Saturday, June 21, 2008

Taking in a Stray Cat

I've bought another car. Well, half a car.

It started earlier this week when my wife, Melissa, read an ad to me about an estate sale in Point Clear, Alabama. I half-listened as she ran through the usual list of antique furniture, artwork, collectibles and a 1969 Jaguar XKE Coupe for restoration. I scanned the ad - no phone number, no address; just 'three miles south of the Grand Hotel'.

"Hmm, I might go take a look. There may be some other automobile-related stuff that I might be able to afford."

Later in the day, I sent an email to SABCC NEWSLETTER editor and local Jaguar enthusiast Richard Cunningham about the Saturday sale. He said he would drive down to see of there might a pre-sale viewing. He did. There wasn't.

Richard and his wife, Donna, met Melissa and I for dinner Friday evening and before the last of the pizza was gone, we had a plan to be at the sale as it opened at 8:00 AM.

After breakfast at a Fairhope cafe, we made the drive down the bay to Point Clear. The knot of cars parked along the road let us know we'd found the place. Walking up the driveway, we spotted the car. It had been maroon once, but the paint was faded to a red-brown color. It was on four flat Michelin Redlines and the California license plate hadn't had a tax sticker since 1987.

We asked about the car and was given the asking price and was told that nothing was negotiable. However, the owners instructed the people running the sale that they could accept offers on anything that hadn't sold after 2:00 PM . Richard and I decided that we would come back after 2 o'clock.

We returned promptly at two and we made an offer to the sellers. Richard and I bought ourselves a Jaguar.

It will stay in Richard's 'Garagemahal' as soon as the tow truck delivers it. We plan to give it a thorough looking-over before we decide what to do next. Sell it on? Part it out? Stay tuned!

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