Phil’s Jag an oldie but a goodie

Phil Owers and his 1963 Jaguar

ONE of the star attractions of the recent Tumut Rod and Custom Aces and Eights swap meet was car that had certainly seen better days.

Phil Owers’ 1963 Jaguar positively oozes charm, albeit probably a few other substances, and this was obvious by the people who crowded around it an ummed and ahhed about it for most of the show.

The car belonged to Phil’s late father-in-law Bernie Kemp, who lived in Griffith and passed away six-and-a-half years ago, the car thus coming into the possession of Phil and his family here in Tumut.

“He bought it and was going to restore it, but he never got around to it,” Phil said.

“He was also doing up a Jaguar XK 150 and an MGB.

“He loved Pommie cars.”

Phil doesn’t share this enthusiasm.

“I think cars like this make great boat anchors, or dog kennels,” he said.

The car is currently for sale, which is why Phil displayed it at the swap meet.

“We’ve had plenty of offers, but not what we’re after,” he said. “If it were me I’d just flog it off, but it has a lot of sentimental value to my wife.”

As anyone who looked at the Jaguar at the swap meet will know, it isn’t in drive away condition, and getting it on the road would take some effort.

“You would have to rebuild the engine, the brakes; work from the back to the front,” Phil said.

Phil is a Ford GT man, having inherited a fondness for the blue oval.

“They called my grandfather Henry Ford – for him there was no other car,” he said.

“My Dad was also into Fords and it filtered down to me to an extent.”

His first vehicle was a XW Falcon ute, the six cylinder engine of which he eventually replaced with a 351 V8 accompanied by a nine-inch differential.

His next vehicle was a genuine XW Falcon GT. However, he’s not allergic to Ford’s main Australian rival.

“I don’t mind Holdens,” he said. “I like Monaros and Toranas,” he said. His family’s car is a Holden Caprice.

“My work ute is a Toyota Hilux,” he said.