Cruiser holds car close to his heart

Thousands of cruisers flock to the Gulf Coast for Cruisin’ each year and nearly every one of them has an interesting story to tell.

There’s no shortage of cool and unique cars at Cruisin’ the Coast and there’s something different on every corner like Jim Hodge’s 1939 Jaguar Kit Car.

Hodge is a mechanic by trade and a musician for fun and he bought the kit, still in boxes, from his cousin several years ago. “The wife and I, she was living at the time, we went over and I looked at it. It was all in boxes that were mildewed, molded and rotten and I said Michael that’s just too much project for me. We went on home and I hadn’t gotten in the door good. And I told my wife I wish I had bought that car and she said well go buy it. Call him up so I did and I looked at that mess and said oh no what have I gotten myself into.”

That was in 2014. Before Hodge purchased it from his cousin, it belonged to a couple in Ohio who bought it with plans to assemble it, but never did.

With a little help from someone close and hundreds of parts and pieces, Hodge built the car, turning it into what it was always meant to be. “It’s a kit. It is not an original. If it was it would be in a glass container over at my house with a security guard on it. There’s parts on this from all over the world. One of my grandsons, Cameron, helped me some days in the summer when we put it together. We started on the 23rd day of March and we rolled it out of the shop the 23rd day of September and went Cruisin’ the next week.”

Hodge has never missed Cruisin’ the Coast in its 24 year run. He says people are always stopping by during Cruisin’, excited to hear more about the car, all the while learning a little about the man behind the wheel. “It’s like me. It’s different. It’s the design. This was the Corvette of the 30’s. It was the racing car of choice. Everybody likes to see it because it’s different and I say girls and babies love it best. It’s a toy. Kids and moms say is it alright if he touches it and I say get in it. Take his picture. It’s a toy. It’s made to play with.”

Hodge, who says he’ll be back at Cruisin’ the Coast again next year, says his car holds many great memories with loved ones that he will cherish forever.

Categories: Featured, Harrison County, Local News, News

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