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What’s it Like to Drive a 1954 Jaguar XK120 M Roadster?

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 5:37
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For Cars, Movies and Cool… it’s Fireball Tim!

Every now and then, I get a ride in something truly spectacular. So when Jerry Berger’s son Jeff reached out to me about his dad and his car, I knew that this was going to be a fun jaunt. Enter an amazing 1954 Jag with only 39,000 original miles.

Retired, Jerry Berger has been successful enough to now do what he loves. And part of that is driving this amazing classic Jag around our little town. With no seat belts, I have to admit that it was a little hairy when we first took off from his on-the-beach pad, but after a minute or so, my smile kicked in and bugs started to set up shop in my teeth. I didn’t care because I was suddenly transported back in time to the day when motoring was an actual experience.

Back then, cars were meant to motor and the sheer love of driving without having any particular destination. Just fun to be out in the sun with your friends. And as we headed north through Malibu, Jerry began telling me some specs.

It started with a 3,442 CC DOHC Inline 6-Cylinder Engine with Twin 2” SU Sand-Cast Carburetors. Estimated 220HP at 5,500 RPM with a 4-Speed Manual Gearbox and 4-Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes. Lots of other things, but I have to admit that I found it hard to listen to all of it while we passed the beauty that is Malibu. By Jerry didn’t mind and continued on.

“I bought the car in 1976,” he remembered.  “I was driving to Malibu through Pacific Palisades and I saw it in a driveway. I immediately pulled over and knocked on the door and made a deal to buy it. Then sold my 1958 Porsche Speedster to pay for it.

“I have loved this car since I purchased my first one in college.  Then, when I got married in 1966, I bought my second one and have always had a love for the design and just had to have one more. When I saw it, I pulled out all the stops to purchase it.” An amazing story about a lost love found, I’d say. Something we can all relate to for sure.

To Jerry, the best part of the car is the design. “To me, the car screams ‘rolling art.’ They predate the XKE… and the design is simply amazing.”

Primarily, Jerry uses the car for Sunday drives, but also takes it to various Coffee & Car events in Malibu and the Valley. “To me, cars are like art that people hang on the walls, except I keep mine in the garage and covered. But obviously the ocean view up PCH is my favorite part about Malibu. But the Mulholland portion between Kanan and Las Virgines reminds me how much braking, handling and steering technology has changed in 60 years. The car is like driving a Mack truck, but well worth it.”

And his best short story, as if all that weren’t enough? “I’d have to say that it was the time you and I took it out. It was a perfect day despite the drizzle and I really enjoyed the company and the impromptu photo shoot in front of Pepperdine with all the flags commemorating 9/11.”

To have someone say that a drive with me is their best short story humbles me in a way I can barely mention. Thank you Jerry… for the gift of the ride.

And for a little icing? Jerry’s favorite car in film is the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”  “One of a few cars I regret not keeping/having in my collection.” Something tells me that that will change.

If you want to see Jerry and I drive up the coast, just head to my website and type in Jerry’s name in the search. We had a blast and I swear that we went back in time… just a bit.

The post What’s it like to drive a 1954 JAGUAR XK120 M ROADSTER? appeared first on Fireball Malibu Vlog.

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