Autumn is now here and while preparing Jagger for his winter hibernation I’ve been reflecting on another year of E-Type ownership. It feels like we have had a quiet year but maybe that is because our last two adventures in Europe have been made in the SL and most of our trips in Jagger were at the beginning and middle of the season.
While all three of our European adventures were enjoyable, the highlight was without doubt our first trip to the Spa Classic in June. The journey to the Belgian town proved to be lots of fun, not least because so many Brits attend the event. We had a few good moments on the journey admiring the countryside and at the service stops where we chatted to fellow classic car owners. When we arrived at the circuit that amazing paddock parking we were allocated was nothing short of fantastic. Taking Jagger on the track was fun and the racing was great, all things being well we will certainly return to Spa in future years.
Our friends Pete and Beverly who own a Triumph Stag invited us to The New Forrest Run organised by the Wessex Triumph Owners Club. We were the only E-Type amongst around 150 Triumph’s but we didn’t care, it was a great event to take part in and I hope we get invited back next year.
Our membership at Brooklands always keeps us busy and we have so much fun on the rallies. We feel fortunate to visit interesting places and make new friends as well as reuniting with other folks we have met on previous outings, long may it continue.
Thankfully not too much work has been required on Jagger this year, which is just as well because I am not sure my bank account can handle another beating like it did last year. But enough of that, I’m now putting the final touches in place for the winter hibernation. Recently I sold the air chamber and bought a dehumidifier to put in the garage. Air chambers are a gre accoun but in a single garage like mine where space is at a premium I just don’t think they are practical so I decided to give this alternative method a try.
The indoor car cover I purchased at the classic car show last year fits snuggly so with the battery now disconnected Jagger should sit nice and comfortable inside the garage throughout the winter and should I want to take him out for a spin one crisp bright winter morning it will not be too much of a problem to get him fired up.
Since painting the garage floor last year the car seems reluctant to sit on the tyre trainers because they slide along the floor each time I try to drive on them. I’ve come up with a cunning plan to alleviate this problem by purchasing two scaffolding boards. The idea is to screw the tyre trainers onto the boards then drive the car along each board until it sits nicely on the trainers.
In case you are wondering what tyre trainers are, here is a description I found on the internet.
These useful storage products are designed to prevent flat spots on your tyres when vehicles are not driven regularly. Manufactured from tough plastic, the rugged curved shape is designed to spread the vehicles' weight over more of the tread, eliminating the flat spots on tyres. Flat spots that can take many miles to iron out when the vehicle is eventually driven. Storing the car on the tyre trainers will stop any flat spots forming which in turn will lengthen their life. Less bulging of the sidewall reduces the potential for cracks and eliminates the need to jack up a vehicle when putting it away for the winter months.
I purchased some when I visited the NEC classic car show in the first year of ownership because I knew there would be long periods when the car would be sitting in the garage. Up to now they have worked well which is just as good because I don't wish to repeat paying another four figure sum to purchase a further set of Michelin’s.
Installing the dehumidifier in the garage two weeks ago has turned out to be a wise move. The water collection tank has a capacity of 2.5 litres and in the first week it needed emptying every day. I guess this just goes to show how much condensation/water is lurking in the atmosphere and brickwork.
At the end of the second week things seemed to have dried out quite a lot and I am only having to get rid of the water once every two days.
This week I finally got around to fixing the tyre trainers to the scaffold boards and now we are complete for the winter hibernation.
Regular visitors to this site will know I like to attend the New Year’s Day gathering at Brooklands and this year was no exception. Our friends Ann and Bob had invited us to stay over with them to see in the new year with the plan of getting up in the morning and driving our classics to the event. Having gone to the trouble of wrapping up Jagger for the winter and keeping the dehumidifier switched on 24/7 in my garage I did not care for leaving him out on Bob’s driveway on what proved to be a frosty new year’s eve so we took the hardy SL instead. Here we are parked alongside Bob’s S3 with Concorde in the background.
As always there was a huge turnout of fabulous cars on display, in fact a record breaking 1568 classic and some modern specialist cars parked up, but the rear end of this big American Chevrolet Kingswood Station Wagon from 1959 got my vote for car of the day.
Not much happens so far as the car is concerned at this time of year other than to regularly visit the garage and empty the water from the tank of the dehumidifier. Over the past few weeks I completed a variety of application forms for events we plan to take part in during the coming season.
Recently I attended a talk at Brooklands titled The Man Who Saved Jaguar given by past Jaguar chairman and chief executive Sir John Egan.
Sir John joined the company in 1980 at the height of industrial unrest in the UK but despite this fact he could see Jaguar were making very good cars which were only being let down by poor quality components from some of Jaguar’s suppliers. He described one company who supplied steering racks which had a forty per cent failure rate and asked the question, "how could anyone manufacture a product which was so bad?" And he had few kind words to say about Joseph Lucas explaining that they provided such poor quality products he once held a meeting with Robert Bosch to explore the possibilities of them taking over the supply of electrical components which unfortunately they declined. Sir John held numerous meetings with Margaret Thatcher and believes had she not been a politician she would have been a good manager because she didn’t interfere and allowed people get on with their jobs.
A part of the evening I found especially interesting was when Sir John was asked what his favorite Jaguar was, he admitted to his daily driver being a F-Type but always thought the V12 XJS Convertible was a lovely car - I guess this was considered for cars during his stewardship which I guess is understandable because what chairman of Jaguar could possibly ignore the beauty of the E-Type!!
In the next few weeks I will be removing the car cover and fire up Jagger to bring him out into the sunlight so I can tinker around and get him ready for the oncoming season. I can hardly believe it was September when I last drove him, but only last week while driving on a sea of white mist I was reminded of the salt on UK roads at this time of year which would only help reduce my pride and joy to a bundle of rust - so a wise choice to leave him tucked away me thinks.