Dusting off chavs in a 1963 Jaguar Mark II 3.8

Published: 24 June 2010

The guy in the baseball cap with the gold sticker still on the peak glanced across and registered nothing. The empty sound of 1.6 litres of Citroen’s finest fell impotently out through an exhaust pipe larger than a drain.

Content in the thought that he did not need to worry about the old-fashioned chrome laden crock next to him, the lights turned to amber and he drew his elbow in through the window as the glow of blue LEDs emanating from under the sills launched down the road, followed by the un-silenced sound of French chipped distress.

The old car slipped into first, teeth meshing soundlessly but heavily without the aid of synchromesh. Being born in 1963 it would not be kind to feed in all the power in first, but following the gentle slide from first back to second and the lifting of the heavy clutch, the twin SU’s dragged the fuel into 3.8 litres of XK. A similar lack of silencers in twin stainless exhausts allow the sound of a Spitfire to build to a spine-tingling roar just as the Saxo (bobbling on its shortened springs) is passed. The draught bodily shakes the Saxo's bodykit, causes the cap to turn, frown menacingly and drops the open mouth of the youth even further.

Then the clutch is dipped, the Dunlop discs applied and the rhythmic tickover resumed at the next set of lights that have just turned red. The LEDs flash by, reflecting off the Mark 2 badge and silver-on-black number plates. Flashing blue lights pull out from a layby, and a chirrup sounds from the roof bar mounted toward the rear of an X-type estate’s roof.

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By Michael Evans

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