Too Far Gone? 1957 Jaguar Mark 1 3.4

Here’s a rare sight on these pages – a pre-XJ6 classic Jaguar. Most have moved into the major-asset level of collectibility, including any Mark 1 in half-decent shape. Ordinarily, non-running cars are not too appealing, especially when they appear to be this far gone, but some details about the car made it worth investigating. You can find this 1957 Jaguar Mark 1 3.4 for sale in Calexico, CA (yes, right on the border) for a mere $2500.

1957 Jaguar Mk 1 left rear

Yes, it looks bad, but just read for a few more lines before you give up. The car is said to have been sitting in the dry Imperial Valley for the last 25 years. That means it’s scorched, but also that rust has progressed little, if at all, during that time. There does appear to be some perforation, but it’s minor for such a neglected car. It’s said to be complete, and everything was rebuilt before the car was parked. So that alone gives some hope – one of the questions you’ll want to ask was whether the engine was left open, or whether it was all together with a carburetor and air filter, as well as exhaust system, keeping things closed up.

1957 Jaguar Mk 1 right rear

The seller offers some pictures of the wood interior trim, which is dusty but said to have been properly stored and in excellent condition. That alone will save you a bundle, or can be sold or used on another project. The interior (seen below) is pretty rough, as expected, but even there you can see the rear bumper is included, as are at least one wheel spat, a radiator and other bits and pieces.

1957 Jaguar Mk 1 interior

So there are actually two routes you could go with this car. One, assuming budget Mexican restorations are not a myth Nortenos only dream about, send the car over the border and have it completely refinished. New leather or vinyl, rust removal, new paint, the whole thing. Or two, embrace its weathered state. Get the rebuilt systems working again. Refinish the interior in vinyl, reinstall all the nice wood, throw some period Minilites on it, and drive the nuts off it. And of course, don’t do any of that before having some guys in haz mat suits clean the entire thing!


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