I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Richard and Karen Radtke about their gorgeous Jaguar XK140 which they have owned for 50 years! As Karen explained, Richard got the car in 1968 as a graduation gift…well sort of.
Richard had $300 that he received as a graduation present from his parents. He went to a local used car lot to buy a different car but as is usually the case, a certain Jaguar caught his eye. The problem was that the car was $800… so his parents co-signed for him and the XK140 would he his.
Karen knows the story because she and Richard were dating at that time and are still happily married today! The car was originally white with biscuit interior, but today wears a shade of bright red – the exact same paintjob that was on the car when he bought it in 1968. The upholstery has been replaced but otherwise, the car is remarkably original. This is not a restored car but a driver that has benefitted from years of love and care.
There was a time in the 1990’s where the car sat quietly inside the garage. Fortunately, his then 15 year old son who was working on his drivers license said, “Dad, I want to drive the Jaguar!” and so Richard began the process of making it roadworthy again. He says, “Don’t let your Jaguar sit. Always run and drive them.” In the process of bringing the car back, he had to rebuild the fuel system and brakes and replace a lot of the rubber components. His son did get his wish and the love affair with the XK was rekindled and shared with another generation.
In 2000, at the JOC Slalom at the California Speedway in Fontana, the XK ran a class winning 49.1 seconds. It’s an amazing time for an XK140 and a 1st place on that day. Well done! With much emotion, Karen and Richard have decided to sell the car. They would prefer it stays in the Club. Please see their classified ad in the end of the Tales.