The call to sell this car came in through my website: https://www.dennisbuyscars.com. I estimated that the voice on the other line was in his late sixties or so and had an urgent quality to it. He explained that he bought this car about ten years ago with the plan of finishing the restoration. He drove it around the block the day he bought it, parked it in his garage and never touched it again because he said his health wasn’t great. It was hard to tell much from the picture that was sent through the website because all I saw was the back end of it sticking out of the garage with years worth of crap piled on it but what I saw looked decent and I was definitely interested. This is the top of the line and largest Jaguar in 1959 and is often mistaken for a Rolls Royce because of the folding “picnic tables” in the back seats.
We made an appointment for me to view it and I headed out to San Bernadino County. He lived in a very nice house in an expensive neighborhood. Dan was a friendly, slim, fit looking guy with darting eyes and a shock of dark hair trying to escape a baseball cap. His speech was halting and he would lose concentration in the middle of a conversation then quickly recover. “Sorry, but I have terminal brain cancer and that is why I am selling this car.” he said. I am sure my reaction was visible. I asked him if he was in pain and he said no.
The car was actually in decent shape. It had a beautiful silver and maroon color combination and the interior looked almost new. I knew however that when these old English cars sit for many years they need extensive repairs and it would cost me thousands before I could make it sellable.
I must say my negotiating skills were somewhat hampered by the situation. But we struck a deal and we signed the paper work while counting out the cash on the hood of my new Jag.
He went on to tell me a story of how, twenty years ago, his daughter married her foreign born boyfriend so he could stay in this country. Turns out he has not worked a single day in those twenty years and has been supported by he and his daughter.
“There is no way I am going to die and let that fucker get this car.” he said.