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Soaking wet and freezing cold but still smilingHarry with a very original, matching number, right hand drive Jaguar XK120 OTS (roadster) at Goodwood

For those of you unfamiliar with the Goodwood Breakfast club it is a free to enter motor show every month running from March through to November. Each month has a different theme ranging from 'Tax Exempt' to 'Anything but the Car'. Anyone can drive in, park on the legendary Goodwood motor circuit and show their vehicle as long as it fits into that month theme. Given that this months theme was tax exempt cars and it's the first weekend of the year there was no way we were going to miss it.

After beautiful weather all week I awoke on Sunday to torrential rain. After a few minutes gazing out of the window, sipping a cup of tea and wondering if I should brave the rain in a car with no roof I decided that life is too short to stay at home just because it's raining. I jumped into the relative comfort and decadence of my Wolseley with it's roof, winding window and heater and headed upto Twyford Moors to collect the XK120. On arrival at the garage NKL 200 was sat at the front of the showroom, all polished up and nice and dry. I removed the tonneau cover, jumped in, flicked on the choke and pressed the starter button. After a moment of cranking the beautiful sound of the straight six rumbling into life filled my world.

NKL 200 is a very early and totally unmodified XK120 OTS. It still has it's original drum brakes and no wet weather gear. The only concession to modern motoring, and one which I was extremely glad of, was a set of Vredestein radial tyres which are just about the only tyres up to the job of holding an XK onto the road in the soaking and slippery conditions of Sunday. Despite the conditions the car was an absolute pleasure to drive; once the drum brakes were warmed up the pedal felt direct and the breaks were responsive. An XK120 is a car to be treated with respect, especially on wet roads, but as long as you are gentle with the car and think far enough ahead an XK120 can be tremendous fun in the wet.

We arrived at Goodwood and were surprised at how good the turnout was. A plethora of classic cars of all shapes, sizes and makes were on display. It is a joy to see that so many classic car enthusiasts weren't put off by the weather and to see that I wasn't the only person foolhardy enough to drive a car with no roof. Click here for some great photos of the event. After a lovely full English breakfast I had a look around the cars, a personal highlight was a rather ratty looking MG Magnette and a beautiful XK150 OTS, and chatted to our fellow, weather hardened, classic enthusiasts.

A wonderful drive back to Twyford Moors followed and it had even started snowing by the time I got the car back. I finished the day soaked to the skin and freezing cold but you couldn't have removed the smile from my face with a crowbar (although it might be that my face had just frozen in that position). Driving an open top classic car on a warm summer days is one of life's great joys however from time to time, donning a rain coat, a good hat and some gloves and getting out in the rain can be just as much fun.

Jaguar XK120 OTS (roadster) at a very rainy Goodwood

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