I immediately felt comfortable. Turning the ignition key kicked the SU fuel pump ticking into action and a press of the starter button was rewarded with the great sound of the now 210 hp engine (fitted with a C-type cylinder head) crackling to life, with a gorgeous bark the response from a blip of the throttle.
Easing the four-speed Moss gearbox into low gear I let the clutch out and the Jaguar pulled away very smoothly, showing no signs of being highly-strung or temperamental. Plenty has been said of the Moss gearbox, much of it uncomplimentary and a lot of it deserved. It really isn’t the most sporting of things but as long as you don’t hurry it, it will change ratios without too much fuss. Certainly it falls way behind the quality of the rest of the mechanicals of the car. But treat it kindly and with respect and it will co-operate.