Selling S-type seats and borrowing Jason King's face fuzz

| 27 Feb 2012

A guy called Robin Allen appeared at my office yesterday to collect some old S-type Jag seats I had for sale.

It's a long story: I bought them to spruce up the interior of my now long gone 3.8 S-type, but discovered that they were not the right colour, so I used the front cushions anyway and had them re-coloured.

Anyway, when I asked Robin what he had in mind for them he said he wanted them for his 3 Litre Lagonda saloon; he was going to adapt the armrest mechanisms.

Then it struck me that we had met before: my last major outing in the Rapide was to a Lagonda AGM at Aldermaston where Robin had appeared with his amazing Granada Scorpio powered Lagonda.

The original engine had gone pop and, unable to afford the rebuild costs (£33,000 was one quote – ridiculous!) he shoved in the Ford lump.

Otherwise the car looked nice and standard and I rather admired his determination to keep it rolling. He is currently having the original lump rebuilt and I suggested to him that the car might be a bit disappointing to drive. He agreed!

Good luck to him anyway: nice to see somebody with a car like that who gets his hands dirty. The more I hear about the 2.6/3 litre Aston engine, the less good it sounds durability wise, although I also hear that a properly rebuilt one really can be made to perform – and last.

At the weekend there was a dinner party where '70s attire was required. Believe it or not I don’t have a wardrobe of 1970s clobber so we had to make a trip to the Nailsworth fancy dress shop (the one where Prince Harry got his Nazi uniform) where, after trying on a selection of frilly shirts and a full John Travolta/Saturday Night Fever outfit, I settled on a long heavy leather coat with a Sweeney/Professionals feel about it and a Jason King moustache. The sideburns I already have.

With no XJ-S to drive we had to travel 1960s-style in a white 340 Jaguar which is always fun, particularly in the wet. The next day, after a look at my friend Jon’s Rover SD1 collection, I let him take the wheel of the 340, which he loved. I do to.