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Jaguar XKE Series I or II

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Anyone on this forum familliar with these? I am primarilly interested in a series I or II, 4 speed car, OTS or coupe, preferably in driver condition - older restoration or nice original, would like to avoid a project unless it is a really good start.

Interested in learning what to look for besides obvious electricals and rust issues, and would be interested in any leads particularly in the Northeast.

Am I wrong to dismiss the series III? So far I am hearing stay away.


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I will dive in her in the hope that others with better information will respoind.

I have had some second hand experience with the XKE. The biggest issue is structural rust, it is very prevalent problem and repair requires a total strip down to the basic body. Internal painting was inadequate originally so they rust through from the inside out in the structural parts.

The other common problem is accident damage made worse by the nature of the car and the way they were often driven. The XKE has a monocoque body with a separate removable front subframe for the engine and large opening hood. The subframe will sometimes have been damaged and require replacement. Reproductions are available.

Finding one that has not suffered any of this will be particularly difficult and even if sound, the rust issue is always there due to the original lack of internal surface protection.

Best bet would be one that has all of these issue repaired properly but being sure that it has been done is the hard part.

I have always aspired to own one but due to these issues and other projects it has not happened.

Beautiful cars.


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Thanks David, I was not aware of the internal painting issue but not surprised. Finding one in the type of condition I want may be a bit of a challenge, at least in my neck of the woods trashed projects or perfect show cars seem to be available, it is that middle ground that is tough. I figure I can have the luxury of one vehicle that is a little more finicky now that we have the SL which is dead reliable and built to an amazing standard, but more of a boulevard car than a sportscar. So the XKE would be different enough in style and driving experience than some other cars we have been thinking about. That said, I do want to be able to drive the car and understand the 6 can be made pretty reliable, but need to do my homework. THANKS for your input - and yes, I hope some with experience dive in here.

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The transition between Series 1 (1961-68) and Series 2 (1969-71) E-Types was gradual, and you will frequently hear cars referred to as "Series 1 1//2" cars. This is an unofficial designation, but these are usually the most desirable/valuable cars.

The designation Series 1 1/2 is sometimes defined as 1964/5-1968, referring to the introduction of a new fully synchromesh transmission, and sometimes defined as 1967-68 referring to the change to exposed and raised headlights (as opposed to the earlier cars glass-covered units). The first partially non-syncro tranny is described in some of my books as fragile and less reliable/desirable as the later tranny (unfortunately I have no first-hand experience), making the 1965-66 cars the best of both worlds (as most people prefer the looks of the covered headlights).

The Series 2 cars have a larger grille opening, slightly reduced power (but if you ever see someone stuff a sbc into any of these cars you can still comfortably assume they know nothing about cars!:P ), and are a bit less desirable than any Series 1 or 1 1/2 car. They're still wonderful cars. ( HowStuffWorks "Jaguar XKE Series 2" )

The V12 cars are said to have a bit too much engine for the chassis. They also have higher maintenance costs. ( HowStuffWorks "Jaguar XKE Series 3 Design" )

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