My History in Cars

My Cars through the ages... and countries

Well, I'm 65 years old, retired and still enjoying every moment of life!

I have owned, worked on and driven many different cars over the years, and sharing my enjoyment is what I love to do. From my current car to my first love, this is the History of my life in Cars!

Enjoy the show.....

Current: Land Rover Discovery 3 HSE 2006 2.7TD

Wow, what a change from the Jaguar!

with 190HP and 2500kg and 0-60 in 12s. this is no racer, but it's very flexible and nippy enough on and off road.....

So this is how she looked when purchased, a very original, 11 year old, 90,000km one lady owner (with filthy sticky kids), dealer-maintained and unmolested SUV...

Booorrrriiiinnnngggg

This is after the Orange metallic Wrap..... way less boring and miserable.

Best money I've ever spent... like buying a new car!!!

Now she puts a smile on my face whenever I see her....

And this is after some minor modifications to add the stealth-in-bumper 12,500lb Escape Evo winch and a full set of Asfir Aluminium underside Skid Plates and a set of BFG AllTerrain tyres, in the middle of some serious 4x4 off-roading adventures!

Serious Fun and more to come :)

2012 Jaguar XKR-S 550HP

2012 Jaguar XKR-S 550HP 5.0L Supercharged

I have owned, worked on and driven many different cars over the years, but this Supercharged 1800Kg all-Aluminium "Made for the Track" car was - the one - that terrifed, excited and loved me all at the same time.

Normally, she was very docile and handled extremely well, but it was frustrating knowing how much more power she had to give me. So.....
In "Dynamic" mode she would spin the tyres all the way up to 80mph on smooth asphalt, and allow a little sideways action. But not a lot.....
In "Track" mode she went wild and was completely out of control, sideways at the slightest touch of the accelerator.

Awesome, but also very scary.... I've come to realise that I'm not as fast a driver as I thought I was!!! In the GTO I didn't care, foot to the floor, but in the XKR-S... I loved the car (and my life) too much!!!

This beast was one of 101 registered in the UK (only 300 ever produced), exhilarating in its absolute sophistication, comfort and brute force. I have never owned a car as powerful and brutal as this and probably never will again. Don't think my heart couldn't stand it !

But going 0-60 in 3.5s, quarter mile in 11.5, and 186mph (hitting the factory 300km/h limiter) on the 2-mile runway at Bruntingthorpe - priceless :)

Everyone should do this at least once in a lifetime to understand what a real car is.... (hint - it's not your new Toyota Aris)

She had to be sold as I was planning to move to Poland for retirement, and she was incompatible with the bad roads and potholes in England...... let alone in some of the places I wanted to visit in Europe....

http://maybeme.com/XKR-S/ is her website

1992 Mitsubishi GTO (AKA 3000GT VR-4) 300HP

3.0L Twin-Turbo intercooled 300HP 5-spd AWD/AWS

This was an interesting and very rare car (maybe 200 remaining in the world?)

Very advanced Mitsubishi flagship supercar, All-Wheel-Drive, All-Wheel-Steering, magnetically controlled suspension, 3L 300HP Factory Twin-Turbo intercooled QOHC V6 engine taking you to 60 in 5.2s

A classic Grand Touring car in the best tradition of Comfort and Speed, she took me and my best mate to Spa F1 racetrack in Belgium for an unforgettable track day and uneventfully returned us home.

Being 23 years old she wasn't totally dependable but being very well looked after, fixing the electronics was the major task that made all the difference.

But I'm just too old for manual gearboxes and clutches - 500 push-downs just to get the 2 miles out of London to any motorway was just no fun at all. But OMG was she quick ;) Can't believe I never picked up any points!

Very fond memories of this, my 2nd Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4.....

http://maybeme.com/GTO/ is her website

Back to England....

Hyundai Coupe 2.7V6 170HP

Hyundai??? - just slightly fun....

Wow, what an awesome car!! (just kidding)

Yes she was Bright Red and very reliable, but just too cramped, power-restricted (0-60 in 7s) and wrong-wheel-drive to be any good at anything.

Not my first choice but new insurance in a new country is always expensive and this was the biggest engine in the lowest category. Now I know why - it's impossible to kill yourself in this car, you're never going fast enough to do any damage !!!

