Larry K 1963 Jaguar XKE

Memories

My love affair with cars started in the summer of 1962 when I saw the most beautiful car pull out of a parking lot with a drizzle with three wipers working. I learned later it was a Jaguar XKE. I completed high school and graduated college in 1971. With $1,500 in the bank account I read in the paper that a 1963 Jaguar was for sale for $1,500. The fellow accepted $1,350 and I was set with a car to drive the most fascinating car in the world with 64,000 miles on it from Morgantown, WV to Charleston, WV. I worked a year and then went to Law school. I met my girlfriend and she was at WVU as I was in 1974 when she rode home with me in the Jaguar. The interstate ended in central WV and I had to come down a two lane road through a rural WV community at about 5:00 o’clock and there was a lot of traffic in this town of about 3,000 people where a narrow two lane bridge crossed a creek that fed into the Elk River. On the way down the Jaguar made squeaking noise and I concluded it was the hood latch on my side that was squeaking. So, all things being calm, I simply released the latch and the squeak diminished but didn’t go away, so I suggested to my 23 year old girlfriend that she release the latch on the right side as well. This eliminated the squeak and all is fine until we hit the small community and the narrow bridge where I saw a truck in front turning left in traffic. I had to brake hard, and when I did the entire car “broke in half” at least that’s what was expressed on the faith of an older farmer in his overalls that viewed the stop of the Jaguar. The look on his face and his eyes brings laughs to this day. Whenever my wife discusses the 1963 Jaguar, she tells the story of the top coming up as we stopped on the bridge. I don’t have the ’63 any longer, but I am now the proud owner (with nuts and bolts for brains) of a ’73 XKE V12. God bless British engineering!

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