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A weekend with a Jaguar E-type S1 Roadster? Yes please!

21 January 2021

by Girardo & Co.

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Realising dreams is what we strive to achieve here at Girardo & Co., so when we found our photographer Tom Shaxson drooling over our 1963 Jaguar E-type S1 3.8 Litre Roadster, one of his all-time favourite cars, we decided to make his year and give him the keys for the weekend. Cars are mean to be driven, after all! We’ll let Tom take up the tale…

I’ll be the first to admit that as an automotive photographer, those who I’m most envious of are the owners and journalists driving the cars I’m capturing. That’s why when Girardo & Co.’s Marcus Willis casually suggested that I take home this beautiful 1963 Jaguar E-type Series 1 3.8 Litre Roadster for the weekend, I was genuinely speechless. For want of a better phrase, it was a dream come true.

When Girardo & Co.’s Marcus Willis casually suggested that I take home this beautiful Jaguar E-type Series 1, I was genuinely speechless.”

Aside from maneuvering a handful of classic cars at a snail’s pace and trundling around behind the wheel of a few old Land Rovers, I’ve not really driven a classic car before. A baptism of fire would be a great way of summarising my journey home to Sussex with the Jaguar from Belchers Farm. There was what I can only describe as a blizzard on the A34 and it didn’t take me long to realise 1960s windscreen wipers are not especially effective. Not that I was bothered in the slightest – I was driving a Jaguar E-type!

I spent my first full day with the Jag with a George Clare, a videographer friend of mine from back home, so we could produce the short film you can view below. It’s such an easy car to get to grips with and it was an incredible experience to simply drive the car and enjoy getting to knows its characteristics.

Around lunchtime we headed to Cowdray Castle in Midhurst to try and get some footage of the E-type outside the ruins. This is where I discovered one of the first basic rules of classic car ownership: leaving the lights on with the engine switched off drains the battery. Pronto.

We were approached by a typically disgruntled security guard who told us we had no business taking photographs on his patch. We were asked to leave, at which point the E-type failed to start. Ah. Rather sheepishly, I swallowed my pride pill and asked the aforementioned security guard if he wouldn’t mind giving us a push. Thankfully, he obliged. Lesson learned.

When I got home I received an unexpected call from my grandmother, who was wondering why on earth she’d seen me driving through the village in a fancy old car that was quite clearly not mine. I explained myself and then she told me a great story. When my grandmother got married in 1962, she’d ambitiously asked my grandfather for a Jaguar E-type as a wedding present. He duly agreed, though I’m fairly sure the miniature Matchbox version of the car he presented to her wasn’t what she had in mind. (They’re still married!)

I’m not a car journalist, so I’m not going to try and explain how the car felt. All I’ll say is that the experience was everything I could have hoped for, and then some. And that this E-type is a wonderful, wonderful car to drive. I’m truly grateful for the opportunity and it goes without saying that an old Jaguar has gone straight to the top of my automotive wish list. A huge thank you to Max and the rest of the team. I hope you enjoy the photos and the short film!

Words and photos: Tom Shaxson / Video: Continuum Films

Interested in this 1936 Jaguar E-type S1 3.8 Litre Roadster? Click here to contact us. 

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