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Old 05-29-2022, 01:53 AM   #1
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New cars; ho hum

I went for a walk today and came across an old Jaguar MK2 3.8 liter saloon. It was in its original British racing green livery, that had seen better days, the walnut dash was weather beaten and the leather seats needed some serious TLC.

But,it had an undeniable presence. It is the kind of machine that would bring a smile to to your face as you turned the engine over, assuming that the lord of darkness AKA Lucas electrics, deemed to send the voltage through to the starter motor-and it was not raining.

My current mode of transport is a very reliable Germanic machine that does everything better than that old jag, except in one area. It does not make me grin like a car mad 17 year old, and I miss that.

And not to forget the French, the Citroen DS 21 Pallas is another wonderful machine.
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Old 05-29-2022, 03:11 AM   #2
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Absolutely agree Andy. Funnily enough, as you specifically mention the old trusty MII Jag. A colleague friend of mine, Dr Greg Beacham, from back in my NZ days, had what started as a hobby restoring old jags, particularly that model, then began branching out to include E-Types, and others. He impressed others so much with the results it grew into a full-on business, including for overseas clients. He did do a beautiful job. I remember, even as a young GP he had two E-Types.
https://beacham.co.nz/passion-history/
https://car-from-uk.com/sale.php?id=109427
https://beacham.co.nz
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Old 05-29-2022, 10:44 AM   #3
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We have two foreign built cars. An Infiniti QX50 that we bought last fall and it's a wonderful SUV to drive but a bit on the ho-hum side.

The other is a 2005 BMW convertible. Not THAT car really makes me smile when I fire it up. Top down, wind blowing around me, stereo cranked a bit, sun beating down. Damn that feels good!
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Old 05-29-2022, 11:05 AM   #4
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Well, true but let me tell you a story:

About thirty years ago I helped an office mate restore an Austin Healey 3000. It was absolutely beautiful when finished. So we agreed to both drive our sports cars to work the next day, he and his Healey, me and my wife's new Miata. We then swapped cars for lunch and took them for a drive.

The Healey was a beast to drive. Clutch had very little control (all in or all out) and the throttle was also a beast. The Healey drove more like a go cart- limited suspension travel. He on the other hand loved the driving of my new Miata- smooth, nice clutch and transmission action, tight steering, etc. Such are the improvements in auto design and manufacturing over 50 years.

Well I think you can find beautiful, new cars today, but they cost $100,000. But hey maybe that is what the Healey cost in today's dollars.

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Old 05-29-2022, 11:23 AM   #5
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My XK8 Coupe and MGB always makes me smile but the little red MG gets all the attention and smiles and compliments.

95% of all vehicle designs today are either a variation of a box or a melted jelly bean. Guess its Ok if you like that sort of thing.

We did manage to find a good looking and uniquely designed modern car, from a brand that you could not have paid me to drive even 10 years ago.

A Cadillac. Go figure.
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Old 05-29-2022, 11:26 AM   #6
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Wifey B: Ever thought part of the problem may be you aren't a 17 year old?

I dreamed of a Porsche and love mine but it will never excite me like boats do. Meanwhile I've got friends and we have young employees very enthusiastic about some of the new cars and waiting to see what manufacturers will do with electric.
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Old 05-30-2022, 01:58 AM   #7
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[QUOTE=BandB;1101992]Wifey B: Ever thought part of the problem may be you aren't a 17 year old?

Well, there's more than a grain of truth in that. However, my partner often accuses me of being somewhat childish, she puts it down to me being the youngest in my family. Though she would say that, being the oldest in hers, and an ex English teacher to boot.
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Old 05-30-2022, 06:56 PM   #8
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The Jaguar 3.8 Mk2 is a beautiful beast. At one time they were popular in sedan car racing. But production dates back to the early 1960s, design even earlier.
Having owned a Series 3 Vanden Plas, and an XJ40, my advice is "admire from afar".
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Old 05-30-2022, 08:42 PM   #9
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Aunt had a E type. You could watch the fuel gauge needles go down at a stop light. She loan it to me but as a kid couldn’t afford the gas. She also had a Morgan trike.I loved to drive that car. I had several Morris garage products-two B done before the rubber bumpers and a A. I treated my mechanic’s dog for a subdural and resultant epilepsy. He reworked the carbs, brakes and exhaust of one of theBs. Boy that thing could pull Gs. No top end but handled great. My favorite car my wife instructed me to sell. It was a BWM z4 that was converted into a track car and never registered. I saw it in the parking lot when I brought in my F150 for service and asked the head wrench about it. He told me owner needed cash quick for a real estate deal. I paid the cash and had it flat bedded to the owners speed shop. Then converted back to street legal. Prior owner put maybe $50-$80k into it. Took short money to raise it some, make the headlights legal , rewire turn signals and such. Sold the seat and put it two legal seats. Kept the tunable exhaust, frame stiffeners , sticky run flats , intake, reworked engine and other stuff. Sold it for more money than I paid.
One day going up the NY thru way. Wife glances over. Casually says you’re going over a buck twenty slow down. Car had plenty left. This was after a cop friend sagged me on local twisties a early Sunday morning going near twice the limit. He told me he couldn’t even give me a warning. Could only make believe he didn’t see me to chase. Thing did totally controlled 4 wheel drifts. Thing settled down at a ton. Just too dangerous to drive on the street. This wasn’t a super car. Even if I could afford a super car I wouldn’t put it on the street. Like giving a scalpel to a butcher. Driving them at their capability is well above my skill set. Still I sure do miss that car.
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Old 05-30-2022, 09:34 PM   #10
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Owned and autocrossed British and Italian roadsters in my youth; Alfa, Lotus, Sunbeam Tiger, MG's and Triumphs. Road raced a Fiat/Abarth until the oil imbargos of the 70's. RX7 in the 80's. Got out of cars when boating dominated my leisure time and drove GM pick up trucks as a DD for 20 plus years until GM produced a true US made roadster.