Once around Castle Combe proved that beyond any reasonable doubt.

Cheap, tacky, plasticky, cramped, boring and uncomfortable sums her up quite nicely.

Putting in a nice Sony Bluetooth-enabled streaming-mp3s-from-my-phone radio made her at least tolerable, and still much better than Public Transport.

Served the purpose for a year and sold for a profit. Enough said....

on to Poland:

2003 BMW 530D 3.0 190HP TurboDiesel

My BMW 530D Calendar Girl...

Not a fast car, but a very comfortable and quiet, refined executive machine...

She was nice enough to have featured in a BMW club calendar Shoot in Poland...

Yes of course I took her around a track, albeit a short Autocross/Drifting one in Torun.

And yes, she was boring, pretty gutless until the turbo kicked in (but 0-60 in 8s)and rolled around a bit too much, but fun anyway!!!

Thanks but I think I'm off diesels for now....famous last words

http://maybeme.com/XKR-S/ is her website

1995 Jaguar XJR 320HP 4.0L supercharged

Gorgeous family supercar with 0-60 in 6.5

My 1995 Jaguar XJR supercharged beauty was a fantastic car, bought in 2005 from original owner in Michigan with 60,000 miles on the clock.

This was one of the best cars I've ever owned, and brought me back to the inimitable British style, grace and performance I remembered from good times back in England.

She was deceptively sleek and fast, and scared off many mustangs and camaros from the lights....... awesome..

I love Sleepers :)

Was thinking I'd be buried in it, but divorce and return to England forced me to sell her to a very lucky dude. Hope he still drives her ;)

http://maybeme.com/XJR/ is her website

And for the perfect combination -
add a 2000 Range Rover :)

what more could you want.....

2000 Range Rover County 4L V8 188HP

Dirt Cheap Range Rover? I'll take that on....

Boiling and leaking water but at least I drove her home.....
Yes, she was a one-lady-owner car (highly unlikely) but unmaintained and with a leaking water pump. Mechanic had quoted here for engine replacement and lady just wanted to be rid of the beast. So we negotiated a ridiculously low price and I drove her home, refilling the radiator several times on the way.

New Water pump installed and she was as good as gold for quite a while, except for the regular overheating when it got above 40C outside in traffic, but then why would any English car know how to handle this hot a climate, right? And you're trying to Air-Condition a schoolbus at the same time, yeah, right ;)

It actually snowed in NC !!

Interesting - driving 2000+ Kg monster truck sideways in the snow that is.... Brilliant!!!

Nice Plate, dude :)

Gotta have some fun at the expense of the Dead :)

4x4 Offroading with the best of them at the Uwharrie Safari....

Just needed some proper off-roading knobbly LT tyres

Good thing they were cheap because OMG they were noisy on the highway!!!!

So to sum her up:
Fantastic 4x4 traction, extremely comfortable, 0-60 in 2 1/2 hours (just kidding) 11s.

And the best thing:
When you're sitting in a beast this big and high, no-one dares pull out in front of you.

http://maybeme.com/rangie/ is her website

2000 Pontiac GTP 3.8L Supercharged

A true modern mystery:

How do the yanks squeeze 240HP into a 4L Supercharged engine?

I am genuinely puzzled. I mean I'd had a 1993 Mitsubishi 3000GT with 320HP out of a 3L V6, ... this is almost 30% bigger and Supercharged with it, and yet only 240HP ?.....

Believe it or not I bought this car on a Lease for my business because it was the most powerful American-built car I could buy in 2000. It's the top-of-the-range model with Leather, sunroof and all the goodies available.

Like my business, it failed miserably.

Not only did it immediately qualify for both front hub assemblies under recall, but within a year the drivers seat (10K miles) died of old age and just sagged.

Fast car? Would have been if they'd bothered to put in a limited-slip diff on the FWD (not even an available option).

Nothing but single wheelspin and huge pull into the gutter anytime you went over an inch down on the pedal...... what an embarrassment. 0-60 in 6.7s, if you could find the grip.

