XJ6 & XJ12 Series I, II & III 1968-1992

A Herd of Cats

 
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Old 07-20-2014, 08:14 PM
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Default A Herd of Cats

Growing up on the farm I learned early that you can't herd cats. You lead cats, with food for best results.

Yesterday, July 19, such an event was hosted by one of the members of Sacramento Jaguar Club at their "cabin" near Lake Madrone, east of Oroville Ca.

The plan was for the majority of the group to start out in Sacramento and caravan to meet other members along the way, including us, the last ones to be picked up. We had arranged to meet at an easily accessible McDonald's that happened to be on the way. We arrived in plenty of time so we waited. And waited.

They were late because one of the Jaguars decided not to run after they arrived at the meeting place in Sac, and the member had to go home for another car. So we waited at McD's for over an hour. It could have been worse. We were comfortable, had everything there we needed for an extended wait, and they couldn't get past us without seeing Nix parked conspicuously on the corner out front.

Because they were behind schedule the drive leader wanted to get on the way as soon as possible so I didn't have a chance to get a picture of that herd of cats on the parking lot, on display in full sun. Besides, several members were along whom we'd never met, and everyone was so busy greeting everyone else that the time slipped away.

Oroville is an old gold rush town where the streets follow old wagon trails; in fact, in the gold rush country almost all the roads are that way. So we all fell into line following the leader to the food at the end of the drive. It was only about 12 miles beyond the McD's but in that 12 miles we climbed from less than 200 feet elevation to 2000 feet elevation, with all the twists, curves, hills and dips you might imagine. Driving that was a blast!

Our destination is a private gated community (one of the residents has to be present to open the gate for visitors) of about 40 residences, on steep mountainous lots, connected by steep, narrow, tortuously twisted "streets" and driveways, not wide enough for 2 cars to pass.

It's a heavily wooded area of second growth forest; some Huge old growth stumps are visible in some places. One can see farther than 50 feet only at the lake shore or straight up, and straight up might be a question in most places.

I was surprised to see the lake was full. It's a pretty little lake, clean and neat with even a sandy beach on the opposite shore from the "road." There was no way to stop for a picture as it was One Lane, One Way with no pull out spots easily visible to a driver concentrating on staying on the pavement. I was taking a chance just glancing at the lake! However, the local residents doubtless know where it's safe to allow meeting another car.

A total of 12 cars attended, not all of them Jaguars.

The altitude and steep, twisted terrain took its toll on a Beautifully restored XK-140, that even with the biggest radiator physically possible and an extra electric fan (which he removes for shows) got Really warm and sat bubbling like a tea kettle for quite some time. One of the other members told me he would have to re-torque his head bolts when he got home. (!!) For me that would take All the fun out of driving the car!

Even Nix got a little hot under her bonnet but she kept quiet and didn't show her discomfort. Good Girl! Never let 'em see ya sweat!

As I mentioned it's a heavily wooded area with poor road access (do you think those facts impressed me?). With this extended drought, it's a disaster waiting to happen. Homes seem to be about 100 feet apart with No defensible space. If a fire started at the lake, for example (the lowest point in the community), it would go straight up to the summit several miles away and take everything in its path.

The roads are so steep and contorted that it would be extremely difficult for a loaded fire truck to get to a house afire. By the time they arrived half the community would be up in smoke. It's one of those areas where Everyone keeps their nose to the wind.

We started out on a walk down to the lake with the group, but even though my work involves a Lot of walking, it's on flat ground. We aren't mountain goats. So we went around a short block and called that good enough. Even that was equivalent to a 7 mile walk. The only level place was in the house or on the deck.

Everyone had a Fabulous time. Pictures attached. Mouse over to see titles.
(';')
 
Attached Thumbnails A Herd of Cats-nixwaitingpatiently.jpg   A Herd of Cats-nixstillwaiting.jpg   A Herd of Cats-bubbingnoises.jpg   A Herd of Cats-hellhavetoretorquethehead.jpg   A Herd of Cats-coolquickerthiswaymaybe.jpg  

A Herd of Cats-cooledoff.jpg   A Herd of Cats-cabin.jpg   A Herd of Cats-cabin-.jpg   A Herd of Cats-noseeingstraightup.jpg   A Herd of Cats-jag4.jpg  

A Herd of Cats-jags5.jpg   A Herd of Cats-jags6.jpg   A Herd of Cats-jags7.jpg  

Last edited by LnrB; 07-20-2014 at 08:16 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-21-2014, 07:52 AM
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Nice pics and story. But if went to take a pic of my car I would have to go back and park it straight before I took the photo. But only in a carpark with lines.
Even in the Mazda if I notice it is not parked straight as I am walking away I go back and move it,I'm sure my wife is giving me the death stare every time I do it.
 
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Old 07-21-2014, 08:22 AM
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Great story and pictures Elinor. But who brought the Prius? (backup car?) it's a natural enemy of those lovely Cats. I lived in Northern California for 30 years, I still miss the weather and those wonderful mountain roads. (and decent Mexican food!)
 
