I was fascinated to read your description of how you fell in love with your 219. In 1975 I was living in Rhodesia and looking for a Jag when a friend persuaded me to try a 58 219. I also fell in love with it on the first test drive and did not want to return it to the dealership. I bought it the next day. I found it to be just as wonderful as you describe taking it to Cape Town for Christmas (1600 miles each way).
Because of severe petrol rationing I sold it the following year and bought a BMW, a move that I have regretted ever since. I have since owned a 220b, 220Sb, 190Dc and now a 300D 2.5 Turbo, but still have a soft spot for the old 219.
Love at first sight. My same reaction in 1970, I also went out to buy a VW. I've been driving my 219 (a 1959) since then. Last engine rebuild in 1984. Same mileage, performance and fun as you describe after all these years. And pretty too, with a new paint job and interior in 2001.
It's not that I've had just the SAME car after 35 years, I've had the RIGHT car.
My dad had a 219 from 1971 through to 1975. His job involved driving into the Malaysian Jungles where he'd survey the lands. I recall loading the car with all his instruments, tripods, theodolite, compasses.. etc. It took hours to get the dirt off.. sometimes he would have been on the dirt tracks for days so the mud would have baked when he got home. It broke its crown axle late 1974 while on a trip, but it limped home; To fix that cost him a month's wages; he fixed it but traded it for a Pug 404 early 1975. I still have photographs of it with me and my siblings standing on it!!
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