“Hey, there, it’s Travis again.” I was crouched on the side of the highway next to a Jaguar F-Type. “Remember how I just called and said that the car had egg all over it? Well now the bumper is kind of hanging off. I’m really sorry.”
(Full Disclosure: Jag loaned me an F-Type R Coupe for a week after the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours for a road trip. The last three days of that trip didn’t go well. I never wrote about it. I did now.)
It all started off so great.
On the Monday after Pebble Beach in 2014, my girlfriend Shannon and I snagged a Jaguar F-Type R that we’d drive from Monterey south along the coast, stopping along the way, until we got to San Diego to see some family. Simple enough.
The first five days of the trip went smoothly. We drank wine, we saw some cool towns, we drove a fast, gorgeous car. Everything was great.
That is, until we got on the 5. The 5, for those not lucky enough to experience it, is awful. Traffic forms for no reason. There’s a carpool lane occupied by cars going two under the speed limit. There’s a guy in a clapped-out Tahoe riding your ass. It’s the opposite of good.
But when the constant traffic does clear up, it’s wide and you can go fast. The F-Type R is a fast car. I know this because a cop noticed and informed me I was doing 91 mph in a 65. Whoops. He was super nice and wrote me down for 80, but that kind of set the tone for the next couple of days.
Once we arrived to the apartment complex where we’d be staying near San Diego, we parked the Jag. It didn’t move for two days, until it was time to go back to the airport. What could possibly go wrong?
We went out by the car with our baggage, where Shannon noticed some eggshells on the ground. “Weird,” we said.
Then we noticed the egg on the car, the shells stuck to the window, and the general smell of a bad omelet.
Some shits egged the car.
Now, if I had come in there and done burnouts or had the car in obnoxiously loud mode, I’d get it. That wasn’t the case. They just threw eggs at a nice car, presumably to teach us some sort of lesson. There was egg on the cars next to us too, but the focus was obviously the Jag.
That’s when I made my first call to Jaguar. On a Sunday morning. The person who handles the press cars for Jaguar is a lovely woman named Ree. She’s seriously one of the nicest, sweetest, and most understanding people I’ve ever met. I explained what happened, we decided not to get the car washed so we didn’t risk scratching it, and Shannon and I went to get some chilaquiles before heading north. The chilaquiles were another mistake that didn’t rear their head until later.
We were back on the 5. The—lovely, lovely, 5—when it happened. I was driving in traffic in one of the center lanes when the car in front of me suddenly veered, unveiling a retread from a tractor trailer. I had cars next to me and couldn’t pull off the same maneuver. I ran it straight over.
I probably shouted “fuck.” I don’t remember, it was two years ago. Then I heard something dragging, so I got off at the next exit where there were multiple other cars in the same predicament as me. Everything looked fine, maybe a rubber mark up front, until I got around back. That’s where I discovered that the rear valence and the marker light were no longer fully attached to the car. Instead they were dangling. This is not a feature.
I MacGyvered them back into place, and then I called Ree. Again. I explained what was up, apologized profusely and told her that I’d have the car at LAX shortly. As always, she was understanding and knew that shit happens. I believe there was a joke about me being unlucky. I think I laughed at it.
We made it without another incident and dropped it next to a white F-Type. The difference is that this one didn’t smell like sulfur and had a fully attached rear bumper.