SOMETHING Rita said to me the other day made me look up the sale price of the car of my dreams for more than 51 years.
Back in 1966, our maths teacher Peter Watson came into the classroom and placed a poster of this car on the wall.
The car in question was an E-Type Jaguar and I determined that one day I would own one.
I progressed from an Austin A-30, through an Austin Freeway, Volksy Beetle and a Hillman Hunter - a GT no less.
That car lasted a week before it spread more oil on the nature strip than the Exxon Valdez.
Then came a Mazda RX2 Rotary, MG-B, GT-HO (Yep, I'm now crying like a baby as I type this) and after a few company cars I finally had the money to get into a Jag.
The most the bank would lend me was $28 grand.
I looked around and I found two Jags that fitted the bill.
One was a V12 E-Type Coupe (I'd rather a Roadster but beggars can't be choosers) and the other was an XJ-S Coupe.
The "S” was much newer, had less kilometres, auto, air-con and all those creature comforts that my then wife demanded.
The "E”? Well it was a bloody E-Type and I was having it.
After all those years of dreaming and lusting it was a fait accompli, and so I went out and bought the XJ-S.
But it's got auto and air and big bumpers in case I run into something... and you're a wimp and you're not buying the E-Type,” the ex said.
Now you all know (one of) the reasons that she's an ex.
I did buy another Jag, an XJ-C 5.3 Coupe which was "possessed” by The Prince of Darkness, otherwise known as Lucas (the original anti-theft device).
Jaguars, back then had a funny way of emptying the bank account in double quick time, and so it was with mine.
The XJ-C had rust in the floor pan and a bloke I knew reckoned he could replace it.
Long story short, the car ended up in a million pieces in the ex's garage, she demanded it be removed and having nowhere to put it I gave it away.
What's it worth today?
I couldn't find any on Car Sales but in the UK they are pulling $40K plus. That E-Type?
A comfortable $150k and the V12 convertibles' go for anything well north of a quarter mil. The MG-B I bought for $3K is now pulling anywhere up to forty thou! I couldn't find any Hillman Hunter GTs currently for sale but some bloke in Queensland wants nearly $10k for his "Royal” model.
Would anyone out there want a Hillman that much? Bloody hell - they are asking up to $12,000 for Austin A30s, and my Mazda Rotary is going from anywhere between $27 and $79,000.
So, I will never, ever own an E-Type or another RX2, A30 or any of the other cars that I've trashed, traded or just let go for a song.
The twilight of my life is a little sadder.