While spending the winter in Florida in 1995 my wife and I drove by a garage in St Petersburg where they did antique car restorations. It looked like an interesting place to visit so we stopped in to meet the owner who gave us a tour. Among disassembled Bentleys, Studebakers and the pieces of a 1939 SS100 Jaguar was a 1968 blue Jaguar E-type which was receiving the finishing touches of a refurbishing.
My wife, who usually is not enthusiastic about visits to car garages, thought that Jaguar was, as she put it “art in motion”. I seized the moment and immediately asked the owner if the car was for sale. It turned out that it was his wife’s car which they had reluctantly decided to sell. We left the shop, talked it over and decided that if he would repaint it red, we would negotiate to buy the car.
A few weeks later we were the proud owners of the ’68 Jaguar which we drove to our first car show in Tarpon Springs. After winning a first prize we were returning to our condo in Largo when true to Jaguar reputation, first the horn failed, then the radiator cooling fans followed by the car overheating. We pulled off the road and were soon passed by two model A’s and a model T!
I mentioned the car to my son who lives in Nashville, TN. He said that he had a friend who had owned a similar car years before but it was blue. The friend mentioned that he had sold it to an antique car restorer from St Petersburg, FL! On a visit to Nashville a few years later I met the previous owner who said that he had to sell the Jaguar to finance his new business. It was the same car.
Since then we have enjoyed the Jaguar, taken it to many shows where it really is: Art in Motion (at least most of the time!).
I grew up in Sheldon, VT & while in college I worked summers at the state park at Lake Elmore and the Tyler Place in Highgate Springs. At Elmore in the 1950’s I met Adrian West (deceased but long time VAE member) and we enjoyed our mutual interest in old cars.
After college and marriage, work took my wife and I permanently from Vermont in the late 1950’s. We kept a camp on Fairfield Pond in the family and have returned there for a few weeks each summer since. After retiring my wife and I became reacquainted with Adrian and joined VAE about 15 years ago. We have enjoyed attending the VAE shows.
We keep a house in Lake Forest, IL where the Jaguar E-type and my son’s 1967 Jaguar 420 currently reside; the 1963 MGB now being in Florida. My son and I brought his Jaguar 420 to the British Invasion at Stowe two years ago where it won second place in the Concours class.