Monday, September 25, 2006

Frank's Jag

Here I am today with Frank's Jag. Tomorrow it is going to Hayward to be loaded on a container ship bound for the Netherlands. As long as I've been around, it's mostly been parked inside my stepsister's garage. She and her family start it up once a year or so and take it for a spin around the neighborhood.
It has a very nice and powerful sound when it starts up. A big rumble. And then, rumbly, rumbly, purrrrrrrrrr. Very nice red leather seats, red carpet, and lots of room in the trunk for food. Funny dashboard with toggles and a push button starter which the people like a lot.Pull down trays for food for those in the backseat.
Alice tells me the car took her home from the hospital right after she was born. It went several times to El Paso when Pika's female person was a tiny baby and a toddler. Both of Pika's people drove off in it from the church after they got married. A real family car.
Frank got it in 1960. The top of the line motor for a Mark II Jaguar. I think he got it after he sewed up his US Air Force/BP/Royal Dutch Shell fuels research contract. He picked it up in Coventry then drove around in it for a month with my first person and their friends Chevas and Jane Walling. They went all around England, Scotland, Ireland, then to Amsterdam, France, Switzerland, and Germany with flying side trips to the old Soviet Union and Sweden to meet fellow polymer chemists.
Frank loved to drive the car up to Yosemite. Blasting up the hills with foreign chemists in tow. He had a Grumman aluminum canoe on top many times for river trips with family members who like to canoe. Alice says the Jag drove very well with a canoe on top.
Many years before I was born, my first person started having trouble driving it since it has no power steering. So, Frank sold it to my stepsister and got a more modern car. But, Alice and her mother always liked the Jag. Trouble was, they say, it is very tough to maintain. They remember well Frank having to oil it in 12-16 places every couple of weeks even when it was young. And, once Alice had to go to a tiny car part shop in London to get new rubber window seals.
Well, it will now get to go back to Europe. Stepsister says that's the right thing to do now. After almost 20 years of having the car, she never did get around to fixing it up to be safe on San Francisco hills.... And the family buying it like to fix up Mark IIs.
Alice told my stepsister to get a digital file of the sounds of the car starting up, cruising along, idling, and going up and down hills. She can put the sounds on her cell phone as a ring tone. Everyday!!! Rumbly, RUMBLY PUUUUUUUURRRRRRRR!!!!!