At the Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, WA in April for a SCCA Track Night.

And a lap around the course in a drone.

https://youtu.be/GWfpFfAbrMY

Not my drone.
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Old 05-30-2022, 10:24 PM   #11
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Working on and driving all the latest, greatest Porsches for 40 years spoiled me. Nothing I can afford even comes close. Just boring cars for me.
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Old 06-06-2022, 12:54 PM   #12
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You mentioned Lucas, the Prince of Darkness. Here's one of my favorite all time bumper stickers I saw on a TR6:

The parts falling off this car are of genuine British quality

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Old 06-06-2022, 01:37 PM   #13
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British cars

Yes, Lucas electrics are a problem: "Lucas didnt invent darkness, it invented SUDDEN darkness", etc etc..
But... as an owner of a 59 TR3, there is nothing like the fresh smell of combined
gasoline, hydraulic fluid, motor oil, leather, and burning insulation fumes to
excite the male nature. and for a Jag, add the smell of that walnut burl dash.
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Old 06-06-2022, 01:38 PM   #14
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I took my wife's 1990 V12 XJS Jaguar coupe all apart, redesigned the cooling system, and put it back together. The Admiral looking at exploded car in garage: "What did you do to my car???"! "I am improving it". The beauty of real Jags is the quirky stuff. It's like the engineers never saw a car before they designed it. I am 6'5. I could fit in it but when getting out for the valet at a fancy fundraiser it looked like it was giving birth.
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Old 06-06-2022, 01:40 PM   #15
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Here's my British toy...
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Old 06-06-2022, 02:18 PM   #16
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Having owned E types, BMW’s Porsches and others I have found my sweet spot to be 2000 thru 2003 XJR’s and XKR coupes thru 2005. There is certainly some maintenance but all in all they are reliable, I have 225,000 miles on one of the XJR’s and it drives like the one with 60,000 miles. Always get a lot of thumbs up with the XJR’s and XKR coupe. Great drivers .., always bring a smile to my face…
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Old 06-06-2022, 02:18 PM   #17
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Cars?

Cars, not boats, Huh? Sailing cats, not Trawlers, Huh? Please forgive me for being in the wrong place, Folks!
What still brings a grin to my face, even when it's only in a faded memory: Firing up my old stock 70 1/2 Z28 with LT1 and Muncie 4 speed. Had I kept it, it would have sold for more than enough to buy me that Rummery's 36 "Jonesporter" I lust after.
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Old 06-06-2022, 02:43 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dburkart View Post
Having owned E types, BMWs Porsches and others I have found my sweet spot to be 2000 thru 2003 XJRs and XKR coupes thru 2005. There is certainly some maintenance but all in all they are reliable, I have 225,000 miles on one of the XJRs and it drives like the one with 60,000 miles. Always get a lot of thumbs up with the XJRs and XKR coupe. Great drivers .., always bring a smile to my face
Yup...my XK8 Coupe has over 220,000 relatively trouble free (fuel pump is all I can remember). Still a stunner.
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Old 06-06-2022, 02:44 PM   #19
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Owned 3 MGB’s and a Fiat 124 Spider. The last B was a candy apple red 67 B that was in great shape. Sold it to my little sister’s boyfriend. He got it towed and was too embarrassed to let us know. The tow company got a beautiful car for $200.
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Old 06-06-2022, 02:56 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syjos View Post
Owned and autocrossed British and Italian roadsters in my youth; Alfa, Lotus, Sunbeam Tiger, MG's and Triumphs. Road raced a Fiat/Abarth until the oil imbargos of the 70's. RX7 in the 80's. Got out of cars when boating dominated my leisure time and drove GM pick up trucks as a DD for 20 plus years until GM produced a true US made roadster.

At the Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, WA in April for a SCCA Track Night.

And a lap around the course in a drone.

https://youtu.be/GWfpFfAbrMY

Not my drone.
I can't run SCCA (no rollbar) but I do love my yellow droptop...
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