Terry Thomas would have loved it!
I didn’t mean to buy an XK120, any more than I had meant to buy a Standard 10. I’d intended to flog the Standard’s NBU120 reg, but as there was money from my late mother’s estate sitting doing next to nothing in the bank, we decided to buy the car to go with the reg.
A roadster of the right colour came up at Suffolk Sportscars. It was so cold I couldn’t concentrate to drive it, but a deal was done. SS kindly kept it till the spring. Unfortunately, it was troublesome. In fact it broke down every time I took it out. Fraser at SS was terrific. They took the car back and did all sorts of expensive things to it. It no longer overheated five miles from home, and it was more willing to hot start. But it still fell onto five cylinders nearly every time it was started in the garage.
Eventually I took the carbs apart and found the float levels were a mile out, and the float valves were loose and leaking. Repairs cost me exactly £0.00. Now at last it ran on six.
The trouble was it had blotted its copy book fairly indelibly, and I was so nervous of it repeating its old tricks that I didn’t want to drive it. It took a year for me to start to appreciate that it was in fact, a very fine motor car. On a sunny day I was even forgiving it for not having room for a 5 foot ten driver. Slicing off the bottom inch and a half of the clutch pedal improved matters.
I’m afraid I still see it as a four wheeled savings account, and if the right offer came along I would wave goodbye. Until then it’s the closest I’m ever going to get to piloting a Spitfire, which is a lot more fun than looking at my bank statement.