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When the Mechanic is Ready, the Car Will Appear

Then my friend John called me a couple weeks ago saying that there was a 1996 Chevrolet Caprice ex-police car on Craig's list for $800. John like Caprice station wagons, and all their variants. He has a number of them right now. I don't want to be too specific because I'm not sure what he has told his wife. Anyway, for some reason this banged-up beater Caprice had a desireable aftermarket hood on it, which would allow John to build up a Hearst-edition wagon. We went down to Miramar or wherever it was, talked them down to $700, and drove it back up to my house. Actually John drove it back, with no tag. We had one close encounter with the law, but he didn't stop us. I followed John in my car, and I could see the car wallowing and bouncing. I forgot to mention that the brakes were spongy. Really spongy, so I wasn't worried about following too closely. John called me a couple times on the way to describe the metal-on-metal grinding he could hear everytime he hit a good bump. He was still able to get it up to 90 mph with no trouble.

The Recipient


So now I had a car with a strong-running LT1 and 4L60E transmission in my yard. Obviously I needed a donor recipient. I started looking on Craig's list. I found a couple candidates. The first one was a 1991 Jaguar XJS convertible located about three miles from my house. I really wasn't interested in a Jaguar, but Linda convinced me to go look at it. It was in fairly good shape for having sat for five years. The paint was peeling on the hood, but otherwise it looked good. One little rust spot, and the driver's seat needed some frame and upholstery work. We told the guy we would call him, and left. On the way home Linda was surprisingly interested in the car. She really wanted me to drag home another POS car, which was a first. So that night I checked out Jaguar conversions on the internet. The more I read, the better I liked it. It seems like the most popular engine swap out there. There was a lot of information, and a lot of conversion parts. Apparently the usual decision process goes like this:

   Mechanic: "You need a new V12 engine for your Jaguar."
   Customer: "How much will that cost?."
   Mechanic: "Eleventy-gazillion dollars."
   Customer: "Could you put in a cheaper engine please?."

I have a long, straight commute down the turnpike to work, and a 4000 pound sportscar seemed like just the thing. Plus Linda liked the car. So the next day I went back and bought it. I had a little difficulty getting it towed back to my house, but in a couple days I had two old cars parked in my backyard.

Time to get to work!