The first day of the new school year, Wednesday 9.4.13 started like most other school years. This is to be the start of our last school year. Our eighteenth year of getting our kids through the public school system.

 Our baby has started her senior year in high school which makes it our last year of getting kids to school and everything that comes with raising children and getting them through school.015 

So there I was, driving home the evening of September 4th the first day of school during one of those amazing NW late summer sunsets, not quite dark, a perfect evening. 

 Out of nowhere and as fast as any accident happens, a full sized deer goes flying high off the front end of my hood and sends him off into the woods along my way home. 

 I had murdered a deer. 

With the shock of what had just happened and knowing the deer was well off the road, I slowly drove the remaining half mile to my home, not particularly wanting to assess the damage to my vehicle when I got home. 

Yep~ Not good !

The next day I limp my vehicle to a body shop and call my insurance company. By the end of the day I was in a rental car and body shop folk were now talking to insurance folk. The outcome, my car was totaled and I had a few options, none of which sounded all that good to me.



So I took the insurance money and ventured off into used car hell. 

I did not and do not want a car payment, my now totaled vehicle had been paid off since 2008.
So I had to play the used car game complete with online shopping and test driving vehicles from Olympia to Kirkland. 


I suppose like selling real estate, my buyers are always going to see a home just out of their price range. That was certainly the case for me as I diligently pursued my next vehicle.

I was looking for some champagne with my beer money and between real estate appointments two weeks into my used car search, I had a gap one Friday afternoon, so I crossed town to view a car I had seen online that was not on my short list, but my short list sucked, so I thought, just go take a look. 

It’s 2:00 pm on a Friday afternoon and this used car lot is closed. Nobody is there. I see the car on the lot and it actually looked better in person than it did online. But Closed!

So I pull out on to the highway in the used car row part of town and proceed to drive away when I glance across the street at another car lot and notice a car in the back of the lot, not for sale and  very dirty, but very cool.

I make my U turn and pull in to have a closer look and speak with the salesman.


I enter his office and our conversation goes something like this,

Me; what year is the Jaguar out in the back?
Salesman; 1988 he responds
Me; How many miles?
Salesman; (sorry readers, I’ve got to let you guess. You would not believe me if I told you anyways)

I thought I was hearing things with his response, but he now had my attention.

Me; what’s wrong with it?
Salesman; not much, needs some brake work
Me; How much?
Salesman; (same drill, you would not believe me anyway)

In my head I respond ~ SOLD! 

He hands me the keys to go start it up and as I sat in the cockpit, I call my mechanic, some auto  people I know and trust, my family and by this time, any live voice I could find. No one was picking up.

  So there I was, me and my ego going absolutely crazy with what to do next. 

I walked back in to the sales office and begged the salesman not to go and sell this vehicle that I was extremely interested in, and that I needed to talk to my mechanic. He said “sure it’s not going anywhere”. 

I was quite anxious coming into the weekend, so I called the salesman maybe three or four more times through the weekend, just in case.

We really do buy on emotion not logic. 

Monday morning, I meet my mechanic at the lot and was willing to buy or not buy this vehicle depending on his professional opinion (yeah right). Without needing to threaten him with his life for the answer I wanted to hear, he was quite impressed and just warned me not to blame any of the AS IS ness on him. No problem ! 

Tuesday 9.24.13 I now own a Jaguar XJ6 with no brakes and cautiously drive it off the lot and across town to my mechanic’s shop.  Twenty days after my deer encounter, auto body folk, insurance folk, used car salesmen and a rental car, I now have my next vehicle.

By the end of September, my insurance company is done paying for my rental car and my brake parts have not yet arrived at my mechanics shop.  So I start scrambling for a vehicle, which in this family is tricky. 



My kids all drive now and the other vehicles I thought I owned, they now drive and these kids have very busy schedules. Sorry Dad!


To make matters worse my son’s car has an engine light come on and my pickup truck (pictured) that my daughter now drives starts overheating and needs a new radiator. So my mechanic gets those two vehicles back on the road as I’m patiently waiting for my brake parts to arrive.


My mechanic lets me borrow his pickup truck as a loaner for the next three or four weeks as we wait for parts.

Last week my mechanic calls and says “he needs his pickup back”, so I dropped off his pickup and drove away in the Jaguar without brakes 

Scared to drive with no brakes?  You better believe I was. 

I had owned this vehicle for 36 days and I had only driven it once, a few miles to my mechanics shop. I was growing very impatient and getting cranky. 

It turns out the brakes are not that bad. I have been driving the car now for a week and it is like nothing I have ever experienced. 

The Jaguar I totaled was actually a Ford product and affordable for us po’ folk Jaguar owners.

 This ’88 is all British and will come with all the Jaguar headaches that come with owning a Jaguar.



That’s OK!


At this stage of my life and how my driving needs have changed since the days of when my kids were starting Kindergarten and I had the huge sedan (Mercury Marquis) for that tour of homes to show you and your family on a Saturday afternoon.


This Jaguar is 25 years old, a bit tired and cranky, but I think the two of us are going to get along just fine. I drive less now than I ever have. 

So today, day 60, my mechanic called this morning to let me know the brake parts have arrived.

Time for some Cruisin’ ~ Jefferson Starship

 It’s a Great Life!



Categories: Uncategorized

7 Responses so far.

  1. Kevin – I LOVE this story! (Except for the murdered deer part….) I love how bad turned into awesome! I can totally imagine you behind the wheel of a British Jag. Nice! Congrats!! 🙂

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  3. Spencer Leep says:

    This is the best article I’ve read anywhere in a really long time. You’ve really hit the mark here on many points in my opinion. Keep up the good work.

  4. says:

    Major thanks for the blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Great.

  5. Im grateful for the blog.Thanks Again. Keep writing.

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