New Zealand Classic Car - - Readers’ Writes - Kevin J Mcivor Sounds like it was a close call, Kevin — and you’re still here to tell the story! AFW

Ire­cently pur­chased the lat­est copy of New Zealand Clas­sic Car mag­a­zine (Au­gust 2018, Is­sue No. 332) and was taken back a bit by the story on Bruce Mclaren and his Jaguar cars, and the men­tion of the 1959 Mark 2 3.8-litre Jaguar.

This is a car I re­mem­ber with great fond­ness — I re­mem­ber when Ron Ri­ley owned the beau­ti­ful ma­roon Jaguar with wire wheels and the cream (beige seats). The car was al­ways in con­cours con­di­tion, and al­ways very clean and tidy. I was lucky enough to have sev­eral rides in the car — Ron would take a few of us boys off to our Satur­day soc­cer games in it, and it was al­ways a priv­i­lege to be able to ride in it.

The day I re­mem­ber most was when we were on our way home from a soc­cer game. We were com­ing down Church Street in Pen­rose when the bells started ring­ing and the bar­ri­ers started com­ing down, as a train was com­ing along the tracks. I think we must have been go­ing pretty quick.

Ron said: “Hang on, boys, we are go­ing to beat this train.”

Next thing, Ron had swung to the right, and then left, and we were fly­ing through the air, down the other side of Church Street on the down­hill side. I looked back out the rear win­dow, to see a freight train thun­der­ing past be­hind us. Think­ing about it to­day, it must have been pretty close — but what a mem­ory, and no time to be scared as it was all over and done with in a flash.

The mem­ory of Ron say­ing: “Hang on, boys, we are go­ing to beat this train” has re­mained in my mind for many years.

I am not sure, but I think Ron may have been the last owner of the car in New Zealand be­cause when I asked him, “Where did the car go to?” he said, “It is now in Aus­tralia.”

As I have al­ready men­tioned, I have very fond mem­o­ries of rid­ing in the Jaguar. Re­s­plen­dent in ma­roon, with highly pol­ished wire wheels, it’s still one of the most beau­ti­ful cars I have been lucky enough to ride in. See­ing a pho­to­graph and a men­tion of the car brought back some great mem­o­ries. To find out af­ter all these years that sev­eral New Zealan­ders, in­clud­ing Bruce Mclaren, Denny Hulme, Tony Shelly, and Ray Archibald, raced the Jaguar adds to the spe­cial­ness of this amaz­ing car.

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