Q: Greg, I read your column about the D-Type Jags and it reminded me of my trip to Larz Anderson Museum in Brookline, MA.
Larz is a great place with acres of lawns. About every Sunday they have a car day of some sort, i.e., a Triumph Day or Porsche Day, etc.
If you own one of the "marquee" cars, you immediately are welcomed inside the driveway and onto the lawns. If you bring your "regular" old car or whatever antique you have, you have to stay on the outside. The museum also has some wonderful 50's-60's cars and they have a Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello 2003 Ferrari (Formula 1 car) that you can get really close to.
Recently, during a British car show, a gentleman came with a D-Type Jaguar which was parked outside the driveway. He had the bonnet (hood) up and the inside looked great. This D-Type had all the correct badges on the dash.
Not being a Jag expert but having done some restorations in my time, the car looked like you would expect a Jag to look. So I took a few pictures, including the manufactures plate, and I got to talking with the guy and asked him what the history of the car was?
The owner was vague at best. Now, if you had a nice car (this Jag was really done up right) and someone asked you about it, wouldn't you want to discuss it?
I eventually looked the car up in the D-Type Registry and, not surprisingly, I could not find the car's identification number anywhere. Then after emailing a couple of Jag restoration businesses, a man emailed me back. . . it was a FAKE! A reproduction.
Since the car didn't have any history, this is why the owner would not tell me anything. I feel all the guy had to do was say it was a very well done reproduction, and no one would have given it another thought.
Would you agree? Thanks, Jeff from MA
A: Jeff, I sure would. Today, the word repro (for reproduction) has been changed to "tribute," which I'm sure you already know. But for some owners, they don't want to say anything for whatever reason.
I appreciate the fine tribute cars today, from Yenko Chevelles to AC Cobras to this gentleman's D-Type Jaguar. Granted, the actual values are hundreds of thousands less, but the enjoyment is the main goal in any repro or tribute build and playing "Walter Mitty" and being a big shot ,I guess, was part of this owner’s fun.
Thanks for the great story, Jeff, and one day, I hope to visit the Larz Anderson Museum myself.