strong bids at auction, especially for the early models.
Or as some well-heeled collectors are doing these days, keep the Jaguar in its current musty condition to park among your restored classic cars as a conversation piece.