Since this is a west coast event the getting there part is relatively
simple, unlike the last event. This time I just hop on a quick flight to Reno, and presto I'm
there in under two hours. No transit lounge trauma, no forced
overnight stays in dubious accomodations.
Dad meets me at the Reno airport, we drive about 45 miles south
to the hotel. I like this. No jet lag, no hassles.
I see the XK-120 for the first time. Wow. What a gorgeous car!
British Racing Green. Tan interior. Swoopy curves. Cool.
Left: The jag wrapped up.
Below: The jag unveiled.
We give the car a quick scrub down, and then take it for a little
drive around Minden. I get the hang of it's weird clutch. It does
not disengage until the very end of it's path, so it is a bit
weird. The Car drives wonderfully. If it were'nt for some awful
(non-existent) ergonomics it would be perfect. I am too tall to
drive it comfortably. I will say however that it is more comfortable
in some ways than the XK-E while riding as a passenger. The footwell
fits, unlike the E-Type's weird little hole that you cram your
legs into. If you could move the pedals back about 6 inches, the
120 would fit me perfect.
Dad's car hauler, a Ford Expedition has some sort of recall, so
we ferry it up to Carson City to spend the rest of the week getting
fixed, while we tootle about Nevada in the Jag. I drive the Jag
up the highway to Carson City while Dad goes exactly 70 mph so
we can 'calibrate' the jag. It's speedometer waves about in the
general direction of somewhere between 35 and 100 mph, so we get
a sense of speed via the tach. He goes 70, the jag's tach says
3100 rpm in 4th, so now we have an idea of a ballpark speed figure
to quote when the Nevada Highway Patrolman asks the classic question
"Do you *know* how fast you were goin' there boy?" =)
Having dropped off the ailing Ford we head back to Minden and
the hotel to check in for the event. We are one of two non-american
cars in the event this year. I guess it was two porsches last
year (judging by the pics in the program) this year it is two
Jaguar XK-120s! Go figure. This event is limited to pre-1955 cars.
Drum Brakes only (more on that later) The rest of the feild are
these old american proto-muscle cars. Big humpy Fords, Caddies,
and Buicks. The event recalls the La Carrera Panamericana Mexicana
of the immediate post-war era. This was an international road
race that stopped in 1954. Having been born 11 years later I know
nothing of the original event, but I'm sure I will find out more
We check in, get our swag (shirt, hat, etc.) and get ready for
Here are some pictures of the cars at the hotel:
Go to the Next page: Thursday.