'THIS COULD BE your best book ever, Banksie,' Dave says.
'Na,' I tell him. 'It could just be rubbish.'
Dave pauses for a moment. 'Yeah, but it could be your best book ever, Banksie.'
Speyside part two; this time with Jim (S. Brown, erstwhile computer operator and shift
leader, then publican and now help-desk supremo for Inverclyde Council) and Dave
(McCartney, also one-time computer operator and shift leader, later manager, then pub-
lican, now enjoying a quieter life driving taxis) and the Jaguar.
The Jag: all the fruity flavour of yesteryear .
Full description of the car: a 1965 Jaguar Mark II 3.8 with overdrive. Dark blue with grey
hide. Wire wheels. Fully restored. With added Kenlowe fan, central locking, a decent CD
multi-changer and beefed-up speaker system. Allegedly a Coombs conversion but with
no louvred bonnet and - decisively - only two carbs, not three. Looks and sounds won-
The Jaguar has what appears to be a power-assisted fuel gauge. The needle doesn't
just gently fall from Full towards Empty; it positively propels itself from one to the other
under full acceleration, describing a shallow curve across the sweep of dial like the path
of an artillery shell aimed at your wallet. It doesn't help that the car has an embarrass-
ingly small fuel tank, but the main reason the Mk II appears to - and does - drink like
a filter-feeder is that it has an old-fashioned straight-six engine and those two tempera-
mental carburettors to provide it with fuel and air.
The Jag is a relatively heavy car by modern standards, though there is an air of del-
icacy about the almost bubble-like passenger compartment (this is a very curvy car) and
some of the controls. The suspension crashes and, from the sounds it makes, would ap-
pear to be constructed largely from wood, the engine roars like a camel which has just
inadvertently snagged its undercarriage on a barbed-wire fence, it persistently smells of
petrol despite the best efforts of various mechanics, it has a very occasional - but no
less exciting for that - predisposition to throw itself out of third gear under hard accel-
eration, generally just when full power is required for a finely judged overtaking man-
oeuvre, its windscreen wipers are effete to the point of making the Land Rover's look
positively powerful, not so much clearing the rain from the windscreen as flapping hys-