An unrestored and original Jaguar E-Type found under a hedge in Surrey has sold for a remarkable £57,980 at auction. The final price, which includes commission, reflects the growing interest in ‘barn-finds’, or in this case ‘hedge-find’, that have yet to be subjected to a restoration.
The 1963 car was last used in 1969, as indicated by the last tax disc, which expired in November of that year. It is understood the 3.8-litre E-Type was placed in storage after the last owner burnt the clutch and it remained there until the 1980s, when it was moved into the garden.
There it remained until it was discovered in 2015 and subsequently sold at the Coys Spring Classics sale, last night. An original and early fixed-head E-Type will always attract interest at auction, but this particular car comes with celebrity provenance.
Its first owner was none other than Ivor Arbiter, described by the Independent as the “captain of the music industry”, who was also famous for designing the iconic ‘drop-T’ logo for the Beatles. He owned the car until 1965, when it was sold to SB Cain of Greenford and later Howard H Measham.
In December 1967, it was sold to a keen motorsport enthusiast who raced both the E-Type and his MGTF. Indeed, Frank Riches used the Jaguar as a tow-car, transporting the MG from circuit to circuit.
Riches is said to have enjoyed the E-Type to the fullest, with his brother remembering a time they topped 150mph on the A40. But when he burnt out the clutch in 1969, he put the car into storage and bought a Series 1 Land Rover.
He later moved the Carmen Red E-Type into the garden, where it remained under a tarpaulin until being rescued by the present vendor in 2015. The interest in ‘barn-find’ cars, the celebrity provenance and demand for the E-Type meant there was little surprise when it fetched such a high price at auction. Coys offered it without a reserve price.
The car was sold with its original brown log book, V5 and V5C, its last MOT certificated dated November 1968, the sales invoice to Frank Riches for £855, along with all the original handbooks and jack.
It’s now set to be restored to its former glory, but we doubt it’ll be used for towing. Or topping 150mph on the A40.