You Asked For It. A Special Woody Boater Request!

While Paul and Karen were in Texas, we got a special request to find a rat rod with a classic boat. Sure, why not? If there was show on the planet that would have that combo it would be the Keels and Wheels show.. But in true Texas fashion, just no rat rod would do.. How about a 1955 Jaguar mark VII that has been customized beyond words, matched up with a killer 1959 Capri.. Here ya go.. Casey Kasem eat your heart out.

This combo is INSANE! Perfect for the show!

Here is the card that was outside the car.

Here is the card for the Capri. DANG!

Note the tail lights. What a cool simple modern twist. This combo was done with great style and restraint. Did I just say that? I typed it, but jesus, look at this thing.. LOVE IT.

A huge thanks to Paul karen and Jim for taking special requests and going the extra mile for fellow Woody Boaters.

17 replies
  1. Rick
    Rick says:

    Darn, how cool is that! Now to be realistic though the tongue is so short and the Jag rides so low the Jag’s passengers will be floating before the CC. Also is the spare tire acting as a functional wheel? That said if I saw it on the road I’d follow it for many miles waiting for it to stop. Thanks for the pics.

    • Paul H.
      Paul H. says:

      I aksed the owner’s representative who was with the care about the actual ability to tow, and he said it was built with that in mind. It is not as good as larger vehicle or truck, but they do tow the boat with it. It apparently has air suspension and much larger brakes. Still, I would have to say it is more a visual statement than a practical one. The inspiration and creativity needed to even imagine taking a cool but “needy” ’50’s 4 door Jag and morphing it into a 2 dr. convertible resto mod is almost unbelievable. Why? Why not….kudo’s to however had the vision and the ability to execute on it.

  2. andreas
    andreas says:

    Yuck. What a crime to do that to a classic auto. I am serious. I hate those stupid jalopified autos.


    • Paul H.
      Paul H. says:

      It was a total basket case – not restorable when they found it. Ordinarily I agree with you, but taking a worn out, valueless and non-repairable car or truck or boat and doing something interesting, creative or unique is fine with me. Now, if they did this to an XK-150 or something, my view would be different. I applaud the guy for his efforts. What good is a scrapped ’55 Jag, which was the other alternative to this?

      I am not really a resto-mod guy, but in some cases I easily see why guys customize stuff. They do it because they can, and because they want something unique. You could probably buy a perfect ’55 Jag Mark VII for a fraction of what this cost to do. Just like old boats that are rotted out and cost too much to make restoration practical, sometimes you just have to let beyond economic repair cars go as well. Instead, he did this and I give him a lot of credit for it.

  3. matt
    matt says:

    It’s always agonizing to make that call. But i agree. A 4 door anything is never a candidate for a restoration. This car was done in good taste and I am sure has a better electrical system than she started with. The entire resto mod world is exploding.For the reason that its a way to save a car that may have never been saved.

  4. Dave Clyne
    Dave Clyne says:

    Please tell me how to send you a response WITH a couple of photos.
    (Restored Jag E-type and CC riviera barnfind.)

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      Email them to and he can add them to the article or post them.

      There have been issues with the beta test of commenters adding their own pics, but you can try using the standard img and /img tags (in square brackets) with a URL to the picture in between. It has worked most of the times I tried, but if my explanation sounds like a foreign language go with the email route.

  5. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    Somewhere in the archives is a shot of John Helpenstell from Port Angeles, WA at the ’89 Port Ludlow Land, Sea and Sky rendezvous towing his Fairliner Torpedo with his 1948 Packard Convertible… You can find shots of the pair in the August 1981 Boote publication (German magazine) and the July ’91 Boat International mag.

    I love it when creative people combine or create complimentary, functional pieces like these and share their passion with everyone!

  6. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    If the Capri was sitting between the trailer wheels instead of on top of them, the combo would look a little more “in scale” on a linear sense. But, as someone said above, the Jag driver’s gonna get wet feet backin’ that rig down the ramp before she’ll float free.
    Nice resto mod tho, touch of wood is elegant accent. Maybe I’ll have my ’56 Buick Special wagon ready for a boat show someday, if the lottery cooperates.

  7. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    “Hercules engine built by Chrysler”? oops how about Chris Craft 131 hp engine built by Hercules, but hey, whose checking?

  8. brian t
    brian t says:

    Not to be a killjoy or anything but…

    It this set up really worth the downright uncertain behaviour of this tow vehicle with this beautiful boat?

    It just seems like (even for a short distance) that this entire set up could be laid to waste with just one nasty pothole or bridge expansion joint.

    Yes, the owner said that when this car was modified it was with the idea that it would tow a boat. But frankly, one blowout at freeway speeds and Chris at Hagerty will be getting a phone call.

  9. Paul Kirwin
    Paul Kirwin says:

    After reading all of the not-so-kind messages regarding the tow vehicle, I wish it was easier to upload a photo of my own rig…I won best in class at the same show, in 2010, with a ten foot rowboat on a custom wooden trailer, pulled by my classic Raleigh Tourist rod-brake bicycle. I would love to hear the ‘serious’ folk comment on that…BTW, as I was leaving the show Sunday, I watched a crew of four strapping her down and getting her ready to drive off. Apparently not just for show. If I was an insurance man, I would go with the meticulously maintained Jag and its’ custom trailer before writing a policy for the typical Ford Explorer pulling 6000 lbs. of Craigslist fiberglass and metalflake…Hey, sorry I missed you guys at the show this year; Love your site!

  10. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    Show us the whole photo…don’t crop it…EVERYONE knows a Jag, custom or not, is still and Jag and was always preceded by a tow truck.
    John in Va.

  11. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    Whoa, tough crowd. Too bad we don’t have a picture of the owner so we could rag on what he’s wearing, his wife or girlfriend and his kids.

  12. brian t
    brian t says:

    It is not a question of being mean or whatever. The simple fact remains – one cannot just chop the top off of a coupe and expect to have the same strength contained within the remaining bits of sheet metal -even with a real frame.

    When you take bits from a variety of vehicles to make a “new” old car, one cannot assume that all of the design flaws will be obvious. This car, even with a new complete running gear installed, may not be 100% compatible with a car that was manufactured fifty years ago.

    Add to the mix a heavy boat/trailer combo and the recipe gets even dicier.

    Talented automotive designers and engineers even make mistakes that do not show up until the car is built and on the road. Case in point – the Gullwing Mercedes.

    Everyone thought that this vehicle was perfect, until at a very certain speed, the swing axels would throw the car into a tree.

  13. Jim G
    Jim G says:

    Hey Karen and Paul! Great to meet y’all at Keels! I’m the guy with the 1970 Donzi that was buying up all your “stuff”! Thanks for turning me on to WoodyBoater!

    And BTW: That Jag tow rig was AMAZING! And probably more capable than half the ratty pickups I see towing fishboats around here… LOL!!


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