But yes, it was cheap. And I was glad to see it gone. Learned my lesson, back to English Grace Space and Pace :)

Mitsubishi's 3000GT VR-4 320HP flagship supercar

The archetypal Japanese supercar...

with 320HP and 1700kg this is almost a street racer, but it's not bare and light enough to compete with stripped down Porsches and Corvettes on the road.....

Why? because of all the luxury and safety equipment that was fitted, this car was much more a comfortable GT car than a racer, but OMG, it could still be brutal on the road with 0-60 in 5.2s

As Mitsubishi's flagship it was their most technically advanced vehicle in 1993, with exclusive world-leading features like All-wheel-drive (in a low slung sports car???), All-wheel-steering (rear wheels tilted out to ensure safe lane change maneuvers at high speed, Twin-turbochargers on the sideways V6 engine, ECS (Electronically Controlled Suspension), and even a variable-noise exhaust system which used a solenoid-controlled exhaust flapper to make it louder or quieter depending on your mood, Active Aerodynamics including an automatic lowering front spoiler and elevating rear Aerofoil, electric tilt&slide sunroof, full auto A/C/heat temperature control with interactive display, CD player w/graphical equaliser and Infinity Amp.

All the toys you could want.....

So it was very expensive when new (M5 was cheaper!), 5spd. manual-only, and overly heavy, so not a real street racer, but she was unbeatable between the lights due to the immense torque and complete inability to spin her sticky wheels, being AWD....

We showed lots of Corvetttes, Camaros and Mustangs how to race from the lights, and scared a bunch of them in the wet with it's butt-clenching cornering grip.
Yes, in the wet as well.... She handled like she was on rails. "Oh what fun it is to ride...."

This was one car that impressed me so much I had to have another one a few years later....

Chrysler Le Baron Turbo Coupe 1989 v6 Auto 152HP

Stock photo

Interesting deceptively fast coupe for the daily commute

After I'd killed the AMC Eagle, I bought this one for the mileage and reliability (Mitsubishi V6 engine).
Not an exceptional car, but it racked up loads of miles on a daily commute from south NJ up to Newark and beyond. And managed to earn a couple of tickets on the way....
But after moving to North Carolina and several journeys NJ to NC and back (moving and working as a contractor) she was starting to smoke, so got P/Exd for the Mitsubishi.

First car in USA- 1981 AMC Eagle straight6 Auto 4x4

Stock Photo

Well, I decided to stay in the USA so I needed a cheap runabout
My first car in USA and my first ever 4x4 car (not for off-roading-it snows in NJ)

This was one of the cheapest and weirdest cars I ever owned.....

A fairly gutless oldschool straight six, coupled with a full-time 4wd system made her slow but steady, roly-poly around corners, being how high she was.
Dirt cheap to insure, reliable enough that I never got fired from anywhere. Altogether boring and uninspiring.
Died of chronic overheating a couple of summers later. But it did serve its purpose.

1974 Jensen Interceptor Mk.III 7.2L Chrysler V8 Auto

Vignale designed luxury supercar hand-made in West Bromwich!

This was one of the most incredible cars I ever owned..... a true dream ride!

in the day, she was an incredibly unique, powerful car, 7.2 litres of American Muscle Chrysler 440ci V8 engine and RWD drivetrain making her one of the fastest and rarest luxury cars of the time.

With 305HP and 410FtLbs in a super-heavy tube-chassis 1780kg body, 0-60 took 7.5s, so not incredibly fast by today's standards. She was also detuned by Chrysler to cope with the then low-quality gas (the Oil war was on)

But you have to remember this was a different age in which most British cars were producing tens of HP and even the desirable Triumph TR-7 2 seater sports car had a 2L engine producing 105HP propelling it to 60 in 10.1s. In those days I could do 130 on the motorway in the Jensen all day, because most cars were way slower - even the TR-7 maxed out at 100 mph(160Kmh) and the motorways were pretty empty!

I bought her as a 10-year old for the incredible price of £600 (bearing in mind a new one cost around £9,500 (a TR-7 cost £5,229). She was an insurance settlement as a truck had lost its brakes on a very steep hill in South London and used all the cars parked down the side of the hill to stop. The entire right side was crushed from bumper to bumper.

However I started -and- drove her home, so it wasn't all bad news. Stuck her in a spare garage and started buying all the parts, which as you can imagine took well over a year (there were only 500 produced in 1975), and new parts were either not available or prohibitively expensive.

