Is the one you always remember. Mine was when I was six and I still get vivid flashbacks every so often
you’re an early starter
Eh? Ah I see. You think I’m talking about…never mind. No, I’m talking about E-type jaguars.
Ah. Right. Go on.
I shall. My dad had a friend, James, who, as I understand it, was a professional gambler. Sometime in 1968 they went to the races together – legend has it that james won a high four figure-sum on a horse.
Flushed with success, and probably a tad the worse for wear, they sauntered into a Jaguar showroom on the way home – probably Henlys. There sat a brand-new E-type Series 2 roadster (I say Series 2 but I suppose it could have been a Series 1 and a 1/2) at six, I didn’t really know, or care about, the difference.
I do remember it was Indigo Blue, and it would have had wire wheels.
Anyhow, James bought it there and then, and paid for it in cash. Probably just under £2000 I’d think.
I was car-mad even then, so, next time James came to visit, he took me out for a spin in it. The roof was down (as it should be when driving any convertible unless it’s raining hard or snowing) and I vividly recall him gunning it on the road to Henley. The noise and the speed were sensational to a six year old boy who’s previous experience of riding in cars had been the usual stodge of family saloons like Viva HA’s, Triumph Heralds etc.
So began a love of what we now regard as classics, (especially classic Jaguars) which shows no signs of abating. Since then I’ve had a few E-types through my hands, always Fixed-head Coupes, including a very early flat-floor model in Sherwood Green that I could barely drive as the footwell was so shallow!