I love Jaguars, always have done. My old man worked at ‘The Jag’ for the best part of forty years, so the big cat runs deep in my blood.
As a child of the ’70s, the XJS was always my poster child. Quite literally in fact, as I had a press shot of one on my wall as a kid, in chicken korma yellow with a brown vinyl roof.
But then one Christmas, I must have been about seven or eight maybe, I was given a book on the history of Jaguar and saw my first E-Type. Those swooping lines, that impossibly long bonnet, pointy rear end and fishy face (when I was little, I always saw the front of cars as faces) meant the XJS was history. I had a new favourite and a new poster.
And so, thirty-summat years later, I find myself outside this stunning 16th century country house just two miles from where my dad spent most of his working life, creating my own E-Type images for someone else’s wall.
The E-Type in question is this 1965 3.8 litre Fixed Head Coupé in good old British Racing Green that the owner has had for over 25 years. Although he categorically told me that he isn’t the owner of the car, merely a custodian protecting and preserving the car for future generations to enjoy.
I reckon he’s doing a pretty good job.
At this point, I should probably also say that this was my first ever trip in an E-Type. Something else ticked off the bucket list.
I was amazed at how quiet, smooth and refined it was – nothing like my MGB, which is practically held together by rattles and squeaks. It was like being in a modern car, and only the view over that massive bonnet gave the game away. That and the fact that every car bibbed, waved or flashed, and every pedestrian span on their heels to take in the car’s timeless majesty.
I want one.
So that’s sorted then. If I win the lottery, here’s what my drive will look like.