I guess I’ll introduce myself first: Hi I’m Lucius (actually my great great grandfathers name - I use it for internet purposes). About a year ago I walked down to a hanger at the airport where I work to get a customers twin so I could bring it back to the shop to change a cylinder. Inside along with a boat and the airplane was the a beautiful rebuilt 4.2 engine just sitting there. I looked around and a freshly rebuilt and painted XKE body was waiting for all the parts in boxes to be mounted to it. Suddenly the “want” for an XKE hit me for the first time in 50 years.
There are two vehicles I remember exactly where I was when I first saw them: I was sitting in a big convention center in Hawaii when on the giant screen a slow reveal of a new Honda motorcycle began. First the outer right down pipe of a new big road bike was in the frame on the left of the screen. Then the next pipe over in the next frame. Then the next pipe in the next frame just left of center screen. Then the center screen revealed the center “down” pipe frame member. The crowd of about 2-3000 dealers rose to our feet cheering wildly. I don’t think anyone expected a new 6 cylinder machine. Of course the the other 3 pipes were then shown at once in the right side screen. The Honda CBX was born.
I was between classes in electronics communication at the college I was attending about 1971 when while walking across the road I saw a friend sitting in a red car I had never seen before. It was the best looking car I had ever seen before or since. It was (unknown to me) a series 1 red XKE coupe. My friend had purchased it used when he returned from Vietnam service. Next to the gear shift was a Dymo label: “Speed shifting costs $1000”. Further talk revealed I was not going to be able to afford to own one, probably not ever! Years of business and two bug eyed Sprites, Two MG TD’s, an MGA , a couple of cheap Porche’s and many sailboats, airplanes, motorcycles etc,etc. a gear head obsession with machine tools, electronics and so on. AND then in the year since seeing the hidden Jag in the hanger this turned up on ebay:
I watched it for a few days and finally they had lowered the price to 16K so I bought an airline ticket and flew 1200 miles in the morning, rented a uhaul truck, had the dealer load it while I was in the office paying for it (frame removed and bonnet standing up in truck), and by evening was stuck in LA traffic. Thirty boring “Interstate five” hours later I arrived back home in the Northwest corner of the country. The next morning I checked the load while it was still in the truck and found they had lifted the body shell by engine crane and it looked like this:
Both sides bent in on the roof. Great! But a couple days fun building body spoons to wedge inside over the unbent inner parts, careful application of the porta power, and it’s back the way it was.
So 16K car, 500 airline, 1300 truck, 1500 Washington State taxes, 500 gas, ie about 20K total, I have a titled Series one 1966 FHC E-type in my garage. OK the shell, but hidden and not really spelled out in the advert originally included was the door internals, all the glass including a nos windshield, 2 seats in decent original condition, dash top, gas tank, “other stuffs”.
Not included was what the dream really consists of except the satisfaction of seeing it in my garage and the worlds biggest Easter egg hunt!