Heading to Cars and Coffee in a Jaguar XK140

It started with a Saturday night SMS to friend of Any Given Reason, Karl, inquiring if he was heading to Cars & Coffee this morning and if he had a free seat. “Sorry mate I do not. But Daniel has a spare seat in his new Jaguar XK140 if you like”. As much as I love Karl’s Classic Adelaide rally Thoroughbred Trophy podium placing Porsche 944, his XK suggestion seemed the more attractive option. An XK140 on a warm summer morning? Perfect.

Mutual friend Daniel had been dreaming of XK’s for years and finally purchased one six months ago, but due to our recent inclement weather and other commitments he’d only had it out a handful of times. It’s not the kind of car that you can just jump into at the drop of a hat, especially when you’re still getting used to it. Plus, keeping it for those perfect conditions makes it a more special experience.

I met up with Daniel and buckled up into the open cockpit of the XK. We briefly stopped for the traditional coffee at Red Berry and to meet up with Karl, before heading into the hills.

The XK140 is very different to the types of sports cars I’m usually around. It’s definitely more of a GT tourer, arguably more relevant on today’s heavily policed roads than ever. Karl behind us in the 944 was aching to go faster but stayed put so he could appreciate the Jaguar’s flowing lines in the morning sun, whereas we were content to simply motor along at a ‘sporting’ pace.

I can understand why these old Jaguar straight six engines are held in such high regard. With buckets of torque it’s happy to pull from low around town and out of corners, but let it rev out and it develops a distinctive hard-edged bark that invokes mental images of D-Type’s tearing down the Mulsanne in the middle of the night. The badge on the boot referencing Jaguar’s Le Mans victories is not a tenuous name-only based link; this car is mechanically connected to those famous racers and you can feel it.

Cars and Coffee was more of the usual – a busy carpark containing the weird and wonderful, and some simply brilliant highlights. This old 911, set up as a pretty serious track car, was easily the favorite of myself and many others. This 901 is pretty much my dream and exactly as I’d build it – it’s for sale too.

After a coffee and a walk around it was time to head off, back down the hill to the rest of the Sunday commitments.

Daniel’s XK140 was the perfect car for these Sunday morning jaunts, and as we descended back through the foothills it felt eerily as if we were cruising the French Riviera. Sure, I’m not quite as pleasant or attractive a passenger as Grace Kelly would have been and I apologised to Daniel for that, but the point still remains.

Words and photos by Andrew Coles

Don’t forget – Any Given Reason Burger Meet, Boxing 2016 at Penny’s Hill McLaren Vale from 6pm.

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1 Comment

  1. KVS December 18, 2016 Reply

    The grammar in that Saturday night text is impeccable.

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