Hi, new guy here looking at a 'garage find'

I’ve come across a '68 OTS that’s been sitting for at least a decade and will soon be sold,
possibly to me.
It’s been in the same family since new and driven often through the 19–'s. 140,000 mi.
SoCal car so little visible rust. Repainted with matching paint so likely some body repair.
Under the hood is pretty dirty and some surface corrosion on exposed metals.
Sitting on 4 flat tires but wire wheels.
I’d like to buy it and go through it mechanically and cosmetically doing it mostly myself.
I’m looking for some opinions on what I should offer; they will be getting other bids. Thanks.

We at least need a few photos or a link to the add…my initiat thought is that if you dont know what to bid then you havent done your homework which could cost you big bucks…any resto like this will end up costing you more than you could go and buy a decent car for now…study tne market and look at as any E types as possible…dont rush or it will cost you dear…Steve

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For a running car, Hagerty range is 49K to 200k (for the best of the best). As long as there is not any serious rust, all the mechanical stuff can be fixed easily. Would be great if you could get it for 40K, but I expect it will go for more. JS

Welcome to the forum …… I agree that taking your time is really important…join a local club…… get a Pre purchase inspection from someone who knows these cars inside out …. Spending a $500 now may save you 10’s of thousands …… if you give your local location I’m sure someone here will put you onto a reputable inspector

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Spend $500 now so you’ll now how much to spend later :blush::blush:


I shopped for a couple of years before buying mine. Somewhat similar sounding car. I too bought a '68 (FHC) from the original family. An unmolested marginal driver with lots of obvious minor mechanical problems and probably one re-paint and no evidence of any rust any place. I started with offering the same asking price on a similar but somewhat molested '66 I had looked at a couple of months earlier and we basically agreed on that price. I would have gone some higher since in my head I was extremely excited to finally find an E that looked like needed absolutely no body work at a price I could afford. I originally wanted a Series 1 4.2 but over the past 20 years my opinion has changed that the '68’s have the best combination of features of all the E’s especially for a warmer climate. I have mine covered with Hagerty for basically what they show for a #3 car. My 2 cents.

68 E-type FHC


Firstly, thanks for the reasoned and helpful comments.
Now I know why this site comes so highly recommended.

In the 70’s we had a '58 XK150 in the family so I got pretty familar with that car…
Nonetheless it is a steep learning curve and I won’t have a lot of time to spend learning.

This '68 will take work to even get running - probably days spent cleaning out the tank and
carbs. At least the oil was changed before the last shut-off. I’ll have to air up the tires just to look underneath. I don’t want to do more than look it over for now until or even if I buy it.

I asked about value to confirm what I already was thinking of offerring. I’m prepared to
pay $40,000 but that’s about it. It’s probably worth that even not running.
I do like that the same people owned it all these years and kept a lot of their paperwork.

Again, I appreciate the group’s thoughts.


Im in Dana Point and willing to help if you need it…

Thanks for that offer of help, Pete.
Dana Point is kind of a haul to this car’s location in Hollywood but I can buy you gas and
a good lunch. :yum:


Body condition is the big risk. I note your caution above when you talk about “visible” rust. I recommend that you examine the body carefully and look for evidence of rot in the sills, wheel arches, door skins (bottom), rear floor, etc. You’re lucky to find a car that’s spent its whole life in SoCal (unlike mine, which spent at least a dozen years in Ohio before I bought it), but that’s not a guarantee that its rust-free. And bodywork can get gruesomely expensive. Don’t ask how I know.


It may have been mentioned upthread, but it bears repeating: when you see rust on these cars, almost always it indicates a very bad situation. They tend to rust from the inside out.

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SoCal is a huge area, and depending what part can have a HUGE difference on the probability of rust. If the car spent it’s life in Barstow, it certainly lessens the odds of there being serious internal rust issues. But if it spent a big part of its life in the beach cities, it most likely has serious internal rust no matter what you see outside. When I lived in Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, and Venice, it was shocking to see how many rusted out hulks were on the street, and any steel patio furniture and BBQs were always well corroded. As @Wiggles commented, these cars rust from the inside out, and the salt air permeates those cavities even when you’re not seeing surface rust on the outside.

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what is your timetable…

Welcome to the site and hope you will get the guidance need.
Yesterday a coupe was sold on Ebay that needed restoration. The car had a seized engine and of course the body needed attention, but with all the challenges the car was sold for $39k . Your impending car seems to be in much better condition and would require a tune-up, tires etc which is nothing compared to the car sold on ebay. This car however can easily be sold for $75k or higher depending on inspected condition. I hope however you’ll become the new owner with all the best and happy motoring, cheers!

Others may disagree with me, but if there is 140k miles on it, I would say 40k is the absolute max it’s worth. That said, the market is what it is and maybe I just got lucky. I bought a 69 last year that hadn’t been started since 1985! It only took 4k to replace all the fluids, hoses, & rubber. Hate to jinx it, but it’s been running like a dream ever since.

Highly recommend Steve’s Jaguar in Canoga Park to assess and perhaps take care of whatever heavy duty needs this car has… unless you’re determined to do it all yourself.

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The estate the car belongs to is considerable and the executor is just starting to deal with it.
I probably have a month, maybe less. It depends on how soon the owners get competing
bids. They want 2 other bids in addition to mine. I may wait until they get them first…

Thanks Philip, I’m guessing about the 100,000 miles in addition to the 40,000 on the odo.
The records I found in the car show 25,000 miles in the '70’s!
Many if not most of the repair and maintenance receipts are from Armando’s in Santa Monica.

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Is the red one in his gallery the one you’re going after? Looks to be in good shape from the outside!

Either way, good luck. Once you get yours, it’s like Christmas morning every time you look at it in your garage!

No, this car (so far) is part of a private estate.


I wonder if they will reveal the offers to you???