The Jalopy and the Jaguar – Jim Fowler

Belching black smoke and periodically back-firing, the old jalopy rattled down the road. The owner had driven this car for many years, but it was thoroughly worn-out. People were beginning to shake their heads in derision when he drove by—he was a blight to the road. The paint was peeling, the body was full of dents—the car looked like a wounded survivor of a demolition derby. Flat tires were an almost weekly routine. Talk about uncomfortable! The springs poked through the seats and the wind poured through the cracks in the windows.

All of this was detrimental to the owner’s mental and emotional disposition. It was so frustrating to try to keep this car going. Sometimes he would kick the car, scream at it and swear to get rid of that “rattle-trap.”

What a surprise, then, when a gracious Benefactor presented him with a brand-new British Jaguar. The lines were so sleek, the lacquered finish so smooth—it was a beautiful hand-crafted machine.

As a proud new owner, he waxed it and pampered it. He could hardly believe that powerful engine which made so little noise, the new leather upholstery which was so comfortable and the smooth ride on those new radial tires. Besides that, it came with a lifetime service guarantee!

Not wanting to let it get scratched or worn-out, the proud owner parked the Jaguar in the garage and determined to use it only on special occasions. He would back it out each Sunday morning and drive it to

There he would testify about the benevolence of the Benefactor and praise the features of his new car. Everyone was invited to look at the car (which was on exhibit) and inspect its intricate details. Then the owner returned the Jaguar to the garage.

All week long the suppressionist owner continued to drive the jalopy, which did not run any better than before. It continued to have flat tires. The rattles were just as irritating. It sputtered, it back-fired—it continued to heat-up and boil-over. It was all he could do to hold it together and keep it going, having wired up the muffler, taped the windows and put extra cushions on the seats. The owner was just as frustrated and agitated as before, and he continued to gripe and complain about the complications of his life.

The Benefactor arrived one day to question the recipient of his gift. “I gave you a new Jaguar. Why do you insist on driving that old jalopy? Why don’t you tow that jalopy off to the auto-graveyard and let it die? It has no antique value and needs simply to be junked and scrapped. It is time that you begin to enjoy your new car!”

Christians have “put off the old man” and “put on the new man” (Ephesians 4:22,24; Colossians 3:9,10 NKJV). “If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (II Corinthians 5:17). If that be true for us, let us recognize that “we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not of ourselves” (2 Corinthians 4:7).


Jim Fowler


A parody is a comic caricature, a ludicrous likeness, an absurd analogy, a ridiculous representation which exposes a particular reality by comparing it to another of a different order. Parodies can be a useful literary tool to expose the “red herrings” of diversions which distract attention from real issues. By the use of parody one can be direct yet subtle at the same time.

Please share:
Share by Email