It’s been a long winter while Jagger has been sitting in the Air Chamber and it seems like ages since we went to Brooklands on New Year’s Day in him to attend the first classic car event of the year. Apart from firing him up and going for a spin around the block a few times he hasn’t been out on the road for quite some time. Now the spring is here and the classic car scene is slowly beginning to wake from its winter hibernation we’ve started to go out and about, as well as sorting out a few jobs with the help of my trusted genius Brian.
At the beginning of April we went to the Easter Festival at Thruxton, the UK’s fastest motor racing circuit. Wessex Car Club, who are a lovely group of petrolheads had a parking stand in prime location so we parked alongside fellow members cars and watched a good days racing.
Last week Brian came around and between us we carried out a bit of fettling as well as swapping the Butec alternator for a lightweight Denso version supplied by fellow E-Type owner Simon Illingworth at Fosseway Performance. Simon's company specialise in providing enhanced products for classic cars, especially Jaguars and I'm sure this will not be the last bit of business we do. The Butec has been messing around ever since I bought the car and as we have a few overseas trips planned this year I thought it would be wise to get things sorted now to avoid sitting by the side of the road somewhere in Europe one dark and rainy night.
I’ll be keeping the Butec because when the sad day arrives and I have to part with Jagger, if the next owner wants to return a bit of originality I'll include this in the sale.
I guess it’s a sign of the times when you look at both units side by side, the Butec weighs a ton and is massive compared to the ultra lightweight and smaller Denso which chucks out twice as much power.
A few weeks before Jagger hit the streets I went to Brooklands to attend Bentley Drivers Day. Whilst admiring such fine works of art I was invited to join the vice chairman of Brooklands, Julian Grimwade to take a ride on the famous banked circuit in his fabulous 1929 4 1/2 litre Bentley and what a thrill that was!!
Later that day I bumped into another Brooklands member, Gareth Tarr who had taken some shots of my special moment and kindly forwarded them on.
It was a freezing cold morning hence the scarf and silly hat, but the thrill of taking a ride in such a fabulous car at Brooklands couldn’t wipe the smile from my face.
Two weeks after the Thruxton event we took part in a Wessex and New Forest drive organised by local Triumph enthusiasts. Our friends Bev and Pete who own a Triumph Stag asked us to join them on the run and considering my first ever sports car was a Triumph Spitfire, I didn’t hesitate in accepting their kind invitation.
I owned the Spitfire in 1976 and when I sold it I bought a Triumph Herald, then a TR6 and finally a Stag, so it’s clear I have a fond regard for Triumph’s as well as many memories of such fantastic times driving these cars in my youth.
140 cars took part in this well organised event and aside from the directions being clear, all along the route marshals in their high vision jackets stood at road junctions directing the cars ensuring no one got lost as we travelled through quaint villages and gorgeous countryside through the New Forest on our way to the finishing point at Highcliffe Castle.
Unfortunately at about 20 miles before the finist one of the brake calipers on the Stag seized whilst driving in the New Forest so we stopped in a lay by. After removing the wheel and some closer inspection it was decided to call up the recovery vehicle, such a shame to end a wonderful day like this.
We declined Bev and Pete’s suggestion to carry on as we preferred to stay with them but eventually we left for home and I’m happy to report the rescue truck arrived and took the Stag and our friends home, ah the joys of classic car ownership..........
A Cat sitting beside a stranded Stag in the forest waiting for the recovery vehicle.......
A gorgeous Mk3 Triumph Spitfire, the same year of manufacture and colour as the one I owned in the 70's. I spoke with the lady owner who told me the car was given as a 17th birthday present to her which she has cherished ever since!!
If you look closely you might just spot Jagger trapped in a sea of Triumph's. It's fair to say that although we were the only E-Type in attendance we received many kind compliments and admiring looks from our fellow classic car friends.
Gorgeous TR3 in fabulous condition alongside a TR8.
I never took to the GT6 but I couldn't ignore this great example decked out in a typical British Leyland colour of the day. In case you're wondering the car parked alongside is a TR7, I never cared for them either.......
Drive it day fell on the final Sunday of April, this is the day all classic car owners in the UK are encouraged to drive their pride and joy, unfortunately it was a cold overcast day so we decided to take only a short journey. We were joined by our friends Ann and Bob in their 1965 220SE Mercedes and Mike in his very special original AC Cobra purchased from the factory no less!
Ann and Bob decided to leave the top up but by now you will know that's not my style so on a cold morning like this I had a good excuse to give the WW2 flying jacket an outing to keep me warm - a choice Mike had also considered.
Jagger led the way from our meeting point in Runnymede to Old Windsor towards Windsor Castle before turning left taking the road through Windsor Great Park. We passed Ascot racecourse, continued along the high street before meeting the A30 where we turned left then first right through Virginia Water on our way to Brooklands.
We arrived to see a wide variety of classic cars scattered around the parking area and after exchanging pleasantries with the marshals we were invited to park in the paddock outside the clubhouse. As we stepped out of our cars visitors came over to take a look at the latest arrivals but as two of us had braved the elements for more than an hour, we were in need of a hot cuppa so we headed for the members bar for some refreshments.