The Candy Apple Red Jaguar I can remember it well.
It was 1972.
I was doing well, money was rolling in and I was ready for a new car.
I wanted something that was not too flashy and looked the like it belonged to a successful young investment adviser.
Skimming the classifieds (remember those) in the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel – it jumped out of the page – Candy Apple Red Jaguar Sedan for sale.
With bated breath – hoping the car had not been sold – with much trepidation I called the seller; made an appointment and rushed out to look up my new car.
The seller played me like a fiddle………
As I drove into his driveway the car was sitting in the middle of his tree car garage in full view, in all its splendor.
Why – how could he be so crazy as to sell this beauty?
We exchanged greetings and as I got closer, my anxiety intensified. It was immaculate. Not a blemish, nick or spot. Shined like a mirror. When I get inside I noticed the ash trays were filled with corn starch – not any smell except the leather smell of a Candy Apple Red Jaguar.
I took it for the obligatory spin. Had a mechanic check it out and in short order it was all mine.
What a day that was – the proud owner of a Candy Apple Red Jaguar.
That is when my nightmare started.
On the way home the car stopped, stalled and wouldn’t start.
This was the first of many harrowing experiences the Candy Apple Red Jaguar bestowed upon me.
I’d be driving down I-95 70 – 80 miles an hour and she would stop dead – engine shut down, would not start – in the middle of traffic. Try it with five little kids in the car. Unbelievable.
But the car was so beautiful. Iit looked so great everyone looked with envy at my Candy Apple Red Jaguar. When I went out to a nightclub or restaurant the valets put it right up front for all to see – envy.
But it the nightmare continued.
I got to know the tow truck company driver personally. He and I became good friends. I never had to wait for him to come when I was stalled. What service. When I’d call he’d say, “Dom is that you? Where are you I’ll be right there.” He even take me home after each disastrous occasion.
The Jaguar mechanic I used became my friend also. He loved me. I probably paid for a big piece of his new car.
It got to the point where my five kids were afraid to drive with me – fearing the ever present stop/stall/tow scenario. There were many screams on I-95 – “Dad, dad we’re gonna get killed. Dad what’s going on dad’s why! Why!
Whenever the car would stop at an intersection; while sitting there waiting for my friend the tow truck driver – passing cars would stop open up their window and yell out – drive an American car.
It was so embarrassing, but I love my Candy Apple Red Jaguar.
What would I be if I abandon my chick Candy Apple Red Jaguar? Whenever I drove the car I was somebody. I wasn’t just another driver; another person on the road, someone with no identity!
I was someone I was the proud owner of a Candy Apple Red Jaguar.
After a year of torture, humiliation, scared kids, tow truck drivers, and my ever loving mechanic I decided enough was enough
I bit the bullet and decided to sell. I put the car ad back into the classifieds and sure enough. There were a whole passel of buyers looking for the perfect Candy Apple Red Jaguar to own. Even though I cautioned the new owner I could see he paid me on heed.
He was me one year ago – eager to take the plunge.
As I learned later the Jaguars made in those years had terribly inadequate electric systems. They were the bane of Jaguar until Ford bought them and fixed the problem.
I can still say that I loved/hated my Candy Apple Red Jaguar.