1970 WORLD CUP GE­ORGE BEST

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - THIS WEEK -

Ge­orge Best never man­aged to get North­ern Ire­land to a World Cup, but they tried to qual­ify for the tour­na­ment in Mexico, with Best scor­ing a bril­liant goal against Turkey on 13 Oc­to­ber 1968.

Best did know how to have a great time out­side of foot­ball, how­ever. He once said: ‘I spent 90 per cent of my money on women, drink and fast cars. The rest I wasted.’ His Jaguar E-type S3 cer­tainly was one of those fast cars, and it cer­tainly wasn’t a waste!

The car shown here was the same car we saw Best get­ting into on tele­vi­sion and roar­ing away from Manch­ester United’s ground af­ter be­ing sacked in 1974. He had left Old Traf­ford for the last time, as a player, af­ter 361 games and 157 goals. Sadly he was one of the few greats who would never play in a World Cup, be­cause North­ern Ire­land failed to qual­ify dur­ing his peak foot­balling prow­ess.

Best owned a few E-types in his life­time, although he wouldn’t al­ways drive the speedy Jaguar over long dis­tances; he was known to get good friend Tony Grif­fin to drive them to Ma­jorca for him.

Best also owned a va­ri­ety of Jaguars other than E-types, one of which he crashed while drunk at the wheel. A six-month ban would see him chauf­feured around in a Jaguar Mk2 dur­ing that time. Af­ter the S3 (pic­tured), he fol­lowed up E-type own­er­ship with an XJ-S – by no means as charm­ing but still a great car to drive and be seen in.

His non-Jaguar car CV is equally im­pres­sive. He first bought an Austin 1100 in 1963 when he was a ground staff boy at Manch­ester United. He later gave that car to his fa­ther when he up­graded to a Sun­beam Alpine. He was also to be seen in a Rad­ford Mini Cooper S and a Lo­tus Europa.

LEFT Lucky old Ge­orge also owned an E-type road­ster S1.

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