I could not have imagined it still happened. But in a hall, where an acquaintance of mine had rented some square meters, I saw a 'head-and-butt car' in the making. An 'straightening bench' had been made on the ground with a few heavy profile beams. And on that, the blue front half of a 2015'er Jaguar XF was comfortably close to a white rear of such a Jag.
A kind of puzzle
The case hadn't been crossed out in one straight line, but there was a whole jigsaw pattern in the jigsaw that had apparently been done with the thin flex.
It was clearly intended that one of the two half Jaguars would be made again of a color to be determined. It seemed a risky operation to me because every part of a modern car has been calculated through and through. And in a normal car there are a lot of different types of steel, each with its own properties. Maybe a modern 'head and butt' car is a technical tour de force, but I wouldn't dare drive it. Fortunately, Cor's co-tenant told us that the car was for export. And we would add a sad smiley in the social media.
Nothing new under the sun
In the past, of course, head and butt cars were also made in the darkest trade segment. There it could also happen that a 'short' car was brought back to length by positioning the rear and pulling the front, if necessary with a Mercedes Diesel or Massey Ferguson tractor. Boy next door from the past Rudy bought recent (preferably large) BMWs with heavy damage from Germany at the time. I was there when the front end of a 7'er Coupe was pulled forward another forty centimeters with a couple of ratchet blocks, chains and hooks. Steel that has been cold-worked and is - roughly - pulled back into shape screams like a seal that ends up in a wood chipper.
Rudy's business went well
He sold 'fat', well-painted cars for competitive prices and with retention of benefits to friends with the same or even more exciting revenue models. His margins increased significantly after he found a product that could quickly and effectively remove blood stains from leather and textiles.
The Utrecht car market
Besides the fact that the kind of beautiful cars were made in this way that gave the Utrecht car market its well-thumbed reputation, you should not imagine what happens to the structure of steel when you start forming it cold several times or heating it and welding it. The turns a vehicle into a potential fragmentation bomb. And that a few heavy I-beams weren't the perfect car straightening bench? That such a reborn edelvoiture when driving and / or braking pulled a little - or much - to the left or right? That tires very quickly showed very unique wear patterns?
Well: it was still in the cowboy days of motoring.
Cars were still clear. So you could do something about it. And a 7'er Coupe was already dangerously fast, even if he was fine and if the driver was not yet drunk on his own testosterone to conquer the world. Not everything was better in the past. But should you soon run into a tightly painted Jaguar XF for 'little'? Then I would still throw a purchase inspection.
For privacy and (our) security considerations, we do not publish the pictures of the protagonist in this story.
The Jag in the photo we do use is proof that you should just let the dead rest. And with all those BMWs it must have turned out alright… Right?
Please help us keep this website and the articles on offer free. Subscribe yourself Auto Motor Klassiek and also receive the magazine 12 times a year in the mail. Or donate a desired amount on our payment page via this link. We are certainly grateful for it.
Enjoy daily free stories about vintage cars in your email and sign up for free.