When my brother and I climbed into Captain ‘Dickie’ Pratts Jaguar E-type Coupe early one morning in 1965, I didn’t quite know just how significant the next twenty minutes would be. As we pulled out onto an empty A30, my father, standing by our Ford Anglia, wore the expression of a man who was wondering if his little sons and army colleague would return in one piece. I don’t remember everything about that blast down the A30 near Byfleet, but I do recall perching on the transmission tunnel between the two seats (my older brother having taken the passenger seat) and clinging on for dear life, while accompanied by a glorious sound, we were whisked up to somewhere between 105 and 115mph – by this stage of course the Smiths speedo needle was wavering quite considerably.
Now I don’t think dad, being one of life’s cautious drivers, had ever taken the Anglia over 55mph, yet here I was, at the age of five, travelling twice as fast as I had ever travelled on land, in possibly the most devastatingly exciting sports car of all time. The events of that day in ’65 have been etched on my memory ever since and have most certainly contributed to the formation of my lifelong enthusiasm for classic cars. On this site we shall be covering various classics as they appear in our short films, take us on trips and rallies and visit the workshop for some TLC. At the time of writing we are in the throes of preparing some cars for the spring and occupying my mind chiefly on this front, is a certain Jaguar Mk VIIM. Go to Fleet News to read more.