E-Type chassis No. 860040 was bought by the previous owner in 1969 and was originally gray. But it was driven home to France and painted it in its current aubergine in 1974, before it was put into storage. During that time it was considered missing by experts, but there it sat under a dust sheet car cover for most of its life, so the body is in good condition. The family mechanic said that the car was last started about five years ago, and the engine recently was turned over. Coys auction house describes the original interior, which is also preserved well, as a "time warp."
Chris Routledge of Coys before the auction said, "They're sort of a mythical beast for enthusiast, at the time they were all handmade on special order, so Jaguar collectors look at the first 100 cars in a different way," BBC News reports. He added, "We estimate it to be worth between 20,000 and 40,000 pounds (about $32,100 to $64,200) but our feedback from collectors and interest worldwide suggests it could sell for between 80,000 and 100,000 pounds (about $128,500 to $160,600)." Of course, his revised estimate was right on target.