U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the Jaguar while performing a routine inspection of the cars shipped abroad from the Los Angeles harbor. Officials report the E was listed as being in a container on a ship that had already set sail for Holland, where a new buyer was patiently waiting for it. The freighter was ordered back to shore as soon as the car’s provenance was confirmed.
Footage aired by a local television station reveals the E has had a rough life. When it was stolen, the convertible was six-months old and it was in like-new condition with only 6,000 miles on the clock. Today, the odometer reads 28,000 miles, the interior has been partially stripped and the trunk lid is held on with duct tape. The car was originally metallic gray but it has been given a coat of white, likely after it was stolen in a bid to conceal its true identity.
The owner, a retired lawyer named Ivan Schneider, remembers he paid $5,000 for the car after winning a big case. He is currently making arrangements to have the car shipped from Los Angeles to New York where it will be fully restored, a process that Schneider estimates could cost up to $100,000. He expects the restoration will be wrapped up by the end of the year.
Schneider says he initially didn’t believe the police when they called him to tell him his E-Type had been found. He thought it was a scam, or his family playing a prank on him, but he became ecstatic when he realized it wasn’t a joke.
“I would tell stories about this great car that got stolen. I have had a lot of great cars since then, but none has been as pretty,” he explained in an interview.
The LA times reports the same inspection also turned up a 1976 Mercedes-Benz 280 (w114) (a fairly rare model since most stroke-eight sedans sold in the U.S. were diesels) with questionable origins and a 1969 Chevrolet Corvette that was recently stolen from a warehouse in Portland, Oregon. Additionally, officials uncovered a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and a 2007 Mercedes-Benz E350.
Photos courtesy of the Associated Press.