They say you should never meet your heroes – I couldn’t disagree more. This week I was lucky enough to finally meet and drive one of mine all thanks to RNG Classics and their classic car rental service.
It’s been a bizarre year for everyone and July 4th marks what we all hope is the next step back to what might be considered normality here in England. The majority of us have been under lockdown for nearly 4 months and with the latest adjustments in restrictions, we can start to plan some much needed time away and with international travel still posing its own difficulties, the good old-fashioned Great British “Staycation” might be just what the doctor ordered – and what better way to get to you country or seaside retreat than in a classic British sports car…
RNG Classics have an impressive and eclectic range of classic vehicles and they have something special to please everyone. From Magnum P I’s Ferrari 308 GTSi to the James Dean inspired Porsche 356a Speedster to what Enzo Ferrari himself once described as “the most beautiful car ever made” – the fabulous Jaguar E-Type, RNG Classics has something exceptional for every occasion.
A lot of us grew up with posters of cars on our walls and models on our shelves and although I never settled on that “one” car of my dreams, there has always been a small staple selection that will stand out in my memory as the ones that piqued my interest in cars from a young age. The Ford GT40, the Ferrari F40, the Jaguar XJ220 and the Jaguar E-Type. As much as I had idolized these pieces of vehicular art, I have never driven any of them… until now.
Originally launched in 1968, the S2 E-type is the facelifted model of the internationally adored E-Type (XKE) and is powered by a 4.2-litre straight 6 engine that produced 265hp. There’s something so wonderfully simple about driving a classic car like this. Where today’s cars are full of cluttered digital dashboards and over-complicated traction control systems and driver aids, cars like the E-Type take you back to a simpler time when you had 3 pedals, 4 forward gears and possibly one of the most beautiful wooden steering wheels ever built. No power steering, no power brakes, just some Smiths dials and some chunky rocker switches. You very quickly forget about any modern troubles and drift off back to a time where car design was at its peak.
Driving a car like an E-Type is a fairly daunting thought, but you quickly realise how well mannered this old cat really is. Yes, the steering seems heavy at the start and there is definitely a knack to the 4-speed box, but you very quickly get in tune with it and it’s no harder than driving an old Rover Metro. Except driving an E-Type is so very, very different from driving a Rover Metro. The inline-6 pulls like a steam train and the sound is just so, so addictive.
I covered around 150 miles in the Jag with a great mix of motorway and B-road in rain and sunshine and it was utterly wonderful for every single mile. There are some things that every petrolhead needs to experience in life and driving this timeless and iconic piece of British engineering should definitely be on the list. Fortunately, with RNG Classics, it’s easier to achieve than you may think.
All RNG Classics vehicles are available to self-drive in London, Surrey, Kent & Sussex for weddings, private dining, sightseeing, special birthdays, prom nights. We also make the fleet available for film, promotion and TV location shoots across the UK. To get in touch, visit their website HERE – alternatively, you can follow them on social media here: INSTAGRAM – FACEBOOK – TWITTER and if you do decide to make a booking, don’t forget to reference Well Driven.
All photography is courtesy of Sprite Photography