Register Secretary Robert (Bob) Alexander
I was introduced to cars at an early age by my Dad when he bought a new Standard Vanguard Phase 3 in 1957. As he had been an instructor at the Indian Military School of Transport he maintained it himself - now with an enthusiastic apprentice. Later, I learnt to drive in “Vanny” and it became my first car. I still own Vanny and it is displayed in the McFeeters Motor Museum in Forbes, NSW.
Back in 1968 a stylish sports car caught my eye. WOW! The black 3.8 litre Open Two Seat (OTS) Jaguar with red interior left an indelible mark on me and I dreamt about owning an E-Type some day.
Later as an Aeronautical Engineer my interest in the aerodynamics, monocoque structures and engine frames of the E-Types intensified. At the launch in Geneva in March 1961 it had it all, Shape, Performance and Price. I became absorbed in the Jaguar marque from a technology and business perspective.
The cessation of E-Type production in 1974 triggered my desire to convert my dream into reality. I decided that it was now or never. I began actively searching for an E-Type….
I started scouring the advertisements and simultaneously did a crash course on the E-Type models and configurations. Most offers for sale looked good from far, but regrettably close up most of them were far from good. Comprehensive searches were starting to border on despair when after six months I could not bring closure on a purchase. Why was it so? Well, come and have a chat with me sometime.
Early one Saturday morning I was lucky to chance upon an ‘as-traded,’ what I thought was, a Series 1 Coupe at a Chrysler Dealership in Frankston, Melbourne. Buying spare parts later from Brysons revealed that what I had acquired was a transition model that over time has come to be known unofficially as the Series ‘1.½’. With this discovery I began yet another foray into the mysteries of Jaguar Configuration Control.
That was in September 1975 and I still have the car, affectionately known as ‘Snoopy.’ Initially it was my “daily driver.” Currently it is used more for “classic motoring.” Ownership remains an enjoyable experience. Without the versatility, sportiness and Grand Touring characteristics of a light coloured 2+2, I’m sure I would not still own it today.
I have done as much of the maintenance work as I can myself (with much help from my wife Maureen – she has many tales to tell). My approach is to keep it in as original a configuration as possible. With any improvement/upgrade my goal is to preserve reversibility.
Over time I have become passionate about E-Types and the Jaguar marque generally. We currently have a 2003 S-Type and in the past enjoyed a Series 2 XJ6.
It is a privilege and honour to serve on the JDCA committee. I plan to be the Club’s focal point for all things E-Type by promoting the model and sharing or researching information.
So let’s keep the timeless E-Types out and about to be seen, enjoyed and admired.
E-Type Register Secretary