The Image of the Jaguar Driver

Over the years I’ve done a few projects with XK’s Unlimited in San Luis Obispo, California. Besides being an excellent source of early Jaguar parts and service they have extensive experience in ground-up restoration of old Jaguars; 120, 140, 150, SS, and SS100. The dollars these folks layout for restoration never ceased to amaze me … 2-300,000 dollars … three and four year project duration.

This photo is of a replica (and an accurate one indeed) and not my work.

As the joke about early Jaguars goes, "The typical Jaguar owner owns two; one for driving, and one for “in-the-shop.”

Alas, considering the amount of British iron running around here, Cortina MkI’s are a rare breed here in the States; oddly enough most were on the East coast. Most now survive in the UK and Australia, but I can’t afford the freight, and they’re right-handers.

My dad drove a TR3A for a few years. I got to drive it a couple of times before I was old enough to get my drivers license … and he sold it before I got my license… :frowning: I was in love with that car; it had a great exhaust tone.

lab - I didn’t say comfortable, just happy! But, in the end, you’re probably right. Although my propensity for driving comfortable cars is small: my daily drivers have been such luxo-cruisers as an (old) Mini, Spitfire, and Wrangler. I didn’t think anything of the Watkins Glen to Pittsburgh trip in a TR-3.

A friend has both a DHC and FHC XK140. Those were great-looking cars to me, comfortable or not.

lmo - The fully-restored Cortina out here went for somewhere between/around $9k and $12k (you could have your choice if you wanted to install the engine yourself):
That TR3A looks nice (my dad has one, too). The TR4 is still my favorite because I like Michelotti’s design. The tractor engine is robust and sounds great, but I’m not convinced its heavy weight makes up for that. I’ve been trying to find a good semi-daily retro-cruiser, and entertain the notion of Alfa GT Junior, BMW 2002ti, Volvo 122s/123gt type stuff.

As far as getting back on topic, I think from this forum there could be two stereotypes, with a decided split:

The guy who wears a wool driving cap and tweed jacket that drinks good Scotch, smokes pipes and probably owns a Jag more out of appreciation of the Lyons-era stuff.

The other are those who see the Jag as more of a status car, and think that gold-plating any chrome trim looks tasteful. They probably appreciate The Donald’s personal interior decoration.

That’s good. It reminds me of a movie called Gumball Rally. It was made long before Cannonball 1 and 2. One of the cars is an E-type that they can never get to run. One of the drivers is as you described and says “Beautiful car. I wish it ran.”

As for other British classics (overall, I think the British have styled more classics than any other country), don’t forget the Allards (the K2) and Healys (the 100-4).

Also, the drive to Watkins Glen from Chicago would be too long for me. I do try to get to Elkhart Lake 2-3 times a year. Best track food in the country (try the roasted corn and brats).