Updated: Apr 2, 2021
You're 18, Reagan is president and Michael Jackson is moon-walking the music charts. A few bucks has come your way and there's an urge to tear up the streets of Chicago in the Greatest Crumpet Collector known to man, as Road & Track's Henry Manney so aptly coined the Jaguar XKE.
But the subject of our story is not a testosterone-fueled Don Johnson; she's a lady with a taste for cars with a clutch and a fiery roar.
In 1984, our client acquired a sable brown 1971 XKE Roadster from the original owner with just 42,000 miles. Over the course of the next 33 years, the slumbering cat saw few added clicks of the odometer as the owner completed school, worked and raised a family.
The time had come to reawaken the Jag, and yesterday, I was trusted with the task of firing up the cat from its long hibernation.
Gas with the consistency of maple syrup was drained and replaced with non-ethanol Super and two ounces of stabilizer for good measure. Proper disposal? Of course! A previous driving session resulted in "lots of green fluid on the ground and smoke from the engine bay," according to the owner. Two gallons of fresh anti-freeze flushed out the culprit as a failed lower hose at the heater box. With none available in rural Vermont, I simply created a loop between the In/Out ports on the firewall with a length of 1/2" hose and new clamps. Next up: dry cylinder walls meant a few shots of oil so out come the plugs and cranking until the oil pressure gauge showed life. Finally, let's dress the points—just because.
Now, the moment of anticipation when every car guy—and gal—wonders if the all that hard work means the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat. I'm happy to report that it took only a few shots of starting fluid before this lioness roared back to life. Yes!
More to be done before she's fully roadworthy, but this Jag is well on her way to restoring the proud owner's spirit and vibe!