Let’s travel back in time for another one of my random digressions. One fine summer day in Coronado circa ’77, as I sat lolling away in my trusty ‘67 Ford pickup parked down by the Glorietta Bay boat ramp, a stranger in a red-hot Jaguar asked if he might borrow my truck in order to pull his boat out of the water. I obliged, of course. In return, he allowed me to borrow his super-sweet ‘67 Jaguar XKE convertible. Red, of course. Four on the floor, of course. Top down, of course. He asked me if I knew how to drive a stick. I lied, of course!
So while he was getting his boat out of the drink (with some difficulty), I happily “mis-spent” 30 minutes behind the wheel of his Jag, just long enough to joy-ride around town, showing
off my new set of wheels to a few friends.
I quickly got the hang of the four-speed, hopefully without doing too much damage! What fun!
Thirty years later I was re-telling the story to a lady I’d met, only to be informed by her that it had been her XKE which her (ahem) soon to be ex-husband had loaned out to me. Obviously her hubby had never mentioned it to her, and lo so many years later she was not amused to learn some complete stranger (yours truly) had had his grubby mitts on the wheel of her “baby”.
Oops. Small world.
I must say, for all its flash, panache, and flair, the only other car I’ve ever driven which even approaches the style and sportiness of that “borrowed” XKE would have to be my high school friend Flash’s father’s ‘57 Ford Thunderbird convertible, with which it was my distinct pleasure to “chauffeur” dear Flash around the oval track of old Cutler Field during the halftime festivities of the Homecoming football game, for Flash was one of the Homecoming Court princesses.
To borrow from an old Beach Boys fave, “And she’ll have fun fun fun ‘til her daddy takes the T-Bird away.”
And none too soon, since the steering wheel of the vintage T-Bird was so wide I could barely shoehorn myself in behind the wheel. Fortunately, with some difficulty, I managed to fit just well enough (not very) to maneuver the lovely Flash around the track to the podium where she joined the other Homecoming princesses. Once my brief driving duties were done, I gladly turned the T-Bird back over to her dad.
It was an honor and a privilege, dear Flash, wherever you may be!