When I was a boy of perhaps 10 or 12 years the son of a colleague of my father gave me a ride in his Jaguar XK 120 convertible. Years later, when I was at Harvard Business School, Jaguar came out with the E Type described by Enzo Ferrari as"the most beautiful car in the world". My class of 1964 year book has a photograph of an E Type parked in front of the library surrounded by admiring students. So, early on, the name Jaguar became associated in my mind with the most beautiful and best performing motorcars albeit, not necessarily the most reliable. Although I have remained a car enthusiast all of my life, when purchase time arrived, practicality always trumped desire, and I never owned a Jaguar or any other high performance two seater.
With this background, it was a great thrill when we visited the beautiful town of Harrogate in Yorkshire, and my wife informed me that she had reserved an E Type Jaguar at Great Escape Classic Car Hire for a day to celebrate my impending 75th birthday.
The evening before this was to happen, Jamie from Great Escape drove to our inn to inform us that the white V12 convertible she had reserved had engine problems, and we would be getting a green six cylinder coupe instead. Great Escape had already sent us a letter reminding us that these cars were much less reliable than modern cars so this was no surprise. The next morning Jamie picked us up,and drove us to the garage where several beautiful old British sports cars plus a Corvette and a Jaguar sedan were parked. Jamie took me out for an instructional drive, gave us a map, and turned us loose. We spent the day driving around the beautiful Yorkshire countryside attracting envious looks along the way. The only problems were having to adjust to driving on the left and dealing with the close proximity of the brake and clutch pedals with my big feet. Thanks to Great Escape for enabling a very special day.
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