Part 1: Jaguar
There was a British car show on our town green today. I was surprised at the number of cars there, at least 35. Most were in concours condition, or as close to concours as drivers get, I didn't see any trailers there. The Best-in-Show was the Wedgewood Blue XK120 Roadster, above.
The flawless interior and the classic DOHC inline 6 engine of this XK120. For more information about this famed and long-lived powerplant, click here.
An equally beautiful and desirable XK150 Coupe. I have Road & Track magazines from the 1950s and early 1960s, and Jaguar's full-page ads featured cars just like this, complete with wide whites. Elegant beyond belief, if you ask me! Grrrrrrr!
One of my personal favorites, the XJ12C, a mid '70s model, complete with period vinyl roof and pillarless construction. This car's silver metallic paint, black roof and red leather interior is just the way I'd like mine. The powerful 5.3 liter 12 cylinder engine would be icing on the cake!
Late '50s Jaguar Mark 1, in 3.4 Liter guise I believe. For more information, click here. These were the smaller of the two Jag saloons during that period, and eventually was developed into the Mark 2 of the early-mid sixties, one of the best sports saloons of the time.
"The greatest crumpet catcher of all time."
—Henry N. Manny III, late, great auto journalist.
"The dumb blonde of sports cars."
—Phil Hill, late, great race driver and author.
What else can be said about the Jaguar XK-E, or E Type, as it was also known that hasn't been written in a million magazine and newspaper articles? Whether it was an early 3.8 with glass covered headlights and recalcitrant Moss gearbox, or a late V12 with its awkward extended wheelbase, this car IS Jaguar pure and simple, the car that made Jaguar a household name throughout the world.
The Future is Here
The local Jaguar dealer brought three brand new models, the XK Coupe, the XF sport sedan, and the drop-dead gorgeous XJ sedan, in black above. This car has had its share of criticism since it was introduced last year, for its avant-garde C pillar treatment and its completely futuristic and nontraditional interior, but I'm here to say, that as soon as I saw it in person I was in love. Granted, in its black metallic livery, the black C pillar trim was nearly invisible, and the odd shut/cutline of the rear trunk almost disappeared, but the more I walked around it, the more I "got" the design. It's the future, with just the slightest nod to the past. It's forward-thinking, it's sleek, it looks like a million bucks going a million miles an hour, while sitting still, and I want one, I want one, I WANT ONE, lol. I'm completely sold on the C pillar and would take a long-wheelbase version in white, just to fully showcase the modern detailing. The design of this XJ is a gigantic F*** You to the established luxury car makers like Mercedes Benz, BMW and Lexus, with their too staid, or too forced styling these days. It's every bit as shocking and gorgeous as the XK-E was in 1961 if you ask me. Grace, Space and Pace incarnate. Now all I need is a spare $100K or so. Considering I turned in my spare change last week to buy groceries, I won't have to wait long, right?
Next: Part 2, The rest of the field of MGs, Triumphs, Austin-Healeys, and a few others.