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Vintage Jag Prowls the Concours

Visitors to the Fairfield County Concours d'Elegance car show in Westport on Sunday will be able to meet New Canaan resident Paul Sedlak's first love: a white1956 Jaguar XK 140 convertible.

Although Sedlak, 74, purchased his current car in 1985, he was first introduced to the model back in 1958, when he was a young Air Force pilot.

"It was the same exact car as this, just a different interior," he said. "I was always interested in sports cars and being a pilot, I had to have one. So when I came across the Jaguar, I bought it."

Unfortunately, only one year after buying the Jag, Sedlak was involved in an accident and the car was totaled.

Since then, Sedlak has owned a variety of sports cars, including a 1960 Corvette. But none could compare to the 1956 Jaguar. That's why, when he came across one in 1985 in Hemmings Motor News, a magazine for antique, classic, and sports car enthusiasts, he knew he had to have it.

"For me, and a lot of guys my age who buy classic cars, it's a nostalgia trip," Sedlak said. "I bought a car like the one I had back in the '50s; the first car I really ever owned."

And luckily for Sedlak, who purchased the car from its original owner, the car didn't require major work -- nothing a little elbow grease couldn't fix, he said.

"This car is 98 percent original. I recently got a new top, but besides that and tires, nothing has been changed," said Sedlak. "The leather, engine and paint -- that's all original."

This is Sedlak's first year entering his car in the show and unlike some drivers at the Concours, he is not a collector: His 1956 Jaguar is the only classic car he owns.

Sedlak's baby will be among the 200 plus cars displayed on the field at the Fairfield County Hunt Club as part of the Concours' main attraction.

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