Brucie’s Diary: March 2015

Current mileage: 163,924

It’s been a crazy month – Rob Jenner and I were invited to three JEC Regional meetings, we met Brucies first owner, went to Brooklands, Mercedes-Benz World and Maranello Concessionaires, attended two JEC engine seminars, International Jaguar Spares Day and the Restoration Show at the NEC. Sandwiched between all of this were the regular visits to Jaguar specialists for maintenance work and breakdowns. Brucie was out for one week and covered circa 1000 miles – the remaining 3 weeks were shared by half a dozen other Jaguars, including the latest addition to the stable – a full facelift XJR-S.


Rob and I were invited to the Stoneybeck Inn for the March meeting of the JEC Solway Region, where Rob had been asked to do an after dinner talk. Before the meeting, we had been invited to join the committee of the Solway Region for dinner. The meal was superb, and if you are in the Penrith area, I can highly recommend this hotel!  During the meal, I was asked if I would like to say a few words about Xclusively Jaguar, an opportunity I was glad to accept. As further members of Solway Region arrived, we moved into the hotel function suite and Rob talked to the assembled company about the joys and trials of multiple Jaguar ownership, along with his fathers’ career at Triumph and Jaguar, and then answered questions about the JEC and Jaguars in general. The evening was rounded up with a quiz which Rob had prepared earlier and a prize for the highest score.  A splendid evening among Jaguar owners and JEC members, which we thoroughly enjoyed and for which we would like to thank the Solway JEC members for their company and generous hospitality.

JEC Solway Region


Hi Letitia,

Just to say we enjoyed last night at Penrith …… Have now got your e-mail on the system and will register on the website for the newsletter.

thanks again,

Peter Dowdell


Dear Letitia,

Lovely to meet you and Rob yesterday evening at the Solway Jaguar Club night. We had a great evening and hope you had a fun evening and a safe journey home. This morning a JEC member (who attended last night but isn’t a SJC member) contacted me to say he’d enjoyed the event very much and wanted an application form for SJC membership – so many thanks in helping with our recruitment drive!. 

Very best wishes and hope to see you and Rob again soon.

Chris Orr

Treasurer and Membership Secretary

Solway Jaguar Club.


Hi Letitia,

A pleasure to meet Rob and you last evening I hope you had a safe journey home. I am sure everyone enjoyed the meeting. I am under pressure of time deprivation so I hope this PDF version of the Newsletter come through ok.

your visit was very much appreciated.

Best Regards

Ken Jardine.



Today was Brucie’s 18th Birthday (taking this as the date of manufacture) and although Brucie could not be with us, Rob and I celebrated his birthday with dinner in Nottingham, joined by David Marks, who was bludgeoned into submission and has now agreed to sponsor Xclusively Jaguar.



From Nottingham, we drove down in convoy with David Marks to attend Neil McPherson’s funeral at Canley Crematorium followed by a wake at The Jaguar Cars Sports and Social Club where we raised our glasses of Irn Bru and drank a toast to Neil. As a prominent Jaguar figure, a large number of high profile Jaguar personnel had come to pay their last respects to Neil, and offer their sympathy to his family, including; Joe Elliott, Gary Hall, Jonathan Partridge, Tony Duckhouse, Julia Simpson, David Marks, Dave Withers, Peter Wilson, Tony O’keeffe, Anders Clausager, Tony Bagley,  Norman Dewis OBE, Trevor Groom, Alan Hodge, Roger Kemp and Bob Beecham.

Having paid our respects to Neil, we set out on the M6 bound for Glasgow, as Rob and I were invited to the 25th Anniversary Dinner of the JEC Glasgow Region, where Rob had been asked to do a talk and dinner was to be served at 8pm. We had time to get to the hotel, change, and join the local JEC members for a pre-dinner drink, until we stopped at Stafford Services, and returning to the Diesel XJ Sovereign we found a pool of oil running away from under the bonnet and thought ‘Oh no, we’ve been here before!’ Fortunately, we were only 20 minutes from XJK, so we made a quick phone call and they were waiting with a ramp at the ready as we diverted into Newcastle-under-lyme!

Ian Kelsall took one look at the car, as it deposited oil on the forecourt at XJK, and said ‘You’re not going anywhere in that car!’ The courtesy cars were all out on loan, and a brief look at train times confirmed that we wouldn’t make our appointment, BUT, once the car was on the ramp, it appeared that the oil was leaking from one of the turbo’s, so a temporary fix enabled us to leave within 30 minutes of arriving, and the car was booked in for the following Thursday to have the offending turbo replaced.

Arriving at our destination with 5 minutes to spare, we enjoyed our meal and the company of the Glasgow region. Rob talked to the assembled company about the joys and trials of multiple Jaguar ownership, relating details of our latest escapade, along with paying tribute to Neil McPherson and then answered questions about the JEC and Jaguars in general. The evening was rounded up with a raffle, in which no-one went home without a prize.  Another splendid evening among Jaguar owners and JEC members, which we thoroughly enjoyed and for which we would like to thank the Glasgow JEC members for their company and generous hospitality.


A good turn-out for the Glasgow Region’s 25th Anniversary Dinner which I gate-crashed, as it is traditionally men only!


JEC Chairman, Rob Jenner, joins Glasgow Regions’ Top Table for their 25th Anniversary Dinner

JEC Glasgow Region


The evening was rounded off with a raffle in which no-one was left out, a selection of the prizes being shown here

JEC Glasgow Region



On behalf of all at Glasgow Region I thank you and Letitia for joining with us to celebrate our 25th Anniversary, especially after your incident packed journey.
Hopefully you had a comfortable night at the Burnside Hotel and have had an opportunity to relax since.





