I've been driving wedding cars these past few weeks, trying to keep body and soul under a roof while I seek a 'real' job.
An old car club contact runs a wedding car business here in Sydney, using old (he'd say 'classic') English cars. Mostly Jaguars.
He has several Mk 4 and 5 Jaguars, both fixed and drop-head. I'm yet to have a steer of any of these, but so far have sampled a pair of LWB Daimler Limousines - a 1961 V8 and a 1969 six, a Mk8 and a 3.8 S-Type Jaguar.
Ignoring the fact that it's a sweltering, humid summer here and none of these cars are air-conditioned, it's been interesting. Dealing with four-wheel drums (you're never sure which one is going to take up first), non-power steering that's both heavy and slow at the same time, fixed front seats in the Daimlers (good thing I'm not all that tall, is all I'm saying) and the challenges of working out which bits do and don't work and when, or under what circumstances, it's been fun.
Of course, brides who didn't realise the cars don't have air-con can be amusing, on one level. Scary if you're close though. And people often look at you strangely when, after they notice the absence of seat-belts, you promise to 'look for something soft to hit.'
The cars look magnificent. They're all either grey or silver, some with black, to avoid clashes with white bridal wear. But look closely... Poor panel fit, cracks in the trim, various Lucas electrical faults... Some of the twin-tank cars have only one working fuel pump - cannibalised to fix another car, for instance. And I got a flat tyre in the Mk8, with the groom and best man on board, on a day that set a new temperature record. I'd never had to deal with a wheel spat before!
'61 Daimler. This car used to belong to the Governor of Victoria and Her Majesty QE11 has ridden in it. As an avowed Republican (Australian version) I'm not sure how to feel about that.
'68 Daimler (the same as the one blown up in Patriot Games - a good use)
3.8 S-Type (my favourite so far. Not only the most modern and sporting, but has fewer faults. And goes like stink.)
But none of these are what I'd call 'Practical Classics' - cars you could drive daily.
Edited by brucemoxon, 23 January 2013 - 23:08.