Aug 3, 1978
Even brothers have arguments and misunderstandings. But that does not diminish their love for each other. As one of my most valuable, long time friends I consider you as a brother and I’m very understanding.
But I do not understand your evasiveness as to where my Jag is. You say MF has it. I believe you JG, but where does he have it?
I have a right to know where my car is and I have a a right to see it. I hope I’m not forced to take strong measures to find my car. So why don’t you work out this problem for me immediately? Again, JG, I reiterate my high esteem for you. I reiterate my understanding for certain problems you may have. But I want to see my car. Is this an unreasonable request?
Let us work out this problem, JG, because I value your friendship and I look forward to a continued good relationship with you as does my wife and son.
Please call me and let me know when and where I can see my car.
When the above letter and sequence of events was given to me, my dad also provided the following note:
“Could not find a copy of my attorney’s letter to JG. But it scared the Shit out of him and he was happy to get back the Jag for me…Quickly” However the attorney’s letter was found while going through my father’s writings- BTW hew kept copies of eveeerything:
August 15, 1978
Spring Valley, CA
Dear Mr. J.G.
I have been contacted by Frank Freeman regarding his 1960 Jaguar Zagato coupe license number xxx xxx. Mr. Freeman informs me that the car first came into your possession on November 17, 1975, since that time the car has been in your shop for repair. Further, he informs me that at this time the car is no longer at your shop but is in the possession of one M.F. Lastly, Mr. Freeman informs me that he has made several requests for the car, all to no avail. Since an informal solution to this matter has not presented itself, Mr. Freeman has turned it over to me.
Therefore, should Mr. Freeman’s car not be delivered to him by August 31, 1978, we will immediately contact San Diego Police Department and report the car as being stolen. Secondly, commensurate with a report to the police of the stolen automobile, suit will be file against your garage and you personally, if appropriate, for damages suffered by Mr. Freeman due to the loss of the use of his car and possibly the permanent loss of the car. It is my fervent hope that this matter can be resolved informally by the immediate return of Mr. Freeman’s car and that the Courts and the police need not being utilized in order to achieve this relatively simple result. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I am
However the car was not driven much after it came back from JG’s garage and for the most part it sat in the garage until that day my father gave it to me.
There were several more letters between JG and another independent repair shop before the car was returned some time in September 1978.
It was the summer of 1988, while sitting on the porch of the family home with my father watching the sun set into the waters of the Pacific Ocean and the lights of the downtown buildings started coming on, when my dad (PFF) said “You can have the car.” I turned to him and said “whaaaaat?” I was absolutely floored for it had only been a day or two earlier that he told me that he didn’t want to give me the car until he could get it restored. Then he surprised me again by announcing he would drive back to Florida with me and his grandchildren to be sure the car arrived in one piece.
Once the Zagato, came to Florida, I was able to get some mechanical work done to it by driving it from the house to our mechanic, but that was it. In 1992 I specifically built a garage for the Zagato, because it was my dream to be able to restore it back to where it was before the 1975 accident. So I began to dismantle the car. I joined the local British Motor club hoping to learn from experts who worked on their cars, but they were more of a social group, than a group of gearheads.
While in the club I was introduced to one of the experts who knew all about Jags. The ironic thing about the “expert” was the fact that he was my photography instructor from 11 years earlier while working on a second B.S. degree. He didn’t recognize me, which I didn’t expect him to, and, I didn’t tell him that he was once upon a time an instructor of mine. He proceeded to inform me that I didn’t have a Jaguar. But when he saw it, he changed his mine and offered to purchase it – did he think I was stupid?
However life happens. School, job and several job location changes occurred in the ensuing years and the car was placed on jack stands in the garage since the day it was moved into it. Every once-in-a-while I would conduct an internet search about the car, and would find very little information until one day in 2006 I came across coachbuild.com where a discussion of the recently restored Jaguar XK 140 Zagato was penned. In that discussion it was stated that the two XK 150 Zagatos were lost. I wrote to the editor of that web-site stating that the 1960 XK 150 Zagato was not lost, but was sitting in my garage awaiting the day it could be restored.
A digital copy of the photo on the right was the one I sent to coachbuild.com. It was the only available photo to be seen on the net until 2014 when it went to Austin, TX for restoration. Ironically a few months later I came across a copy of my photograph on ebay being sold as an $11.00 post card with the title “Pretty Lady.” The guy posting the photo was absolutely clueless about the photo he “stole” from coachbuild.com.
Forward to 2014 and once again thoughts of restoring the Zagato Jaguar came to mind. After a short discussion with a very good friend and Corvette gearhead, I was convince to let the professionals restore this prized car and thus I found Classic Jaguar of Austin. Will I miss seeing this car in the garage, absolutely. My gearhead friend was absolutely correct, I would not have been able to restore the car the way it should be restored. But I know once the restoration is complete it will again be a a magnificent looking automobile.
In 2017 returning to Florida from my high school reunion in San Diego, We stopped of in Scottsdale, AZ to photograph and take a drive in the one-off XK140 Zagato. That car was found in pieces in a Florida garage and shipped to Italy for restoration. The museum director where the car is on display received permission from the owner to let me drive the car. I refused to drive it but I was happy to be taken for a drive through the Arizona desert – I didn’t want to be behind the wheel if something happened to the car while I was driving it. XK140 Zagato Jaguar (Ten Slides) Click here