So, a long time ago, in a town far away (15.4miles according to Mr Map D’Google) there lived a boy of 19. He was a gentle soul, and sought the best in all he knew and did. He also had a 4.0L xj40 Jag that he part owned with a mate. Resplendent in Blue metallic, this was the car that started his love of the big barge.
Part of the above paragraph is true, the other part may be dangerously close to lies- I’ll let you decide which is which..
After all the car buying shenanigry of the recent past, involving 2 cars and 700+ miles, we were having a well-deserved weekend off. This rarity wouldn’t even involve any car tinkering or owt- hell there may even be some shambolic trading of money for goods in the time honoured fashion of the season.
Fate, however, had a different plan. This plan was long, sleek and had a flat battery.
You all know how it starts..
“I’m bored, what can I do?”
!!Not been on Gumtree for a bit!!
*puts in usual search criteria*
“Meh, nowt guid on there- wonder how I can find something good to ogle?”
*adds a few hundred pounds on*
“Chuffing Nora, that Jag dun arf look a goodun!”
From there, it is just a short hop to the dial screen, and before you know it you’re bowling along in the econovag with your brother sitting beside you, resigned to the fact he’ll likely be driving it back from the latest escapade.
Despite getting rid of the BMW 735i only last month, I was missing the joy of a barge badly. Though the Polo does sterling service (after the new fuel filter), it could hardly be said to cosset and waft in the way a decent exec saloon should.
This car offered the opportunity to resolve this- or did it?
Arriving at the dealers, we were met with the glorious sight of the big cat being hemmed in by a Ford Ka.
Tyres low, battery on strike, and a driver’s door handle that didn’t work from the outside- off to a flying start.
Much to-ing and fro-ing, coupled to inventive jump lead use lead to the bugger starting. The alternator was doing a passable impression of an air raid siren, and the car cut out when you switched the sidelights on.
But sitting in that magnolia leather driver’s seat I was gentry! Cocooned in a cockpit that took me back to those formative years driving the blue one about.
Shuffling the car about the yard (as the vendor was out, therefore I was unable to test drive) the gearbox appeared to shift smoothly, and select the gears as per the request of the J-gate selector. The engine (alternator aside) showed good oil pressure and responded eagerly to the application of right foot to Axminster.
Emboldened by such positives, we sought to wander around the perimeter of the grounds, and inspect the bodywork.
Boot lid- present and correct.
By this time I was buying it regardless.
Arrival of the vendor allowed for a short waft up the road- just far enough for it to drop from ¼ tank to “fuel light on”- an 86L tank means that the fuel gauge is at best an approximation.
Something else was an approximation- the brakes were notable by their absence. This is obviously not an issue on an 1800kg 4.0l car. Not at all. Identification of the issue was rather simple:
Some fluid was added and it got a bit better.
Tightening the battery leads allowed for some charge to remain in the battery- meaning we could attempt to drive it home. After some running the alternator quietened down too
In true Geezah fashion, a can of fuel was procured, and lobbed into the tank- using the oddly placed filler.
Arriving home in one piece, and after proffering a passenger ride to the brother, the battery was removed and charged overnight.
The success of the day was nearly tempered when the good lady arrived home after her work, and greeted me with the phrase “ Why is there a raspberry red metallic Jag sitting outside the house?”
Pre-empting this, I’d rattled the dinner together and had a cuppa waiting for her to come in- resulting in no baws fur baubles on the Christmas tree.
Arising the next morning, and sneaking a glance out the bedroom window revealed it was true- I’d bought another barge.
Schlepped the battery in it (always comfortable to do in the rain as the water runs off the boot and down your neck)
And off we go to its temporary hiding place.
Here are some pictures of the car, nesting down to await some fettling.
I’m off to buy a title!