I then moved from London to S. Wales and spent the next year and a half doing a ground-up rebuild of the entire car, soup to nuts as they say.

Sold her to a very happy guy, and I hope he still drives her. Little did he know that he paid for my vacation-turned-emigration to America for 23 years....

1968 Plymouth Barracuda 340 0-60 7s

My First American Car!

My 1968 Plymouth Barracuda Fastback 5.6L V8 was a gorgeous car I fell in love with on sight.

I was very much into Mopars during this time, and really loved their forwardness in features and styling. Way nicer than most other cars of that era anywhere in the world.

So I found this one in the Exchange&Mart and fell in love soon as I saw her.

She was a unique original(not Australian) RHD that (according to Chrysler Michigan) had non-existent VIN and was never made by them. I was told by the previous owner, that it had been specially built for a UK film star as a promotional vehicle for a movie project that never happened. Not quite sure what to make of that but it was a numbers and era-correct ghost car with an original shipping manifest from Detroit that was supplied as a RHD car (Not a conversion) with 340 Automatic and Locking rear diff, front disc brakes, special Blue Metallic interior and unique heavy Diecast hub caps that Detroit denied all knowledge of... hmmm ;)

Took me several years to rebuild and restore her using several Dodge Darts and Valiants as donor cars and patterns, and she was gorgeous when I finally sold her after many years of ownership.

Although at one point I remember almost buying a DeTomaso Pantera from around 1975 which was going for peanuts, but insanity was averted when I saw how rotten it was under the gleaming paint. There's always a reason something's cheap !!!

1964 Ford Capri GT 116E

My First Car!

So this winged beast was the first car I ever bought, and was my daily driver for many years, all through College and several years of different jobs and locations.

The Consul Capri was derived from the Classic De-Luxe, with four headlights, variable speed wipers, 9.5 in (241 mm) front disc brakes, dimming dashboard lights, and a cigar lighter. All extras in those days.

The wings and silhouette was reminiscent of 1960's American cars, with an unnecessarily massive boot that could easily accomodate 6 bodies(and a heavy overhang which made it tail-happy) amd exclusive styling that satisfied the individual in me - for a while.

Meantime all the boring people in the UK were buying Ford Anglias and Cortinas and production of the Winged Capri was discontinued in July 1964 - just too way out for the UK Public ;)

A basic Capri was tested by the The Motor magazine in 1962 and had a top speed of 79.0 mph (127.1 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 22.6 seconds. Sadly not as swift as it looked (unless you added a 1600GT engine and a 2000E gearbox and diff !!!)

Top 2 photos are unfortunately the only ones I still have of my car (around 42 years ago!) The bottom 2 are similar cars so you can see the proportions and wings...

However what do I remember the most? She was MY car. She had drop-dead styling that I had no problem upgrading ;) She had no rear seat except a carpeted wooden plank. She had comfortable front bucket seats in a day when everyone else had bench seats. I spent many a day laying underneath her fixing things that fell off. That was completely normal in those days, and I loved working on her..... Lucas, God of Darkness ruled the known world in this era, so there was no such thing as "always works", it mostly depended on the weather, which was always crap.

This was the era of the Chelsea Car Cruise on the last saturday of each month, and we were frequent flyers, until after a couple of years the Police decided we were having too much free fun and it needed to be killed...

I remember many long hauls up and down the motorways with up to 6 friends crammed in. We just did it. Not many people, let alone people my age, had cars in those days.

I also remember the countless hours spent metalflaking her, adding wide wheels and tyres at the back and jacking her up a foot. But that's a whole other memoir ;)

That's all, Folks...

Forgive me cos I've left out a bunch of cars in between these landmarks

Countless classics bought, refurbished and flipped by me and my Dad, they were all unique in their way and had character and spirit to match their beauty or ugliness (ref. Reliant Robin)

Work Hard, Play Loud!

Make the best of your life, enjoy it while you can!!!

and don't forget to keep a Bear in your car to put a smile on the face of someone less fortunate than yourself (especially sick children).....

Everyone loves a Teddy Bear

....especially when delivered in a Jaguar!!!

Thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoyed it!