Newsletter July 2020

Welcome to the Newsletter of the Wiltshire Region of the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club.



Wiltshire Region Virtual Meeting, Thursday, 9 July. See details.

Heddington & Stockley Steam Rally, Sat/Sun, 4/5 July. CANCELLED

Atwell-Wilson Motor Museum, Sat/Sun, 11/12 July. CANCELLED

Seend Fete, Saturday, 8 August. CANCELLED

Shalbourne Show, Sunday, 27 September. CANCELLED

Christmas Lunch, Sunday, 6 December. Details to come.

Wiltshire Happenings

Many thanks to all of you that responded to my plea for articles. Some are reprinted in this newsletter and the rest will follow in future editions.

What a depressing list of events above. A full set of cancellations. Roll on the Christmas Lunch – if we are allowed to hold it !!!

In case you think that the Diary Dates page has been missed off of your copy, don’t worry. There didn’t seem much point in printing it as all of the events, except our Christmas Lunch, have been cancelled.

June Virtual Meeting

Once again, Su Freeman, our Vice Chairman, in conjunction with Peter Freelove, our regional ambassador, held a Virtual Meeting a couple of weeks ago. Apparently, it was another great success with more of you taking part. Another one is being held on Thursday evening, 9 July. If you are interested, do contact Su on [email protected] for more details. It’s not difficult to take part. A special Zoom facility has been established by JEC headquarters and is channelled back to the regions via their regional ambassador. You do not need to have your own Zoom App to take part.

Su summarised the meeting as follows:

Well we seem to be getting the hang of these virtual meetings and it was so nice to be joined by some new faces. Many thanks to Peter who welcomed everyone, and it was nice to be joined by Dennis Harrington from Swindon and Andy Jones – who kindly guided us through a few more technical notes. Paul Weeks and his son Tim also joined us from Andover, and we were updated on how he has been keeping busy as a keyworker.

We had an interesting chat about “Drive Out” days and breakfast meetings and we discussed Don Westcott’s brilliant Atwell Wilson Road Run and how much we were all missing being out and about in our cars and enjoying them. Mark Hamlin gave us a super insight into the history of his car and its importation, and we also discussed keeping cars in their original showroom livery & presentation, which came about having seen the pictures of his car.

We then discussed vehicles, MOT’s and compliance with current regulations and the pre-set “tests” and how some centres are not sure how to deal with the older vehicles. Of course, some lucky Members vehicles no longer have to comply with obtaining an MOT.

Mark then also said that the Cotswold Classic Run is still hoping to go ahead on the 20th September 2020. The Run each year is in memory of Roger Cook, a classic car owner and enthusiast. We are hopeful that the Wiltshire meet can still be held in a compliant format later in September as well. We could look at maybe a “Drive It”, centred around that event. We also acknowledged that we are all keen to get out and about and take part in some “lunchtime” runs and drive abouts “when things are much clearer”.

We discussed having a form of a “Treasure Hunt” drive, but Peter reminded us about the need for an MSA Certificate. But, as pointed out, Don is very experienced at these things and no doubt knows and has some excellent runs that he has mapped out in the past. We also discussed going further afield and perhaps stopping off for, as an example, “a pre-ordered” fish and chip supper subject, of course, to Covid-19 and safety. Going out and about is fine, but “facilities” must be considered.

We had a brief discussion about historic airfields and where other clubs & members have visited and the “The Classic Motor Hub” that meet at RAF Bibury and we learnt this was a flight training school for RAF Spitfires and Hurricanes.

At the end Peter held a small quiz which was good fun and had us thinking as they were diverse questions and no one managed a full house of correct answers.

At the next meeting we are going to display the favourite photograph we have of our vehicle. We may perhaps have a show of hands for the best and a “gift” of some kind will be held for the winner till the next meet up when the “new” normality returns. Peter ended by thanking everyone for joining in what had been a very enjoyable two hours.

Club Regalia

Printed products are available from Paul and Beverlee Clarke, two of our club members. They can put almost any design onto clothing, mugs, key rings, and many other items.

Beverlee can be contacted on 07545 451014 or e-mail [email protected].

Jaguars I Have Owned – by Roger McEwen

I acquired my first Jaguar at the age of 18. It was an XK140 Roadster with a degree of frontal damage and overall neglect. I had swapped a motorbike for it!!