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by o1xjr View Post
Nice pics and story. But if went to take a pic of my car I would have to go back and park it straight before I took the photo. But only in a carpark with lines.
Even in the Mazda if I notice it is not parked straight as I am walking away I go back and move it,I'm sure my wife is giving me the death stare every time I do it.
Thank you, Clarke,
First off, I'm not quite That ****. I can see how you would be though.

Second, if a car is parked a bit off like that, others are encouraged not to get too friendly and park too close. It's not quite like taking up 2 spaces by parking across both, that's a bit blatant and will get your car keyed in these parts, maybe even while you're watching.

Not getting the Dreaded Door Ding was more important to me at the time than being straight and centered within the lines. It was, after all, a McDonald's right right off the freeway in a less than upper class neighborhood in a less than upper class town.
(';')
 
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:21 AM
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Nice story & location for a rendezvous. Looked like you had a lot of fun and lot of Micky D coffee.

Your new friend with the 140 should have an old fire extinguisher filled with water and then compressed air. Shoot the radiator with the car running and increased R's. It may make the engine bay a bit wet, but it will drop the water temps quickly & safely. Much better than letting it boil & cook the heads. Even a bucket of water slowly poured over the tanks would have helped, & not quite as messy.

I've pulled into the pits many a times with the temps over 240 and had it cooled down to 200 in less than a couple minutes via those methods. Back in the day we even had a water jug in the trunk hooked up to a pump with hoses routed to the radiator. During caution laps just flip a switch and water shot onto the radiator. Worked pretty slick. ...just sharing some old memories..
 
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Fulton View Post
Great story and pictures Elinor. But who brought the Prius? (backup car?) it's a natural enemy of those lovely Cats. I lived in Northern California for 30 years, I still miss the weather and those wonderful mountain roads. (and decent Mexican food!)
Thank you, Fulton,
I can only think the Prius was the second choice. That has happened before to other members when their Jaguar wasn't road worthy for some reason. Had I known who it was I might have needled him about it, but we're newbies in the herd, and my car was converted 30 years ago, so I don't yet have enough credibility among the veteran members to pull that sort of thing off.

That winding, twisting road (there are so many of them in the Gold Country) was Made for a car with passive rear wheel steering!! Nix took those curves, twists and bends like she was born there! Even though I'd never driven there before I had no trouble keeping up with the leader who drives it every day, to whose house we were going. Of course it's easier when you watch where the other guy takes the curve first and follow in his tracks.

It was as much fun as in March when another member and I more or less had a road race down highway 101 from Ukiah to Santa Rosa which is a full blown freeway, 2 and 3 lanes each direction. He knew the curves better and pulled ahead there, but I, having more power, caught up on the straights. He won, but only because he grew up there and drove that road to work every day for Years, and so knew every curve, every line, every dip and every bump in the road.

I may have mentioned on occasion, but maybe not, how I Love driving that car! Hence the sig line, Driven with Enormous Panache!
(';')
 
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:52 AM
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Nice to see a pride of Jaguars in their natural habitat hunting and cornering the lesser spotted Toyotus Prius.

How wonderful nature is. Thanks for the pictures Elinor.
 
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by moronthethrottle View Post
Nice story & location for a rendezvous. Looked like you had a lot of fun and lot of Micky D coffee.
Thank you, Paul,
I don't like fast coffee in general and McD's in particular, so I was drinking diet Coke. But we had arrived plenty early and husband bought breakfast. It wasn't crowded by that time so we could linger and not feel bad about it.

Your new friend with the 140 should have an old fire extinguisher filled with water and then compressed air. Shoot the radiator with the car running and increased R's. It may make the engine bay a bit wet, but it will drop the water temps quickly & safely. Much better than letting it boil & cook the heads. Even a bucket of water slowly poured over the tanks would have helped, & not quite as messy.
I don't think he would have done that. This is a concourse car (I was surprised he drove it!) and he would be out there with a tooth brush getting it all out of the nooks and crannies, spending Days cleaning and polishing it up before the next show. That may be the reason none of the veteran members suggested that. They certainly knew him better than we did.

I've pulled into the pits many a times with the temps over 240 and had it cooled down to 200 in less than a couple minutes via those methods. Back in the day we even had a water jug in the trunk hooked up to a pump with hoses routed to the radiator. During caution laps just flip a switch and water shot onto the radiator. Worked pretty slick. ...just sharing some old memories..
My uncle used to do that when the grain truck got hot; turned the hose on the radiator while the engine ran. It made quite a mess of a Red truck covered with dust. I was very small at that time and had forgotten. It was more important to my dad to have machinery run correctly, so that was fixed as soon as harvest was finished.

Pleasant memories of the excitement of harvest time on the farm as a child with no responsibilities.
(';')
 
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Old 07-21-2014, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by LnrB View Post
This is a concourse car (I was surprised he drove it!) and he would be out there with a tooth brush getting it all out of the nooks and crannies, spending Days cleaning and polishing it up before the next show. That may be the reason none of the veteran members suggested that. They certainly knew him better than we did.
Pretty much what I expected. I'd rather have some water spots than a warped head, but I don't (nor will I ever) own anything that nice!

