My first journey into driving was when I was 17, although I did not pass my test for a couple years to come. My experiences were varied. My first car was a 1967 Ford Cortina Mk II 1500cc that my dad bought for me. He took me out for lessons. Many expletives were said (on both sides!) I remember stalling it and he said some very colourful phrases. So what did I do? I just jumped out with a bus coming up fast behind me and left him to it. He was a very brave man, because he came out driving with me for some time after that.
Over the years I have had so many cars that I’ve lost count, but amongst them were several Fords, an Audi, four Porsches — 911, 924, 944 and Boxster— and two Jaguars, a 1978 XJ6 series 2 4.2, and the 2003 XJ6 3 litre that I currently own. Apart from the 2003 Jaguar, I also have an Audi A3 TDi Quattro, a 2010 Ford Fiesta 1.6 Titanium, and a 1986 Mk2 Ford Fiesta 1.1 Popular Plus, all original. I’m a motor mechanic by trade with nearly 40 years’ experience, so I get to see the bad and good points on many vehicles daily.
As for my Jaguar experience, my latest acquisition was the 2003 XJ6 3 litre. I purchased this in October 2019 from the internet. Sometimes this is not a good idea, but this is a really good car. It came with complete service history, belonged to a company chairman and was fully cared for by Jaguar main dealers and independent Jaguar specialists in its latter years.
It’s 99% original apart from retro-fitted “Jaguar Leaping Cat puddle lights” fitted by the last owner, which doesn’t detract from the elegance and style, plus the XJR mesh grille fitted recently by me. I corrected the door mirrors as they would not fold in automatically, and replaced some faulty parking sensors. Every so often an air suspension fault light comes on. I will re-build the compressor soon, and this will alleviate the problem.
Having bought the car in the autumn/winter, I have not had much use of it yet apart from a couple of journeys to Cambridge, some local driving and coming to the club meetings. I am looking forward to the Drive Days to get the full benefit. I cannot fault the driving for comfort and the great pleasure just being in it! For a 17-year-old car “it looks good, is good and by golly it does me good.”
My future thoughts on a next venture is to scratch the itch that I’ve had since I was a teenager for an American V8 5-litre Ford Mustang. But that will have to wait a while.