Phil A 1959 Jaguar Mark IX 4dr Sedan

On The Road Repairs

Driving a classic British car is ALWAYS an adventure. I love my venerable 1959 Jaguar MK IX, and all in all, it has proven to be fairly reliable over the years. None of my collector cars are garage queens. Although I pamper them, I do like to drive them regularly. Nevertheless, old British cars can be expected

Such was the case a few months ago when I agreed to pick up some friends downtown so they could celebrate their anniversary with a night out on the town. I got off to a bit of a late start, and could see that I would just barely arrive at the appointed destination right on time, with no minutes to spare.

At roughly 5 miles from the destination, a horrible howl began emanating from somewhere up front. It didn't take me long to determine the problem: The tachometer needle was bouncing wildly back and forth, so I surmised that the tachometer was the source of the noise.

I didn't have time to stop, or I would have been late for my friend's special occasion, yet the noise was unbearable and I knew I'd have to resolve it before arriving.

So, while still on the road, I fished in my pocket for my always-present Leatherman Juice pocket knife and opened the screwdriver blade. Next, I removed the screws which hold the under-dash facia panel in place, just enough that I could squeeze the one hand underneath and behind the dash while the other hand took care of steering wheel duties, with eyes firmly on the road!

After fishing around for a few minutes, I located the back of the tachometer and the place where the cable was attached. As luck would have it, the cable nut was just finger tight, so I was able to unscrew the nut, detach the cable, and voila!... problem solved. I continued on my way to my destination, sans tachometer indication, and the night went well.

I'm no MacGyver, but I've lost count of the times that trusty Leatherman has saved my bacon and kept a car on the road. With 17 cars and motorcycles in our garages, most of them vintage machines, we do encounter breakdowns on a regular basis, so that little tool is the first thing I slip in my pocket when I leave the house!

0 Reader Comments

Join the Discussion