I know there’s a whole category of car lovers out there for whom absolute perfection is the goal. I acknowledge this, and I can see the appeal of it, to a degree. To a degree. Sometimes, though, you get reminded about how absurd the whole pursuit of perfection can become. One of those times is right now, because Jaguar wants to sell people a shitty toolkit for nearly $1000 that I can pretty much guarantee will never be used by anyone, ever.
Yes, if the idea of how much money things are worth has become such a distant, confused memory to you, you are free to spend £732 ($942.82) to buy a 20-piece roll-up tool kit that has a real-world value of maybe $40.
This isn’t an amazing, specialized toolkit—it’s a reproduction of the original Jaguar E-Type toolkit that hasn’t been produced since 1971. It’s your basic tire changes-and-valve adjustment type of tool kit, a handful of box wrenches, an adjustable wrench, pliers, all crap most of you reading this likely have lying around in a box somewhere.
Here’s the full list:
- Adjustable spanner
- Tyre valve key
- Tyre pressure gauge
- Points screwdriver
- Feeler gauge
- Three-piece screwdriver
- Spanner ¾ x 7/8 AF
- Spanner 9/16 x 5/8 AF
- Spanner ½ x 7/16 AF
- Spanner 11/32 x 3/8 AF
- Box Spanner 7/16 x ½
- Box Spanner 9/16 x 5/8
- Box Spanner ¾ x 7/8
- Sparking plug spanner
- Tommy bars (one short, one long)
- Valve timing gauge
- Grease gun
- Handbrake adjusting wrench
- Brake bleed tin and tube
See? Nothing special. Even stuff that sounds more specialized, like that valve timing gauge are just little stamped pieces of metal.
Look, I totally get that when you have a classic car, it’s great to have the original toolkit as well. I understand that. But, as someone who actually loves tools, I can’t quite look past the inherent madness of buying a wildly-overpriced set of tools that you will never use, ever.
I do understand that, compared to original, used versions of this same toolkit, these are not that crazily priced. I mean, look at this one with a bidding price starting at $900:
Compared to that, sure, this lovely, clean all-new one for just $82 more is an absolute steal. So, sure, in that context, this makes a hell of a lot of sense.
But, outside of this context, outside of the world where you must have the exact kind of toolkit for your lovely E-Type, it’s still insane.
I mean, we can all agree that, unless it’s a genuine, unexpected emergency, no one who buys one of these $1000 toolsets will ever use them for their originally intended purpose. They’re designed to be placed in a trunk in just the right spot, looked at, maybe—maybe—handled, and that’s it.
Jaguar could build these from painted and re-processed biscotti and nobody would likely notice for years.
Again, I know that’s not the point of this toolkit. But you can’t buy these and not at least consider the fact that what you’re doing is deeply, complexly, and richly stupid. Just think about it. For nearly one dollar less you could buy this 189-piece Master Set of Mac Tools:
Again, you’ve saved yourself a dollar, gotten 169 more tools than the Jaguar set, and every one of those tools is vastly, unquestionably better at its job than the overpriced crap (seriously, if you break it down one shitty screwdriver in there is like $50) Jaguar is pushing on its clinically obsessive E-Type owners.
Finding an original, period toolkit is very cool, no question. But these aren’t original. They’re brand new. These tools don’t have “patina” because to have patina something has to have had actual use, over a long period of time.
Really, your money as an E-Type owner who demands a proper, period-correct-looking toolkit would be to just buy the equivalent tools at normal human prices (I promise you the originals Jaguar were throwing in their cars weren’t any better than the same shit MG would give you with your MGB) and then get a local leatherworker to custom make you a roll-up tool bag, based on the original.
That would be way cooler, look as good, give work to a local artisan, and I’m pretty damn sure won’t set you back $1000.
I know what I’m saying won’t matter to the sorts of people who might actually buy this leathern burrito of madness for a grand. I get that. But I think it’s important to keep things like this in perspective, because it’s the sorts of people who spend this kind of money on something that will never, ever be used that are most likely to look down on someone with an E-Type that’s not perfect but actually gets driven and used and enjoyed.
Screw those dummies and their $1000 of useless tools.