Friday 11 November 2011

The big cat that doesn't want to die

About a year ago I came across the sad story of a Jaguar XK150 about to be used for a banger race (a demolition derby, for you guys on the other side of the pond). 
As legend goes some guys received a call to go pick up a old rover and they were pretty astonished to find out it wasn't a rover at all, but this very sad big cat, incomplete and neglected. Some say it was a resto project left there, some say it was left there to rot. The guys apparently tried and convince the lady that the car was obviously worth saving and they were ready to pay for it rather than demolish it. The lady didn't seem to care about having money for it, she wanted to see it scrapped and demanded the car to be cut in half on the spot, understanding the poor lads were't ready for such a vile gesture. They apparently managed to convince her that the gear they had on them wasn't big enough for the task and she had satisfaction in seeing the roof pillars chopped off. 
It would have been bad enough for the poor cat but sometimes fate is nothing but a downward spiral. The lads in fact were looking for cars to race in the banger championship.
Somehow they decided to race the poor Jag. They paint it, remove the sellable spares, weld the doors (according to some sources they were missing when they found it) and in three months they are ready to take it to the local track for the sad event.
There's a video of the race, do yourself a favour and skip to minute 1.40, the horrible music adds shame to the disgrace. 
The teenage driver apparently has been abused all over the internet and he made an effort in explaining the story before the race and afterwards in a number of forums. I kinda appreciate that but still it is a real shame and certainly a bad day for any classic cars enthusiast. 

This is what he had to say for himself: 
"Im not going to get into an argument over it, as people have tried to have an argument with me about what i did and it hasnt worked, but i will gladly answer any questions people may have. But to answer your post mate, alot of the cars i would like to own  (mk1/mk2 granadas, xj6's, p5's,p4's etc etc) are all cars i would also like to race, i see these cars raced week in week out, and have raced a few of them, the way i see it is these are cars that are not financially viable to put back on the road and instead of sending them to the scrap yard, let them go out in a blaze of glory, also, any bits that are taken off the car that arnt needed when racing it are sold to people who own road goings ones, thus, keeping there road viechles going.
To answer another question about what condition the car was in after the race, it faired pretty well , was quicker than most out there, the back got a fair bit of damage and kinked the passenger side front wing a small bit and that was it, sold the car after it was raced but dont no what happened to it as ive heard a few diffrent stories from diffrent people.
Cheers Laurence"
I was pretty sure that was the last we would have heard of that poor troubled cat, but to my amazement it appeared on ebay about a month ago! I wanted to write a post about it but personal life got on the way and I'm only resolving in writing now that the auction is long gone... without bids. 
It's moving how this troubled cat seems to resist living above any sort of abuse. Unfortunately the starting price at £4.500 was extremely optimistic, even with the internet star status that this car keeps on building up, on the other hand I wonder what would be a reasonable price to ask.
I sure hope some crazy collector will buy it one day. Not sure what I'd like him to do with it.

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