Originally Posted by LnrB View Post
Pleasant memories of the excitement of harvest time on the farm as a child with no responsibilities.
(';')
Growing up on a farm teaches a lot of values: hard work, ingenuity, self reliance, etc. So, what the heck happened to me?!?!??
 
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Old 07-21-2014, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by jimbov8 View Post
Nice to see a pride of Jaguars in their natural habitat hunting and cornering the lesser spotted Toyotus Prius.

How wonderful nature is. Thanks for the pictures Elinor.
LOL! Thank you, Jim.
Yes, we did have him cornered.
(';')
 
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Old 07-21-2014, 10:45 AM
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I am confused. My usual entry to the site was beseiged with popup adds. At times, I can merely x them out and proceed. But, the "quick reply block" was not available!!! Advanced took me to territory beyond my pay grade.

But, via a circuitous route, here, I am!!!

Great thread. LnrB's spark is beyond comparison. recently, she remarked that her hubby might trade her for a mere plasma cutter. No way, he is gotta be much smarter than to trade this multifaceted gal for a mere one trick pony!!!

leadership: Tis far better to lead than to push. Well, except for the donkey I had as a kid. Pull as I might on the halter, it wasn't as good as when pal Fernando on his mustang mare pushed him from behind.

So, that is why herd isn't the term for cats, including Jaguars, of course. It's a pride. So the term herd is out. lead, oh yeah, a can of sardines.....

I and my parents had cars in the same vintage as the XK 140. Similar cooling systems.
No high pressure caps and at times, no glycol, merely water. When the temps went up, pull over and open the hood/bonnett. Let nature take over, heat rises.

Used to drive up some high mountains in New Mexico. Altitude and low pressure cooling, meant a boil. Just pull over and let it cool.

Around here, SR 17 goes from San Jose to Santa Cruz. Steep climb in either direction and popularly used. One vestige from the old days is a pull out and a faucet to replenish!!!

For our Jaguar's we need to recall two things:

1. As delivered, they were designed for foggy, wet UK. In the hot areas, beware, the cooling system is marginal.

2. By popping the bonnett to the safety catch, one can proceed at less than freeway speed and provide the missing engine bay venting. Not a bad after a spirited run on a hot day, anyway!!

Carl
 
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Old 07-21-2014, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by moronthethrottle View Post
[...]

Growing up on a farm teaches a lot of values: hard work, ingenuity, self reliance, etc. So, what the heck happened to me?!?!??
I took most of those things with me when I left, Paul, except for being such a glutton for punishment as is required for those who cultivate the land for everyone else.

Besides that, being the only girl among 5 children, there wasn't much future for me there unless I married a farmer, which I had NO intention of doing and managed to avoid it!

My dad always said that all it took to be a success was to be honest, enjoy your work and be able to make a living at it; and it didn't matter what other people thought of what you were doing. I've managed to do that too, so far.
(';')
 
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Old 07-21-2014, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by JagCad View Post
[...]

Great thread. LnrB's spark is beyond comparison. recently, she remarked that her hubby might trade her for a mere plasma cutter. No way, he is gotta be much smarter than to trade this multifaceted gal for a mere one trick pony!!!
Thank you, Carl, you make me blush!

leadership: Tis far better to lead than to push.
Someone in my family said once that a good woman is like a fine, supple rope; she can be led but not pushed. She can follow through the most complex twists and bends in life if given time to work her way around and isn't dragged through by the hair. Jerk her around and she'll eventually break. Maybe she can be repaired but she'll never be as strong as in the beginning.

I remind husband of that on occasion.


So, that is why herd isn't the term for cats, including Jaguars, of course. It's a pride.
<smacks self> I KNEW that! </smacks self>



For our Jaguar's we need to recall two things:

1. As delivered, they were designed for foggy, wet UK. In the hot areas, beware, the cooling system is marginal.

2. By popping the bonnett to the safety catch, one can proceed at less than freeway speed and provide the missing engine bay venting. Not a bad after a spirited run on a hot day, anyway!!

Carl
I'm not sure that would work well on the Xj's, Carl, because they henge at the front. So all the heat would exit just under the windshield, and a lot would be drawn into the AC intake, so more heat would be routed through the AC evaporator to the condenser in front of the radiator, resulting in a vicious circle maybe.

As I type this, it occurs to me, that intake is a small part of the opening, so more good than harm might be done.

Hmm. I'll have to remember that one.
(';')
 
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:28 PM
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It does work as it is front hinged. Rear hinged cars have two issues. First, it can pop up, not good. And, takes in cool air, which is good, but n o exhausting of the hot.

And, of course, at a stop, all good as one should not run the AC with no flow of "cool" air.

I sure do miss my "good woman". Once in a lifetime !!!!

Carl
 
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