An owner's story about last week's mystery vehicle could have made some people cry.
Gloria Copley, Brainerd, told me the vehicle, a 1959 Jaguar, "had kind of a history for (her family)."
She said it belonged to her son, a Vietnam War veteran who committed suicide in 1973. He bought the Jaguar in 1971.
"He had a rough time there," she said
She proceeded to tell me that one of her son's tasks was to ride along with the helicopter crews to pick up American soldiers' bodies. I know a little too much about this because I read about this gruesome task in the book "Chickenhawk."
Some parts of this Jaguar will be used as decorations in her other son's den. The vehicle stumped readers as no one guessed the precise year, but five came close.
Steve Anderson, Merrifield, wrote it was a Mark 1 compact saloon (saloon is an English word for sedan) built between 1955 and 1959. Gene Carlson, Baxter, wrote it was a Jaguar of the '50s or '60s in the Mark Series. Bruce Galles, Nisswa, wrote it was a '57 or '58 Jaguar 2.4-liter Mark 1. Rosemary Petrich, Staples, wrote it was a '57 Jaguar four-door sedan and Greg Dalton said it was a mid-'50s Jaguar.
Anderson wrote that these saloons came with 2.4-liter engines in '55-'56 and 3.4-liter engines in '57-'59. These cars, made of all an all-steel body, were 15 feet long and weighed 3,029 pounds.
Some of the other facts Anderson wrote about were that this car's top speed was 102 mph and 120 mph with the 2.4 and 3.4 engines, respectively.
Dalton said he couldn't see the car's grill or headlights to determine the correct year.
Harry Austin, who guessed the Jaguar to be a late '50s to early '60s S Mark II 3.4 or 3.8 saloon or maybe a 2.4 liter, had an interesting story.
He wrote that he remembered seeing a 2.4 liter Jaguar for sale at a dealership across from a military base in Italy in '61.
He wrote that the dealership paid for a first-class train ticket to Milan, flew you from Milan to London, transported you to Coventry, paid for a three-day stay in a hotel while you picked up the car. To close the deal, the dealership paid all expenses back to Italy. The package cost $2,800.
"Sounds cheap but that was two years pay for me at the time," Austin wrote.
Galles wrote that these cars were "rust magnets" but a lot of them are being restored.
Other guesses included a 1961 Jaguar, a 1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan, a '63 or newer Jaguar, a 1948 or '49 Hudson Terraplane, a Packard and a '50 or '51 Frazer Manhattan.
Kargel wrote that he did notice there were eight windows in the Corvan, the mystery vehicle from three weeks ago. It wasn't included in the story because he said it was an eight-window Greenbriar van, which it wasn't.
This week's trivia
This week's trivia question is "Which car won Motor Trend's Car of the Year in 1949?"
Last week's trivia question, "Who marketed a car at Sears Roebuck in the early 50s?," saw several readers answer correctly.
The answer is Kaiser-Frazer. It was called the Allstate, a version of the Henry J. The Allstate was made in 1952 and '53. The Henry J. was made from '51-'54.
Tom Erickson, Lake Hubert; Larry Olson, Nisswa; Ed Thompson, Milwaukee; Mark Kargel; Petrich; Gene Carlson; and Austin all furnished the correct answer.
Erickson said that the Allstate's upholstery was made from the transatlantic phone cable coating, which was indestructible. He also noted that the Willys four- or six-cylinder engines outlasted the cars.
Kargel noted that these cars didn't have vent windows that opened or a trunk lid. He also wrote that 1,400 Allstates were built.
Olson said that in 1951, 81,900 Henry Js were made. By 1954, that number had dwindled to 1,125.
clint wood, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at email@example.com or at 855-5869.
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