I spent many months refurbishing the interior, including resewing the seams of the red leather seats. The engine would not hold oil pressure so I decided to remove it so it could be dismantled to find the cause. It was in generally good shape except the crank had two oval bearings. Being a poor student with no funds for further work it was sold with the engine in bits. The registration was JHS 301 - where is it now?

My second Jaguar I bought new off the Internet in 2005. It was an X Type 2 litre diesel sport; British Racing Green with Champagne leather interior. I loved the car but it finally gave up on me when the turbo expired and the replacement cost was more than the car was worth. I traded it in for a XF 3 litre petrol, which was comfort in big bundles, but finally the cost of road tax and servicing caused it to be exchanged for my present Mazda in 2017!

In the meantime, I bought my E Type from a garage in London after much searching. In truth it was the best I could afford and was my retirement present. It is a Series 2 FHC in BRG and green interior. A year after I bought it the engine expired when a head bolt sheared, a common problem for ex USA 4.2 litre engines with no antifreeze. Taking the head off I found three other cases of repairs using thread inserts so decided to get the engine rebuilt properly at an XK experts. At the same time I fitted it with a 5 speed gearbox.

We have used the car extensively for touring, having participated in the E Type Round Britain Tour twice for Prostate Cancer and tours in Scotland, Northumberland and the South West. It is a great drivers’ car that I love driving.

A Diary In The Life Of Isolation, Part 1 - by Peter Mapson

Well, on we soldier and now I have found the most frequently asked questions in our house are “What day is it?” and “What are we going to have for dinner?” Pauline turned to me with a serious face and said “Boris says you’ve got to lose weight to save the NHS”. I was immediately struck by the same irony I experienced when I first moved to Wiltshire and had a GP that practically had to be moved around on castors, but he too was always telling me I should lose weight!

So a new regime has taken hold, with no scones and cakes being baked mid-week and no wine to drink on weekdays (you can see now why it is important to know what day it is) not even daytime wine, or Rosé as I call it. We were already taking regular walks, but these are to be stepped up apparently. I should say at this point, Pauline and I are very competitive, although I’m more competitive than her (see what I did there!).

With so many events cancelled, it seems it was a waste of money buying that 2020 diary. However, I have to say things have improved the longer this lockdown has gone on; as the other day, Pauline said “I know you are missing the driving, as it’s become a big part of what you enjoy, so why not take the red one out for a spin”.

I could hardly believe my ears, but before it got retracted, I grabbed my string backed gloves, cap and scarf and the all important keys and was out of the house before you could say ‘Stay at Home’.

Well I don’t mind admitting the excitement was rising as I undid the garage doors and beheld the many times cleaned red beast before me. After giving the bonnet louvers a final quick rub down, I was soon in the driving seat. Using the choke, I was delighted as it started first time, so I sat for a moment blipping the throttle before carefully engaging reverse and backing out of the garage; stopping only to adjust my scarf and pull my cap down over my eyes for the road ahead.

What a pleasure it was to hear the fat tyres crunching the gravel as I pulled round to face up the drive to the open road. I nervously looked to the house, but there was no sign of sanction, so with just the right amount of wheel spin, I set off up the drive and on reaching the end, I slowed to take the right turn through the gates to see the horizon open up before me. Right, here we go, I thought!

Just then, Pauline appeared to my right and seemed to be mouthing something at me, so I knocked it out of gear and took my foot off the gas so I could hear her say “Don’t drop the deck too low, or you will cut the grass too short and that won’t do it any good”. “Righto dear”, I said as I trundled off down the garden to cut the grass to the height decreed! Well,the mower does have louvers in its bonnet, although sadly it doesn’t really compare with an E-Type’s. Having said that my garden lap times are coming down, as is the quality of the grass cutting, some say apparently!

To be continued……………….

Coping With My Jaguar In Lockdown – by Andy Newton

I have been on a twelve-week lockdown due to health reasons, plus all the shows have been cancelled. It makes me wonder how we follow up next year. Will the shows go back to normal? I don’t think so but I hope that I’m proved wrong.

Now I’m free to get out, I have had the chance to see what needs doing to my XJS. Top of the list was to see if it would start first time ! One worry out of the way.