For this trip we had planned to take Brucie, firstly to meet up with his first owner near Brooklands, and secondly to take him to the JEC AJ6/AJ16 Seminar, however, as the Diesel X358 had now been booked in to XJK for a replacement turbo (which I will report on in a later issue of Brucie’s Diary), we drove down from Edinburgh to Stoke on Trent in convoy and left the Diesel X358 at XJK, continuing down to Chertsey in Surrey with Brucie, where we enjoyed dinner with Lewis White, Peter Clarke and Ian Dibbden and then went onto Brooklands where Rob did a talk for the members of the JEC Surrey Region.

JEC Surrey Region


Surrey Region enjoy a splendid and envious venue for their meetings, held in the original Brooklands Members Clubhouse with the cars parked outside in the private car park! A picture of Brucie outside the Brooklands Members Club would have been wonderful, had it not been dark outside by 8pm! Despite this, we had a splendid evening among Jaguar owners and JEC members, which we thoroughly enjoyed and for which we would like to thank the Surrey Region JEC members for their company and generous hospitality.


Most people will remember this as the day of the eclipse, but for Brucie and I it will be remembered for a far more personal reason, as we visited his first owner, then onto Maranello Concessionaires, Brooklands Museum and Mercedes Benz World, the latter being very dissapointing as it just appeared to be one big Mercedes showroom with very few classic heritage Mercedes!

Brucie pictured with his first owner, outside his original home. Brucie lived here for 7 years, having superseded an XJ40, and was himself replaced by an X350 which is still with his former owner, a true Jaguar enthusiast who keeps his cars longterm! Although not taken on Brucie’s 18th birthday, it did fall between 10th and 25th March – the former being Brucie’s build date, and the latter his date of first registration!


apr15_brucie20_330Brucie at Maranello Concessionaires
and at Brooklands Museum carpark with Mercedes-Benz World in the background.



The AJ6/AJ16 Seminar held at Castle Bromwich, and next weeks V12 Seminar, will probably be the very last JEC Seminars to be held here due to huge changes at Jaguar, so I was keen to get as many pictures of Brucie and his pals at the Jaguar Visitor centre as possible! We had a good turn-out of XJ Saloons and XJS’s, the two naturally dividing in the carpark, as the picture shows, and while David Marks was inside taking the seminar, his white prototype XJ40 was outside, with Brucie sitting immediately behind it! You may recognise the white XJ40 as David Marks restored this and a number of Jaguar Heritage cars, all of which were featured in the JEC magazine.


This picture shows Brucie sporting his ‘BRUCIE’ number plates – could be interesting if I forget to remove them after an event on private land!




International Jaguar Spares Day – Spring 2015


The Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club were there in force!

Chairman, Rob Jenner, introduced our Prize Draw Car for 2015, a Jaguar XK drophead coupe sourced from Sturgess Jaguar of Leicester, to raise further funds for the RNLI.

Norman Dewis then came over to have his picture taken with Rob and the Raffle car, and as this looked such fun, I then decided to join in too …..

First raffle tickets for this car were kindly purchased by David Randall, pictured here to the right of Rob Jenner, JEC Chairman.

Good luck David !!

Meanwhile, Helen and James were busy setting up the JEC Shop in anticipation of a good days sales!
As well as the usual selection of Jaguar spares and cars that you’d expect to see for sale, you can find anything related to Jaguar at International Spares Day ….. as  demonstrated by Gunnar Brun, a Jaguar enthusiast from Norway!
Rob Jenner bought an XJR-S so at least if all else fails, I have one candidate for the Jaguar XJS 40th Anniversary Timeline in September!
SNG Barratt were also out in force at Jaguar Spares Day, once again with a whole bay to themselves, allowing plenty of space for customers to browse their comprehensive selection of Jaguar parts and speak to their sales people and advisors.

Pictures (including E-type at the NEC) courtesy of SNG Barratt




The Bluebird Rooms in London’s Sloane Square were the venue for the launch of a new book about Dr Christian Jenny’s select collection of Jaguars based in Switzerland. Taken from a page in the book, the picture below shows Dr Christian Jenny with one of the Jaguars from his collection. (Picture courtesy of Paul Skilleter Books)

The launch was by invitation only, and Rob Jenner and I found ourselves in the exalted company of a select group of high profile Jaguar enthusiasts, which included; Dr Christian Jenny (our host), James Mitchell (author of the book), Norman Dewis OBE, Ian Callum, Michael Quinn, Paul and June Skilleter, Trevor Groom, Georg Donni, Chris Keith-Lucas, Philip and Julie Porter, Jim and Karen Patten, John Burton, and apologies from Dr Ralph Speth who was unavoidably detained.

Speeches were made by Dr Christian Jenny, Norman Dewis OBE and author James Mitchell of Pendine

James explained how he had come to produce the book with Dr Christian Jenny, and all three speakers made the point that provenance has now become a major part of a cars value. Gone are the days when people bought cars.  Now they buy the story behind the product, and paperwork is becoming more important than condition !!  For instance, cars like NUB120 may not be concours, but their provenance is priceless – what Jaguar enthusiast would not want NUB120 in their collection?

Each of us who was invited to the launch was presented with a copy of the book, with a dedication by Dr Christian Jenny, and signed by Norman Dewis OBE and Ian Callum.

Every one of those present was asked to sign two copies of the book for Dr Christian Jenny to keep.


Letitia Mace, with two of my favourite Jaguar men – