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Sunday, March 6, 2016

A Barn Find Jaguar with ‘The Beatles’ Origins Goes to Auction


Copyright © 2016 Bold Ride LLC.

The “barn find” is somewhat of a holy grail amongst car collectors—cars that have gone untouched for decades on end—and this rare barn find from the UK looks to be the best of 2016 thus far. 
In 1963 this Jaguar E-Type Series I was delivered new to Ivor Arbiter, the man credited with creating the iconic “drop T” logo for The Beatles, but for years it has remained cooped up in a UK shed.

 It’s scheduled to cross the Coys auction block on Tuesday March 8th, and it likely won’t be cheap. The highly original Jag may appear a bit dingy, but it has a reported 44,870 original miles to its name.


Ivor Arbiter’s role in The Beatles history books came in 1963 when Beatles manager Brian Epstein came to Arbiter’s Drum City shop in London, looking to buy a new drum kit for Ringo Starr. Starr and Epstein decided upon a new Ludwig kit, and Arbiter penned the famous “drop T” of the band’s logo in order to emphasize “beat.” Arbiter was said to have received £5 for the design, it was painted on, and the rest—as they say—is history.
While the Jaguar’s ownership with Arbiter remains noteworthy, that story somewhat pales in comparison to that of its fourth owner, Frank Riches, who acquired the car from owner Howard Measham in December 1967. Riches was an avid racer, and he regularly exercised both the Jaguar E-Type and his MG TF at the Brands Hatch, Oulton Park, and Blackbushe circuits. Oddly enough, the Jaguar was his tow vehicle!

Sadly, the E-Type’s clutch was given its death blow in 1969 and instead of repairing the ailing Jaguar, Riches garaged the car in a storage unit, and later moved it to his own property, which is where it would remain until 2015.


Amazingly, the Jag hasn’t been “taxed” for British road use since 1969 nor has it had its MOT inspection renewed since November 1968. Its said to still proudly wear that last tax disc on its windshield.

Under the car’s long bonnet lies a 3.8-liter straight-six, which would have been good for 265 horsepower and top speeds edging 150 mph. With some tender loving car it may be able to achieve that performance once again, but a very thorough restoration will undoubtedly come first.