I have always had a fascination with unusual cars. When you have been in the car business a long time, you get opportunities to see unique vehicles. Over the years, I traded for some tricked out and rare Mustangs, Cobras, and Thunderbirds. I typically kept something cool at home to drive on the weekends.
One of my favorites was a completely custom 1956 Ford F100 that was orange and silver. It was a stepside and it had been lowered, so much in fact that we had to put hydraulics on the front to raise it to get over speed bumps. This truck had been a show truck for a vintage air conditioning company and it was a beauty.
We traded for a gorgeous 1970 Mach 1 Mustang that I let the boys in my shop at my Ford dealership completely restore with a 500-horse Ford Racing engine, all new suspension, and a set of vintage Cragar wheels. It was among one of my favorites.
When the 2005 Ford GT came out, they were selling for around $100,000 over MSRP, but because of my large volume, I was able to pull some strings and get an extra one for myself. I ordered it in red, with white racing stripes, and it was a beauty. This car was #80 and any collector car in the first 100 produced is considered more valuable. It sat on the showroom for people to see and I rarely drove it. MSRP on this one was around $160,000 and I vowed to keep it.
A stranger from California called me and somehow found out about my GT. It was to a tee what he wanted, including a low serial number. I politely turned him down and said it was not for sale. In the coming weeks, he kept calling and upping the offer. One day he called and told me he was going to make one final offer of $300,000 and that was it. I guess he caught me on the right day, and I said: “wire the money before I change my mind.” The only caveat was I had to have it to an airport in North Dallas that afternoon, he was flying it to Los Angeles in a cargo plane.
Now to the Shaguar. I was on a Ford trip in Aspen, Colorado in 2002 when Austin Powers’ Goldmember debuted starring Mike Myers and Beyonce. Although it was mindless, I love movies that make me laugh. I was a big fan of the Three Stooges, too, by the way. A bunch of us decided to catch a matinee of Goldmember.
The opening scene of the movie was Austin Powers parachuting into a 2002 Jaguar XK8. As always, it was painted with the Union Jack flag all over it. Austin was being chased by a helicopter shooting at him and the only way he could get away was slam on the brakes while the helicopter shot past.
You can watch the opening scene below of the actual car I purchased:
I caught a blurb somewhere about the Shaguar being sold by New Line Cinema at the online auction page where they sold all items in their movies. I thought it would be awesome to have the car. The auction was going on for a week and I was one of the few bidders until the last day of the auction. I was high bidder at about $50,000 the morning of the last day. The car had 200 miles on it, and a new 2002 XK8 at that time was about $70,000.
The auction was ending at 3 PM Central and the auction was heating up. I had two computers and an atomic clock on my desk at 2 PM. I timed how long it took from the point of bid and when it registered on the auction site. I determined it took two seconds.
Five minutes until 3 PM, the bidding was at $80,000 and it appeared to me there were only two of us bidding, and the other bidder was going in $500 increments. I jumped his bid quickly every single time to try to scare him off, but it didn’t work.
At the one-minute mark, I went silent. The other bidder was at $84,000 and the clock was ticking. Figuring he might hit it one more time by $500 at the very end, with three seconds left, I hit the send button with an $85,500 bid, time ran out, and it showed me as the winner. The other guy’s final bid was $84,500 as I had anticipated.
I arranged for shipping from Los Angeles to Dallas and the day the car came in, I had it washed and was going to drive it home. I got a block from the dealership and turned around. Something was horribly wrong. It felt like the tires were square.
If you watched that opening scene where the brakes were slammed on, come to find out, that scene was shot in excess of 50 times. The tires were worn out and had flat spots on this 200-mile car, and the brakes were completely shot. I got tires and brakes replaced, did some cleanup on the paint (the car originally black) and drove the car in parades in my city. It was a much in demand vehicle.
We put it on the showroom and let charities use it. Many would charge $5 for a picture behind the wheel of the Shaguar. People would line up to sit in it.
After I purchased the car, I ran into Sam Pack at a Ford meeting. Sam owned several Ford dealerships in DFW and had an extensive collection of classic cars. Come to find out, it was one of Sam’s people who was bidding against me. He said if I ever sold it he’d like to buy it for his collection.
A few years later when I sold the dealership, I asked if he still wanted it and he did. Sam Pack became the Premiere Show sponsor of the Dallas Car Pro Show in 2006 and still is today. When we made the deal, I asked if he had extra office space at his car museum and he was gracious enough to allow me to use a vacant office.
So every time I go to my office, I walk right by the Shaguar, and smile.Tags: True Stories From a Former Car Dealer