Robbert Moree visited the 40th anniversary of the Jaguar Daimler Club Holland and enjoyed the diversity. Follow him on his stroll and enjoy his encounters.
People won’t depict a Jaguar or Daimler as a derelict banger all that often. Jaguars are spoken of as cars for decent people. People with blazers, corduroy pants, tweed coats and Panama hats. And to be honest, of course those people in vintage British upper class clothing are present here, they do belong to the history and position of the brand. Jaguars come in different price ranges. Where E-types are becoming virtually unreachable, Mk II’s are still affordable, where the modern S-types are true bargains. Besides that you have various stages of restoring. We find Jaguars in mint condition that would be sure winners on any concours besides cars that are more or less original or be it partly restored.
A large number of enthousiasts use their Jaguar as a daily driver. I meet an owner that just shows a colleague club member the engine of her Jaguar Mk VIII. The saloon has clearly been well used, the paint work is far from original and consists of various tints of a darker green. The door panels are missing and a little rust is showing here and there. In the meantime her husband joins the party, carrying a long piece of rope. ‘Always handy when you drive an old car.’ They brought the car from the States themselves last year. A brand new adventure. The plan is to gradually refurbish the car, first the moving bits, the looks can wait. One thing this Mk VIII does splendidly is starting. ‘The car usually resides in a lockup where it is surrounded by mostly very nicely restored vehicles, amongst which a splendid looking Ferrari that wouldn’t start one day.’ The owner of the ragged Jag offered to give it a tow, but that was kindly refused.
A bit further there is a first series E-type roadster on display. The owner tells me it is an original Dutch car. That is somehow more unique than one of the many USA imports, to be blunt. The car was first delivered to a diplomat in 1961, who drove it on diplomatic registration for four years. Later it got an ordinary registration number and since then it has been kept in original state without becoming to glossy. The car is being valued right there on the spot, but the owner is a bit reluctant to the out coming. Prices of E-types have been rocketing sky high lately and roadsters, especially first series ones easily fetch over 100.000 Euro, which means hefty insurance premiums.
In a gazebo I spot one of the contestants in the concours d’élégance. No, not a large Jaguar limousine or stately Daimler. It is one of the early practice runs of Jaguar founder Sir Henry Lyons. From the days that Jaguar was still called the Swallow Sidecar company. It is an Austin Swallow. Lyons didn’t build his very own cars yet, but improved on existing motors. In this case the humble Austin Seven, that was presented with a way more refined bodywork and uprated specs. A beautiful piece of pre-war history.
All of this takes place in honour of the 40th birthday of the Jaguar Daimler Club Holland. A club with members from all layers of the population: Successful entrepreneurs, consultants. lorry drivers, garagists, mechanics and so on. All these people have one thing in common, the love for the brand with the leaping cat on the bonnet. It’s a good thing they keep the history of this beautiful brand alive. In all modesty of course. Like the Jaguar XJ’s brochure used to say: ‘A Jaguar is just a car.’