Brucie’s Diary: October 2015

Current mileage: 167,482

GoMW Bring Your Own Vehicle Tour

Guy Loveridge and Dave Richards On the weekend of 3rd/4th October 2015 Guild of Motoring Writers Chairman Guy Loveridge and Guild member Dave Richards organized the Guild of Motoring Writers Bring Your Own Vehicle Tour.


Left: Guy Loveridge and Dave Richards

The good news is that this was the most amazing and memorable weekend, but the bad news for most is that you have to be a member of the GoMW (or a members partner/guest) in order to be invited !! Fortunately, I am a member of the revered guild, and Rob Jenner was invited as my guest, and we had a wonderful time!

Our lives revolve around motoring events of all descriptions, and this was up there with the best!

Saturday morning began with a visit to Millers Oils in Brighouse, and shortly after 11am the car park was filled with an eclectic mix of interesting automobiles of all types and ages, and as Guy in his Mark 1 pointed out, Jaguar was the most well represented marque!

The visit to Millers Oils was informative and interesting and during an excellent buffet lunch, provided courtesy of Millers Oils, we had an unusual raffle for which entry was free – the prize being a framed picture of the winners car outside Millers Oils as a souvenir. I thought this was far more personal than the usual ‘off the shelf’ prizes offered in raffles – so an idea for us all to take away in addition to the knowledge we had gained from the tour of the factory and research unit.

This was followed by a tulip style rally, something I have never done before, but fortunately I was driving so responsibility for deciphering the symbols and spotting the landmarks was left to my co-driver, Rob Jenner, who I have to say was brilliant, and bar one error took us on a tour of Last of the Summer Wine Country to the next destination, which was IK Classics and The Oil Can Cafe! Anyone who regularly reads Xclusively Jaguar News and Brucie’s Diary will know that Rob and I had previously visited this excellent venue back in December 2014 in our AWD X-type when there was snow on the ground! You can read about this episode HERE!

The difference this time was that we were invited as guests of the GoMW and therefore had a tour of the workshops and a commentary on the many and varied restoration projects currently being undertaken. What we saw has been the inspiration for a return visit with a view to having our own X300 XJR ex-press car restored by this company, so watch this space!

The tulip rally continued with a watersplash and included a run up Holme Moss Hill Climb with a stop for a photo shoot at the top. Along the way, pictures were being taken of the cars as they passed through!

Saturday evening culminated in a gala dinner at the Wortley Hall hotel and on the Sunday morning, after more photos, the tulip rally would lead us eventually to Mintex Brakes Proving Ground where we all met up for lunch provided by Mintex, and 2 very interesting and informative lectures on brakes, braking systems, brake technology and all that goes with this subject.


Members of The Guild of Motoring Writers at Wortley Hall Hotel


Following the lectures we were let loose on the Mintex Brakes test track, and after such a kind invitation it would seem rude not to test ones brakes! This was the first time Brucie and I had been on a private track together so I wanted to see how fast I dare go in the available space, but without turning Brucie into a crumpled ball of metal at the end of the track! Conditions were dry, with no wind and Brucie was re-shod with a full set of matched Pirelli’s 2 years ago, with genuine Jaguar discs and pads fitted the year before, so I was confident that he was safe to go but I have never pushed him to his limits so this was new territory for us! We reached 110 mph according to the sat nav, and Brucie’s odometer was remarkably accurate! I then bravely handed Brucie over to Rob Jenner who is more experienced in these things and he persuaded Brucie to do 123 mph!

Brucie was still gaining speed when we ran out of road, so his maximum speed has still to be assessed, and Peter Baker also pointed out that Brucie had been pulling away from his Porsche!

Not bad, considering that the sunroof was open and afterwards we realised that the handbrake had locked up and I had also been obliged to fill up with cheap fuel at the last stop as there was no premium fuel available!

To add to that, Brucie pulled up neatly and squarely at the end of each run. There was one scary moment on my run when a bunch of crows on the track looked as though they were not going to move – my heart was in my mouth – braking would have made no difference, steering round them was out of the question, and I knew that if we hit them they would have written Brucie off ….. but I would still do it again, given the chance!

The visits to Millers, IK Classics and Mintex were really informative, and as well as re-affirming facts that we were already aware of, we also went away with new knowledge, making it well worthwhile.

The balance of informative visits and ‘automotive fun’, such as the tulip rally incorporating a hill climb, watersplash, and The Oil Can Cafe, and finishing off with several blasts down the Mintex test track made it one of those truly memorable weekends that will not be forgotten – ever!

It was great meeting new people outside the ‘strictly Jaguar’ fraternity, some of whom we have known for some time via emails and social media, but never actually met!

We will be passing on our thanks directly to IK Classics, Millers and Mintex, all of whom shared with us all their valuable time and knowledge, and made us feel very welcome, as well as feeding and watering us very generously, in the case of the latter two!

My apologies for making an early exit at dinner on Saturday evening, as I was not feeling 100% at the time, but had fortunately recovered by the next morning, and was able to continue.

We thought that the tulip rally was an excellent test of a relationship, and happily we passed, so we will definitely be booking next years’ event, after experiencing this one – if you’ll have us?

Jaguar versus BMW This post on Dave Richards Facebook page caused quite a lot of interest, inviting a discussion on Jaguar versus BMW, new in 1997, and now in 2015 as a used bargain.

When he picked his victim, Dave did not realise that the 1997 Jaguar was mine!

One point I’d like to raise with Dave is that the list price for this particular lwb 4 litre luxobarge in Sovereign guise would have been in excess of £47,000 so he is just slightly out with his figures – best stick to the Beamer then Dave?

This was to be Brucie’s last outing for the year – he spent a further 3 weeks on a ramp awaiting parts sourced from around the world – I think he is now wearing the last available X300 handbrake cable!

Before Brucie was put to bed for the winter, he was put through an MOT early so that he is not forced to come out in January, and risk being driven on salt laden roads.

Brucie - Jaguar X330 Sovereignn As I had expected, Brucie passed the MOT without issue, so I topped up his Waxoyl (which he very generously shared with me!) and after a final wash he was tucked away for the winter before the dreaded gritters come out!

Pictures for the above feature, courtesy of Dave Richards (Classic Car Journalist), Jeff Bloxham and Rob Jenner.


International Jaguar Spares Day – 11th October 2015

The next International Jaguar Spares Day will be on 20th March 2016


Rob Jenner at JEC East Sussex Region We rounded off the month with two talks in the south of England, travelling the long distances between here and Edinburgh in the economical X358 Diesel!

The first trip was on 19th October when Rob Jenner was invited by Colin Shippey to do a talk for the JEC East Sussex Region.

The second was on 28th October when Rob Jenner and I were both invited to do our respective talks for the JEC Kent Region. Responses to these talks is always good, and on our return from Kent we received the following email from Kent Club & Membership Secretary,Angela Moore who organised the talk for the Kent region.

Rob Jenner at JEC Kent Region

I just wanted to thank you personally and also on behalf of the Kent Region, for coming to give us such an entertaining Talk, I know I speak for all the members that were there, I had so many great comments!

Thank you both once again, I do hope you can come back again sometime in the future?

Both were splendid evenings among Jaguar owners and JEC members, which we thoroughly enjoyed and for which we would like to thank both the East Sussex and Kent JEC members, respectively, for their company and generous hospitality.