Vladimir Ivanovich Kirillov
Post Number: 428
|Posted on Wednesday, 16 March, 2016 - 08:04: |
I own one each of these cars. I am frustrated by the fact that I can't seem to decide which one I like the best.
I am presently giving the Jaguar 420G a full restoration. By full restoration I don't mean that I am just steam cleaning the oil and dirt off the engine with a view to selling it in the local rag. I mean I am going over each piece of it with a magnifying glass and deciding the most efficient way to bring it back to showroom new condition with reliability.
I had decided to remove Jag engine and automatic transmission and replace it with a 351 Cleveland Ford V8 with a 6 speed manual Tremec gearbox but the conservative side of me has got a hold of the situation so this one will be restored to original spec with the Jaguar double over cam triple carby engine and auto box.
Perhaps I remember being in Sydney once driving a 420G and having to overtake and I really gave the accelator the floor and the car truly whined and growled like a real jungle cat - it was nasty and it was fun. The camera speeding ticket naturally arrived in the mail sooner than later. Of course I told the authorities that Jay Leno who is known for his unremorseful speeding was driving the car and they believed me.
The Cadillac does not even have 80K miles on it. There are only two things I don't like about the Cadillac. The first is that it was one of the rare 500 ci V8 engines fitted with computerised fuel injection and the second thing is since I have bought it 8 years ago in New Mexico those evil Americans have discovered the quality and value of their own cars and have tripled its price to purchase the same from 3 grand 8 years ago to 10 grand for a good one now.
Why after falling for all the Asian trash cars did the Americans finally wake up from their deep sleep and start paying crazy prices for USA made vehicles ?
The Cadillac to drive is a dream. It floats along like a cloud. It accelerates and stops beautifully. It has great presence and style. The interior is comfortable and swanky. This car regardless of its many electrical wizzbang accessories from automatic dimming of head lights to climate control is easy to maintain.
One can abuse the Cadillac engine and like a faithful dog it will always be there for you. Do that to a Jaguar or Rolls Royce and you will cry tears for dollars big time. The 472-500 Cadillac engine was made bullet proof. I have never heard of one disintergrating and there are people in the USA who modify these engines for 1000 plus horsepower to go out and croak Chevs for sport. The gearbox is the ever reliable and repairable Turbo 400 from General Motors - same gearbox as the Camargue.
Somewhere the English slipped up a Crewe. I would have thought that they would have cut back on tea bags to at least put an aluminium with fins oil pan on the Turbo 400 as they fitted it to the "world's most expensive car" in 1976-1977 but no get underneath JRH 23682 one of only 146 or so right hand drives vehicles of the Camargue ever made and there it is staring you right in the face "GMC" stamped onto a bush fly common stamped steel oil pan. How ghastly - how so un Mayfair and Park Lane. This is one part of my Camargue which will be discarded and used as the centre piece of a pistol target. Not everybody can afford to put .38 bullet holes in a Rolls Royce Camargue's original automatic gearbox oil pan but I can. And even if I couldn't afford it I will.
This hideous oversight grinds nastily with the superb and decadent interior of the Camargue. Just the smell of the inside of a Camargue like all RR/B cars reeks wealth and decadence that only English upper class tofts can create even if they are bankrupt and pursued by authorities internationally, the English Gentleman by his manners alone has true class.
But the Jaguar 420G is a true enigma. When you get into the guts of the thing, putting the spectacular sight of the walnut dash and rear picnic tables aside, the workmanship of all the window frames made from stainless steel and highly polished you cannot help but think Sir Lyons cracked a good line of China white during an affair with Black Label Johnny Walker scotch and thereafter swished the air with his riding crop into the board room at Coventry and announced "Gentlemen - we are going to out Rolls Royce - Rolls Royce itself with the Mark 10/420G what what hurrah " Perhaps the truth behind this caper will never be known until the KGB files on Elizabeth R are finally made public and we learn that she and Sir Lyons were in some super secret Corgi Dog Club together and had hatched this conspiracy to confuse us all. The English have after all got up to crazier things in the past 1000 years like losing the American colonies not to France or Spain but to Americans or furiously slapping the Argentinians cruelly about over a tiny remote sheep raising island many don't know even exists today.
Because each piece of this door window frame is immaculate and has little precision screws holding it in place. I have no idea how Jaguar managed to produce such a car of such quality for such a price.
Right now these Jaguars are under appreciated in the market place - though the highest prices asked are in the UK and Netherlands. Australia has the cheapest prices. I bought mine for $2,000 AUD which you could easily spend at the right Moscow restaurant in a drunken night out and that would include bribing the local police to drive you home rather than put up with the 3 day mandatory sentence for being out of your skull on Vodka.
Parts for the Jaguar and Cadillac are still plentiful and reasonably priced even from Texas carpetbaggers. Mechanical parts for the Rolls Royce are slightly more expensive and quite available from Flying Spares and especially so after I have threatened to land in the UK and eat the director's pet Foxy Pup as an exotic meal plum into the little suckers mouth for the oven etc.
But the panels and interior parts for a Camargue - well just think how easy it is these days to purchase unicorns alive and you get the picture.
All these three cars are good cars. I will never part with any of mine and have to almost beg myself not to buy more of the same.
A Mercedes 300 SEL 6.3 seems to be the next logical step as I curse myself for wanting yet another luxury classic car when in reality one can only drive one car at a time.
It's people like Omar and Jay Leno who are responsible for my addictions - well that's what I tell myself. And I think if I go to Dubai, will I make it out of customs with a stolen Ferrari in my luggage. Will the local circuit judge accept my excuse that it was abandoned at the airport parking lot and I was just trying to help Dubai's revenue but snatching it - probably not.
However said that a Classic Car hobby was healthier than drug and alcohol addiction was fibbing.