Oh No! Why is this man smiling?

That’s me, emerging from underneath my father’s 1954 Jaguar XK 120 OTS, holding what remains of the v-belt.

We were participating in and LEADING the 2003 New England 1000 Vintage Rally when the old-old Jag threw the belt and we ended up accruing enough penalty time to grow an oak tree from an acorn. No, wait, we were in Quebec… grow a Maple tree from a helicopter. Oh well.

Like all adventures, it was made all the more memorable by adversity!

Anyway, we were zipping along at above the legal limit having just passed a telco repair van when the belt shredded in a puff of rubber particulate and a death rattle that would make the Grim Reaper smile. It was frightfully hot for a June day in Quebec and the old XK motor inside that tight compartment was WAY too hot to touch. Getting the belt off was tough, but replacing it was impossible until the car cooled down significantly. We sat by the side of the road speaking really bad French to Quebeckers who spoke really bad English and managed to get a replacement belt (I always carry two in my Jag… dad carried one, and it was the wrong size!) and get it installed… eventually.

Never a dull day when driving vintage iron.


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