Anecdote – Hat and the E-type Jag

Anecdote – Hat and the E-type Jag

Hat and the E-type Jag

When I was seventeen I lived at home. We had a bungalow and my bedroom was at the side. I was doing my A-levels, not that you’d know it, and life was quite wild. There was music, gigs, parties and friends. The sixties was in full swing. I had my motorbike and was as free as the wind through my long hair.

Hat was a good friend. His Dad owned a factory and had insisted he left school and worked in it to learn from the bottom up. That was not amusing Hat who found it all excruciatingly boring. They were quite wealthy, wealthy enough for his Mum to have an E-type Jag that she let Hat borrow.

Every now and then I’d be asleep and there’d be a knock on my window. It’d be Hat. He’d borrowed the car and fancied a drive. I’d climb out the window and we’d head off into the night.

Sometimes we’d just drive around.

‘Where to?’

‘It’s always straight on!’

It became a catch-phrase. It would always take us somewhere though it wasn’t as good at getting us back.

Hat’s favourite destination was Brighton. We’d hurtle down the sixty miles to the sea-side, run up and down the pebbled beach like maniacs and then get back in the car and drive off.

It was pointless. That’s what made it so attractive.

For some strange reason the police would take an interest in our exploits. Two young men driving around in a flash E-type Jag in the middle of the night seemed perfectly normal to us but they thought we were up to no good. They seemed to think we’d stolen the car. Unreasonable eh?

Hat did not make it better and there were a couple of times when we ended up being taken in to the police station for questioning.

‘Is this your car, sir?’

‘No.’

‘Do you mind telling me what colour it is?’

Hat, peering out of the open window at the bodywork. ‘It’s hard to tell in these yellow street lights.’

‘Do you know what the registration number is?’

‘Haven’t a clue.’

Hat’s long-suffering Mum would get a call in the middle of the night and have to smooth things out with the disgruntled constabulary. Hat loved winding them up.

On the way home we’d always pop into Heathrow Airport. It was the only place open at that hour back then. We’d run up the long escalator marked ‘Down’ and get ourselves a coffee.

Hat would drop me off. I’d climb back in, get an hour’s kip and be into school the next day.

13 thoughts on “Anecdote – Hat and the E-type Jag

  1. Hey Opher,

    An amusing recollection…not many can boast of indulgence in an E-type Jag! My friend owned an old Austin A30 (humble in comparison to a Jag) that was their first car. I remember it having hand-painted flames running over the front wings and being fitted with air-horns that would trumpet out (at high decibels!) a sound similar to the General Lee from The Dukes of Hazard. Good old days!

    DN

      1. She did us proud Opher! Her finest hours being the 7+ hour drive from London to Glagow – then a whistle-stop tour of Scotland – and back again. She broke down on the return leg just outside of Sheffield having lost some part of her engine on the motorway. Spare-parts weren’t easy to come by but two days later we were on our way again and arrived home safe and sound. As I recall she was traded-in for a newer model but found a good resting-home with a car enthusiast.

        Heady days lol 😀

        DN

      2. I’ve got fond memories of cars too! My first one was an old sit up and beg Ford Pop. I painted it all colours, using all my Dad’s paint – lime green, pale blue, orange, yellow, crimson. The police always saw it coming!

      3. If you’d named that car would it have been Illuminati? 😀

        I have an imaginary image of you and your friend – from one of your blog-posts, I think, painted head-to-toe in wild, whacky, florescent colours – driving about in your Ford Pop. Ah, such pleasures of youth! lol

        DN

      4. Yo Dewin – they were really the days. We thought they’d never end. I spent so much time in police stations – they do not seem to like either young people, long hair or bright colours!

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