1969 Jaguar XKE FHC

With the introduction of the Series II XKE, Jaguar ushered in a host of refinements and improvements to ensure the model’s long-term success, particularly in the critical US market where new safety and emissions regulations threatened the XKE’s future. Stylistically, the car featured a new bonnet with exposed headlamps, larger side markers and rear lamps to appease regulators, and an improved cockpit with more supportive seats and updated switchgear. Emissions-friendly Stromberg carburetors replaced the SUs of earlier cars, and the XKE (or E-Type, depending on which side of the pond you resided) leaned a little further toward comfortable GT and away from outright sports car. While improving on the legendary original was bound to be difficult, the Series II XKE rose to the occasion, offering near 150-mph performance, with improved comfort and versatility.

This 1969 XKE fixed-head coupe is undoubtedly one of the best examples of a Series II we’ve had the pleasure to offer. This beautiful Regency Red coupe is a long-time California car which benefits from a highly detailed restoration, with select improvements to enhance drivability and performance. The Jaguar-Daimler Heritage Certificate shows this car was originally finished in Willow Green over black upholstery, and was completed on August 18, 1969. It was delivered to an American customer via the factory, assigned a temporary Coventry registration, UVC 623 H, and driven by the first owner for an English holiday. It was then shipped to the first owner’s home in Northern California, where it remained for much of its life, accruing some 40,000 miles in the process. The second owner acquired it in the late 70s, and eventually disassembled the car for a total restoration. It lingered as an on-again, off-again project until work really got underway in the early 2000s. During that time, the owner acquired a damaged 1970 coupe with just 17,000 miles, from which he took the drivetrain to fit to this car.

Completed in 2010, the outstanding restoration left no nut or bolt unturned, done to a level rarely seen on the Series II. The shell was completely stripped down and refinished in a period-correct shade of Regency Red, and the cabin restored using correct black leather and vinyl. Fit and finish are superb, with excellent detailing, chrome, and brightwork. It rides on beautiful chrome wire wheels with correct “safety” knock-offs and shod with period correct Dunlop SP Sport radials. The cabin features black leather seats and console, with factory-correct vinyl on the sills and panels, and Wilton wool carpets. The cabin is in excellent order as well, showing a bit of character in the form of some creasing and light scuffing on the leather earned through regular use in most recent ownership. Fittings include original instrumentation, a period-style Moto-Lita steering wheel, correct-type radio, and the all-important factory air conditioning.

Mechanically, this car is extremely well sorted, with heavy emphasis on long-distance touring comfort. Aside from the factory A/C, it has been updated with a 5-speed all-synchro gearbox, fitted in conjunction with a 3.07:1 European spec rear differential for vastly improved high-speed cruising ability. The low-mileage 4.2-liter engine runs strong and is highly detailed, with authentic, factory-correct finishes and fittings throughout the engine compartment. The car proved its mettle by completing the Going to the Sun Rally in Montana without a hitch.

For many years, collectors overlooked the Series II XKE in favor of the earlier models or the altogether different V12 Series III, making meticulously restored examples such as this a rare find. Today, the Series II has found a home among enthusiasts who appreciate its balance of comfort, performance, value, and of course, it’s striking good looks. This superb coupe is an obvious labor of love, and it is certain to reward drivers with many pleasurable miles of Grand Touring.

 

Offers welcome and trades considered

 

$82,500

Stock number 7359

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