Sun and the XK Club Spring Meet. Unfortunately not on the same day! Saturday was beautiful, warm and sunny (see the headline photo). Sunday, the day of the Meet, not so much.
The UK is blessed with at least three national Jaguar Clubs, similar to our JCNA.
The Jaguar Driver’s Club and the Jaguar Enthusiast Club are both national and all-encompassing in scope (i.e. all Jaguars welcome), while the XK Club and the E-Type Club are divisions of an organization run by Phillip Porter (of some fame as an author of Jaguar Restoration Guides). As their name implies, they focus on XK and E-Type Jaguars only. This was their Meet.
Today Porter’s Clubs held their annual Spring Meet, the kickoff to their year of activities. From what I gathered, the Spring Meet is usually held on a Sunday late enough in April to confidently predict good weather. Not this year. It was grey and gloomy and started to spit rain as the Meet was wrapping up.
I was a little concerned about my first real Jag event, not knowing if this was going to be a bit “posh” (the Brit word for fancy or high-brow). So, dressed in slacks and a turtle neck, with both a regular jacket and a sports coat on aboard, I set off at 9am for the Denbies Wine Estate, just a bit south and west of London, about a two hour drive.
Denbies is very much like a typical Napa Valley winery, with rows and rows of (at this season naked) vines on all sides of a luxurious little chateau. Since my Jag will not arrive until Tuesday, I was relegated to the “all makes” parking area.
When I arrived there were about 30 XK’s and E-types already parked and another 35-40 arrived subsequently. I have two observations. One, the Brits love their fixed head coupes (i.e. hardtops). I suppose rightly so considering the weather here, but there was a fair smattering of open top cars, many with brave owners fully exposed.
Second, while they have some nice cars, most do not compare to our Concours level cars, in fact, not even to our Driven level cars. I guess this indicates that they really drive their cars and they show it.
I have sprinkled a few photos around the blog, but at the bottom you will see many more photos. You can click on them to see bigger images.
Bottom line was that they had 65-70 cars and about 120 people, all of whom were treated to a nice three course lunch…..pate, a nice Cornish game hen half, and a awful meringue sort of desert. No long speeches, a trophy for the best E-Type and the best XK (which I may well have won had my car been here). Very nice people and all intrigued by my presence and plans (the crazy American I am sure the whispered out of my presence).
The trip down was almost all Motorway (boring) so I tried, with limited success, to find a more interesting way back home. The trip took an hour longer but I did have 30 minutes of new secondary roads to explore.
The village (at least those 90% of them who hang out at the local pub) are anticipating the arrival of my car and have made me promise to display it in the pub parking lot on
Tuesday night. Forecast is for sun the rest of the week (remember, I said forecast of sun = sun in the morning and rain in the afternoon!). We will see.
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The English alternative to open cars, three V-12’s with Webasto tops!
Big crowd for lunch!
The countryside, still looking a bit bleak, but more signs of spring than in my more northern home.