Tweety was bought in Europe by the original owner and driven around to gain the (at that time) requisite 5000 miles for US importation. I even still have the real cloisonne European border crossing badges he collected on the rear AMCO bar!
Curt thought he'd race the car, so had Dad install a roll bar (which it still has), take off the mufflers, stick on an Abarth exhaust (the remains of which are now hanging on a wall!) and then found out: beautiful cars they were. Not so good a race car.
The OO continued driving the car till early 1965 (my parents ran a family car repair business, in which I grew up) then sold it to my 'rents. It has been in my life ever since: Nobody ever wrenched on Tweety, save for my Dad and myself. The car is a true family heirloom, and next year, it will have been part of my life for 50 years. But, up to the day she died, it was always "Mom's Jaguar."
My mom....my mom. Here's a *very* Cliff's Noted narrative of who Adrienne Wigton was.
With not a word of a lie, Mom was a true force of nature.Suffice it to say, she latched onto the Jag as 'hers,' and that's kinda how it stayed.
Why the name "Tweety?" All its life, up till 2009, when I finally broke down and installed SuperTrapps on it (in an attempt to retain what's LEFT of my hearing!) it had an odd 'tweet' in the exhaust.
It can be heard here...
It was raced, rallyed, autocrossed ("gymkhana," back in the day...), driven up 4WD roads, wrecked (in '67, with me as a passenger--another loong story!), fixed then taken off the road in 1983. Its last trip that year was to my Dad's 50th high school reunion in Scottsbluff, NE, on the way back from, he and I got a speeding ticket in Cheyenne, and..well, that's another whacko story!
Fast forward to 2005: I'd recently become unmarried, and decided that, before I shuffled off this mortal coil, I wanted the damn thing back on the road. The pix you see above were in early 2006, just when I began its body restoration. The car has traveled over 200K miles, and I only just did a light rebuild on the engine in 2009. Much of the car is still as-delivered.
In 2011, I drove it on the inaugural "Oil Leak" tour, that I dreamt up to celebrate the marque's 50th anniversary; for those of us who COULDN'T afford to go the Silverstone event!
Pictures and description here...
So, there's the short of it! It's no trailer queen and it's *unique*. It drives well, save the that mutha*&$!ing Moss gearbox, a brutally heavy clutch (a sintered bronze one Dad had made for the car, and installed, for racing) and slightly larger tires and wheels. It sounds cool, it drives nice, and it makes people smile! When I show it, I put a sign on it that states "Sure! Go on and touch it! I've tried to destroy it for years...how bad can YOU do?"
PS: Why is it purple? It's not: My outrageous Bronx-bred Mom had it painted like that, in the late '60s, along with a tuck-n-roll WHITE Naugahyde interior and purple--PURPLE!!-shag carpet. Which is why it's "poiple." It's how Mom said it.....!
I have a certain fealty to my Mom's memory, but it ended at the paint; NO WAY was I going to restore the shag carpet and the pimped-out upholstery!