I then wanted to get a front window seal. A phone call to Barratts who had one in stock and sent it down to me. The next step was to find someone to fit it for me and a date for the job was agreed. A couple of days later the guy phoned to say everything went well. That was a relief as this was a job that I should have done ages ago.

My next job is to see about the head lining. Any help or advice on that would be gratefully accepted.

Jaguars We Have Owned – by Rosalind Humphries

Little did I know that when I married my husband in 1977 that Jags would become the bane of my life at times and also, as my mother said, ‘you’re brainwashed”, but I must admit over the years I have been totally converted, and love our cars as much as my husband Tom, (although I will not let him read this!)

Our manual overdrive 3.8 S’type 1967 was bought by my husband for £600 (it took him 18months to save up by giving up his Newcastle Browns) at the age of nineteen. It was still a very prestige car at that time, especially for a teenager, so the S’type has been my husband’s pride and joy for 47 years - the car was just 4 years old when bought. As my boyfriend at the time, he taught me to drive in the S-type. It must have been love as he signed the car into my name when I passed my test, so that I could have my own insurance. It still bugs him today that it is my name is still on the log book. We have tried to find out its previous history from DVLA and Jaguar Heritage but, apparently, we are the only registered owners.

We were told, by an ex-CID/Special Branch retired officer, that it was previously a police car as he recognised the number plate SLB 652F, which originated from London and therefore probably was the reason it was not registered for its first four years. Does anyone have any further information?

It was still our main family car when our first son arrived. The petrol expense was always a consideration when going on holiday. To go to Devon in 1980 we needed to allow £40.00 to get there and back!

During the time that the S’type was off the road requiring some restoration – parts way back then were quite difficult to acquire and took some time - we needed to have a replacement family car, as we now had 3 children, but obviously we still had to have Jags. These were a green Series 1 XJ6 Manual Sovereign -JHW 738L; a bronze Series 3 3.4 XJ6 -WJN 732W;and a blue Series 3 4.2 XJ6 Sovereign (my mother’s favourite car to ride in – more about this car later). I wonder if any of these are still around.

We bought our black 1997 X300 4.0 litre Sovereign Auto in 2002 and is my favourite car to drive. After visiting the Jaguar car factory when the XK8 was being built, I foolishly said that it would be the only other Jag my husband could have so, in what we call our mid-life crisis in 2008, we bought our black 1998 XK8 4.0 Litre Coupe.

Our E-type 1968 Series 2+2 4.2 Auto was acquired through unfortunate circumstances. Our cousin, who suddenly passed away, had brought it back from America, but it was then left outside for 12 years. Altogether it took us 10 years to restore, with the help of our neighbour a former Jaguar mechanic. We finally got it finished for our daughter to have as her wedding car - although we had to take the passenger seat out for to get her dress in!

Christmas this year saw another Jaguar added to our collection- an old friend, our previous car a Blue 1985 Series 3 XJ6 Sovereign 4.2. Sixteen years ago, a friend bought it off of us for £100 and it has been in his garage ever since. Unbeknown to us, our eldest son acquired it back last June and stored it in his friend’s barn. He thought it would be a good Christmas surprise present for his Dad, the only problem was telling me. I must admit the car was not in that bad a condition and it has kept my husband busy through ‘Lockdown’.

That now makes the fifth Jaguar we own - much to my husband’s delight as he was reluctant to sell it in the first place! Our sixth car - my husband’s run about - which he will not refer to as a Jag, is a diesel estate X Type and definitely not a true Jaguar in his opinion.

Jags are a way of life in our family. Our eldest son, also at the age of nineteen, bought his first Jag, a 1990 4.0 litre XJ40. This was replaced by a 1995 Manual XJR X300 – a rare beast, but unfortunately it was involved in an accident (not his fault but sadly written off). Its engine and gear box was bought by David Marks from the insurers. Our son was able to replace it with another 1994 manual X300 XJR, a pre-production model, which is in the process of refurbishment. His wife also owns a 2000 XKR 4.0 litre Coupe.

Next Meeting

As you will be aware, all regional monthly meetings have been cancelled until further notice due to the coronavirus restrictions, but why not join us for our Virtual Meeting on 9 July. Details on page 2.