Let sleeping cats lie

Patina: 1969 Jaguar E-Type

Cars By Photo by Gishani

Every car guy’s dream is to find a dusty vintage classic in a barn somewhere. And it does happen. The 1969 Maserati we featured here a few weeks ago was actually found, covered in an inch of bird guano, in a barn on the eastern end of Long Island. Well, today we’re featuring another “barn find” that we came across in a small town in southern Minnesota, just north of the Iowa border. OK, not quite a barn but a dusty cavernous old building that was once a Ford dealership. Between old doors, chandeliers, crooked artwork and furniture sits a veritable British automotive museum. Under a blanket in the corner sits a 1966 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow, its tires and battery long since flat and dead. Opposite that is a pristine but seldom driven Morgan 4/4 and across the room, a late 80s 12-cylinder Jaguar XJ-S. But the prize piece of the collection is the car featured here today: a 1969 Jaguar E-Type Series II.

The E-Type (or XK-E as it was sometimes known) needs no introduction to car lovers. Every inch of its monocoque body was penned by Jaguar’s design genius, Sir William Lyons. It is considered by many to be the most beautiful car ever built, with its impossibly long bonnet, bulging fenders and stubby rear end, and we’re not going to argue. The Series II pictured here is of the 2+2 variety, with two marginally usable rear seats and a longer, more bulbous roofline which hardly detracts from its looks. Despite its beauty, this lovely Jag was also known to be temperamental and, true to form, when its owner went to fire it up, gas started leaking all over the floor, the result of a cracked T-junction between the twin carburetors. This cat was enjoying its nap far too much to be forced outside to exercise and so it went on sleeping as we cranked up the Nikon’s ISO and started shooting.

Photos by Gishani for Gear Patrol. Thanks to Jaguar owner, Allan Dahl.