Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Of Cats and Frogs

Appearance is good.

Sustaining my current distaste for issues political, once again I’m blogging about issues mechanical.
My bride is one of eleven, and six of her siblings are female. This means I have lots of sisters-in-law.
One of them has a fondness for Jaguars (the motor car – not the animal). She is also fond of frogs, but that’s another story.
2.1 litre V6

Her hubby (my brother-in-law) has been for some time, searching for a Jaguar as a surprise gift. He found one (a 2002 manual X-Type) and it was in Toowoomba. These things are not all that common, and manuals are like hen’s teeth. His bride (said sister-in-law) also has a fondness for manual transmissions.

So the plot was hatched. I was to look at the car, and if it seemed OK, serious negotiations would be entered into. It was very OK, well-priced, and the deal was done.

Brother-in-law and bride are flying from their home base (Cairns) today, and I am meeting them at the airport with the surprise – the Jag.

Fake wood - real leather

Not everything went smoothly. Turns out the air conditioning was non-functional, although it was working when I first inspected the car. Now air blowing warm is not a good thing in humid Cairns, so parts had to be found, and repairs done. As this is written, the parts have been dispatched but not delivered to Toowoomba, so here’s hoping they get here in time to be fitted before I have to drive down to meet the midday plane.

I’ll keep you posted.
Snarly cat on wheel!

As to the car – it’s in top nick and has covered about 120000 kms. These were the first Jags produced after Ford bought Jaguar in or around 2000. Ford used the Mondeo frame, which upset many Jaguar traditionalists, but the cars are more reliable than pre-Ford Jags as a consequence, and well-sorted.

The Jaguar ambiance is still there, with lots of leather and wood, and it’s a very pleasant drive. It’s powered b a small (2.1lit) six, and has a Getrag gearbox. It actually feels a little bit like our Focus to drive, and has idiosyncrasies like the bonnet opening handle on the passenger’s side which it shares with the small Fords.

It was the first (and only, I think), front wheel drive Jaguar.

It’s much more refined than the Focus, but handles much the same – no bad thing. You won’t find a better set of driver’s cars than the small Fords, even if Ford fitted them for a time with that weird and troublesome Powershift transmission.
Frogs are a thing.

As mentioned above, my SIL likes frogs, so I found a frog themed key ring (pictured) to go with the car. I hope she is impressed.

Update -
The parts for the A/C didn't arrive in time to meet the plane, but a rendezvous was organised later in the day.
Sister-in-law was surprised (very pleasantly) and liked the frog......


cav said...

I like Jags

But ownership can be full of tears as with any used European car in 'Straya


1735099 said...

True, but this model of Jag was built on a Ford (Mondeo) platform, and you keep telling us how reliable Fords are, Cav.

A Pinch of Common Sense

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