A Jaguar E-type wasn’t a common sight on the streets of Europe in 1978, let alone the dusty roads of Niger. Nevertheless, a French businessman living in Niger’s capital Niamey shipped a Series 1 convertible version from Belgium to his African home and used it as a daily driver for four decades, also regularly lending it to his family and friends. In 2002, the car even featured in a documentary by Jean Rouch, the influential French filmmaker and anthropologist who’s considered a pioneer of Cinéma Verité and Nouvelle Vogue, which was shot in Niamey. Right up until 2011, the Jaguar was started once a week by a mechanic to keep it in running condition. In 2014, it was imported back to France, though having missed out on its regular exercise in recent years, it refuses to start.
Now, the French auction house Leclere Motorcars is selling the flat-floor E-type as a restoration project at its sale in Avignon on 24 March, with a pre-sale estimate of 50,000–70,000 euros. We like to imagine what an endeavour it would be to restore the car to its former glory (complete with rally stripes on the side) and take it on an epic road trip back to West Africa. That is if the new owner is as intrepid as its former one!