My Dad put half the money in for my next car. He had told me that it was something called a Morris, and although I had not seen it until it was purchased (from an old Traffic Warden friend of my Dads), I, for some reason had a Ford Anglia in my mind. On the day that my Dad drove me home from work and I saw this hand-painted Morris Minor outside the house, my heart dropped like a stone. It looked like an old grandad car and farted when I drove down the road.

However, I became to really like the Morris, over time. I have always been able to laugh at myself, and the car became a laughing point that I joined in with. It was made of 3mm thick steel, incredibly strong, and because of that there were many times I was able to go to partys in Newquay and guarenteed at the end of the night there was myself, and a bunch of half-naked girls dancing with me on the roof of it.

I stuck rubber ducks on the bonnet and the stereo was a ghetto-blaster on the back seat (which took batteries that needed replacing every couple of hours!)

One day I travelled, with my girlfriend, up to London to see my Nana. During the drive, for some reason going around Guildford (My Nana lived in Sutton), I surpassed 90mph. The speedo stuck, and until the day the car died, the speedo always showed the same speed.



My next experience was the purchase of an Austin Allegro for less than four-hundred pounds, and I couldn't have bought more of a crappy car. It quite seriously went backwards quicker than it went forwards and was jacked up while I worked on it a lot more than it was driven. In the end it was allowed to rot in the corner of the house where I had my bedsit - After that I got into motorbikes. I started with an Suzuki A100 and then on to a Yamaha DT175, which was jacked up to the hilt and looked the biz!


After driving a few other cars until they, in some cases literally, ran into the ground, I got in BMW's, the first of which was a silver 320i. Notice how I skipped right past the Serria Cosworth I got from an ex-Scenes of Crime officer, and a week before the speeding bans came in I averaged 134m.p.h. from Cardiff to Redruth?! I'm not proud of it now, and I'm quite glad I made it through those quite reckless years.

Anyways, just before I got married in 1998 I had the BMW 320i resprayed so that it would look nice driving to and from the church. My Mother came to stay to help us get ready for the big day. One evening she took my car into Helston to get some of her cigarettes - when it came back there was half a hedge and the scratches from a wall right down one side :(

In 2000 I was working for Phi Magnetronics in Falmouth. One of the nicest people I've ever become friends with was a guy called Ken. Both he and his wife Sylvia worked at the place but were moving to New Zealand, and couldn't take their BMW 528i with them - so it became mine.

The car was the best that I'd ever had up to then, it looked fantastic and drove like a dream. However, quite soon after Ken and Sylvia had moved and before I'd even got to drive it more than a few times, it developed a fault.

It was in and out of garages god-knows how many times. It would overheat in the time it took traffic lights to change and would stop unexpectedly at the most inappropriate times. It was years after I had traded in the car that I found out it was a simple sensor issue on the flywheel, a sensor that we used to make at Phi Magnetronics!!!



It was in 2001 that things really got interesting for me, on the car front. I was driving down the Helston to Penzance road when I saw a Dark Green, series four Jaguar Sovereign for sale. It was ten times the amount that I could have possibly have afforded back then, but I stopped to have a look.

My Dad had often had Jaguar's, and at the time he had a beautiful series three with pepperpot wheels, which was one hell of a car but somehow the one that I stopped to look at blew away any other car I had ever seen up to that point. I set my mind that oneday, when the time came that i thought I'd made it, then that was the exact car I wanted.

Ken and Sylvia's BMW was still running, as long as I didn't slow down or stop at traffic lights when a couple of months later, after I had purchased a cheep Renault to run around in, a blue series four XJ6 showed up for sale in a garage in Penryn. I told the own about both of my cars and when he suggested five-hundred pounds and a swap, I very nearly bit his hand off. That was the start of a real passion for luxury cars that to this day, hasn't deminished.


I was not feeling all that bright when I drove into the garage in Mullion where this car was for sale. I asked the owner of the garage about it and he let me have a look. I asked him whether it would put a smile on my face, and his reply was 'Every time." He was not wrong!

It was because of this car that I decided I liked soft-tops. The precursor to my Aston, and if this had enough space in the back for my golf clubs, then I probably would never have needed to upgrade.


Since my first Jag, I have gone through a few of them trying to find the perfect car for me. After the larger 4-door ones, I moved onto the 2-door sports versions, and that's when everything came together.

This lovely example of a Jaguar XK8 was amazing to drive, built in Sat-Nav and the most incredible interior. Unfortunately after about a year of no trouble, the car developed a fault. After a few hundred pounds of sending it back and forth to Riders in Truro, who are the main Jaguar dealers in the county, they believed they found the problem.

I was told that the fault was in the transmission and that it would need to get rebuilt. I did question this at the time and even called the manager to verify. His response to me was that he has seen this exact fault many times before and that it's a trait with the XK8.

Because Riders don't do transmissions themselves I had to find a specialist. After getting a quote that was a third of the price I'd originally paid for the car, I gave them the go-ahead to sort out the problem. However, when they stripped the transmission they couldn't find anything wrong with it. I spent a couple of hours bent over the parts that were laid out on a bench going through every bit myself but couldn't find anything, in fact the inside of the unit looked absolutely brand new.

I still asked them to change the plates and install a complete rebuild kit. Well over two-thousand pounds later I picked up the car and took it for a run - guess what! Yep, the problem was still there. I contacted Riders but they brushed all responsibility off and even said that I should get another transmission specialist to do the same because they thought it hadn't been looked at properly.

I decided to drive the car into my factory one weekend and strip it myself to see if I could find out what was going wrong. I purchased a diagnostic computer and plugged it in, where I found a whole host of recent errors scrolling up. I decided to start with the air-intake because its the easiest place to start, and with that the first thing I removed was the Mass Airflow module. Five minutes of cleaning with some brake cleaner and I had solved the problem - The tiny wires which detect the airflow coming into the engine were clogged up and giving erronious readings.

Once the car was sorted I went back to Riders, and they said that what I had found was a typical problem with the XK8 and denied that they had ever said it might have been a transmission problem - lesson to be learnt, never, ever go to Riders in Truro!!!



These are my two babies now, the Aston Martin DB7 and the Jaguar XK8 (for those days when I dont want to get the Aston dirty)

I hope you like them as much as I do.

My Cars

editI don't know when my interest in cars started. I guess like all boys I liked seeing them when I was younger, but I think its only been in the last twelve years that my interest in them has gown.

I started learning how to drive in a shitty-brown, massively overweight Hillman Hunter. That didn't even last long enough for me to pass my test, even though I bought fluffy steering wheel and seat covers - which I add covered me in tiny flecks of the stuff every time I sat in it.

Fred Deakin
Design Engineer / Author