James Dean bought his first Jaguar, a 1954 XK120 drophead
coupe with a week's pay from a summer construction job while a student at Colgate University. After graduating in 1968, he
drove it to Boston and entered a corporate management program. Traveling around the US, he bought his first MG, a 1934 PA,
and smuggled it back to Boston in the back of a Procter & Gamble truck. He played with the Beacon Hill Rugby club
on Sundays, rather than softball at company picnics; not the ideal Company man! This soon changed, and he enrolled evenings
in Law School, and worked days at the local Jaguar/MG/Rover Dealer. A garage was soon found, and rented between Harvard and
MIT. James then opened a shop, catering to the students and Professors who drove today's classics every day. Business was
brisk, and forensic rhetoric was soon foregone for a love of English cars.
One Fall Sunday, James was visiting Newport Rhode Island, when he spied the masts of the last big (147
foot) schooner built in Lunenburg. It was leaving for the Bahamas the next day, Thinking his vacation ship had come in; James
left the shop with a friend for 2 weeks and sailed South. The 1939 schooner turned out to be the nautical equivalent of a
neglected MG; and by the time they reached Florida, Mr Dean was hired as Engineer.. The friend in Cambridge was asked to stay
on. The Schooner Captain was fired after a collision at sea on Boxing Day. The friend in Cambridge had different ideas and
goals ; that shop soon closed.... James spent a few more months sailing through the Bahama Out Islands on a small sloop;
then returned to Cambridge, and relocated what he had left from Cambridge to Ft. Lauderdale.
One more foray into the corporate world, as First Mate-Engineer on Victor Posner (the corporate raider)'s
Feadship yacht convinced James Dean to return to his real love, Old English Cars.
In 1975, he rented a rundown marina in Ft. Lauderdale
and started Old English Motor Company. It looked like the last outpost of the British Empire, with palm thatched roof and
a tattered Union Jack, English cars and palm trees. He offered full restoration and service of English cars, but parts in
the 70's were a problem. He solved this by becoming the parts source; and bought the MG's, Triumphs and Jaguars that
were parked under Mango trees in back yards, and behind every gas station, and breaking them for parts. His theory was, the
cars came South for College Spring Breaks, broke down, and only the owners went North. This was the basis of his massive parts
inventory, now being offered almost 40 years later..These parts are all that's left of Spring Break legacy. The deep back
yards have become condominiums, the gas stations levelled for office buildings, and the students replaced by German tourists.
The quaint little shop in the Coconut grove was outgrown, and the restoration business moved downtown, near city hall.. For
35 years, battles with landlords and Code Officials meant that more cars were broken up, as space became dear. Downtown Development
forced another move into a 4,000 Ft. Lauderdale foot building, leaving no room for restoration. A computer was bought, and
.. thejaguru.. became an established force on eBay, supplying these parts all over the world. Most parts are sold on eBay,
but please contact directly with your requests; for more personal service, to move more of this incredible hoard into the
hands of British Classic owners and restorers.
anti-business policies caused other shops to close,and their inventories were acquired. Finally the decision was made to move
to a nicer place, and the inventory was slowly moved to the charming town of Sebring, Florida...
40 years after opening in that quaint South Florida building; Old English Motor Company's massive inventory
is filling a huge old 1930's building in the Downtown Historic district, of Sebring . Soon, a restoration shop will be opening.
Parts are being supplied to Sebring Vintage racers, and still being shipped to enthusiasts all over the world.
If you do not see what you need; on the eBay store, please inquire. Also feel free to call for
free restoration advice. If you come to Sebring, to the race track; please call first; then drop in to visit me, just off
the Sebring Circle
thank you for reading my story, and I hope to assist you, wherever you are in the world.
Old English Motor Company
Sebring, Florida, 33870
Phone 1954JAGUARS (1 954 524 8277)
Cel. 1954JAGPART (1 954 524 7278)
eBay name thejaguru