Jaguar found under a hedge goes to Coys auction in London

The 1963 Jaguar E-type coupe will come to auction in as-found condition | Coys
The 1963 Jaguar E-type coupe will come to auction in as-found condition | Coys

A dingy and tattered 1963 Jaguar XK-E coupe found under a hedge in Surrey, England, and apparently not driven since 1969, will trundle across the block March 8 during Coys’ auction in London.

“Barn-find” relics have becoming increasing popular at collector car auctions, especially when they are as desirable as this early E-Type Series 1 with covered headlights and 3.8-liter straight-six engine. The Jaguar has just 44,870 miles on its odometer and a British tax disc on the windshield dated November 1969.

“It is ideal for restoration and is extremely rare,” James Good, a car specialist at Coys, said in a news release. “It has a great history, including racing, which collectors love.”

The Jaguar has a connection with the iconic Beatles logo | Coys
The Jaguar has a connection with the iconic Beatles logo | Coys

The Jag’s history includes original ownership with a Beatles connection. Ivor Arbiter, who owned Drum City and Sound City in London and was a staple of the ’60s British music scene, is credited with the design of the famous Beatles logo with its large “drop-T” design. The logo was first used on Ringo Starr’s bass drum.

“The Beatles logo is now recognized as one of the most significant and widely reproduced logos in history, and the fact that it was designed by the first owner of this E-Type is not insignificant,” Good added.

The last driver of the Jaguar was Frank Riches, a motorsport enthusiast who raced the E-Type and his MGTF at Oulton Park, Brands Hatch and Blackbushe between 1967 and 1969. It was unclear how the Jaguar wound up sitting for decades under a hedge, although the all-original car would make a perfect template for restoration, Good said.

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The car includes its books and manuals, and its original jack.

“This wonderful Series 1, 3.8 E-Type is in original condition, with matching numbers and has never been restored,” Good said.  “It retains all the features it carried in 1969 and is possibly one of the most original examples remaining today. The car needs a total restoration but it has all the ingredients to make a superb car – this is a true rarity.”

Coys brings 45 collector cars to the Royal Horticultural Society at Lindley Hall in London for its annual Spring Classics sale, ranging from early cars from the dawn of motoring to exotic sports cars of more recent vintage.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.