Cruising the Northern Rivers in a Jaguar XJS Cabriolet

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Here’s one random thing you probably didn’t know about me: I grew up around old cars.

A LOT of old cars.

My Dad’s side of the family have been involved with the vintage car club in our region since it’s inception, and so I grew up sitting in the backseat of old Chevy’s and Plymouths.

When I was a child we would spend weekends on car rallies in the car my parents had at the time, a 1929 Chevrolet.

I remember bouncing up and down along bumpy old roads on the weathered leather seats (no seatbelts in these old cars, of course), and the struggle it is was to put the windows in or out – no up or down, no winding down the windows in these old cars, no, the panes were carefully removed from the latches if you wanted some air, and would have to be securely lodged back in if you changed your mind.

 

I fiercely remember that one time when the headlights suddenly went out, as my mother was steering the canvas-topped, seatbelt-lacking Chevy right towards a corner on a regional highway (aka, no streetlamps here), while doing 80km.

It’s a credit to her careful driving, swift instincts, and calm head that she managed to steer the car, carrying two children under 10 and her husband (who would have been freaking out about the potential destruction of his pride and joy – that car), to a low and safe stop 100m down the road.

I think that’s a memory that will never be wiped from her memory. Or mine either.

My grandparents, aunts and uncles, and (as they grew older) my cousins, all had their own vintage or classic cars.

On the other side of my family, my maternal grandfather had a beautiful old FJ Holden in his garage, and my mother’s brother spent a lot of his life driving rally cars or lovingly working on them.

So, basically, I’ve seen, and ridden in, a lot of old cars in my time, and I really appreciate the beauty and the workings of them.

So when my father asked me if I’d like to occupy the second seat of his Jaguar on a recent car outing, I jumped at the chance.

Not only is the experience of travelling in a vintage or classic car a beautiful experience, but I’m also lucky to live in a part of the world that is very accommodating to these car outings – we have no shortage of scenic country roads to cruise along!

On this occasion, we were driving through the Lismore hinterland, out through Gundurimba, Wyrallah, Tregeagle, Woodlawn, and Bexhill – a pretty gorgeous path.

We were also greeted with sunshine and blue skies, which made the outing practically perfect.

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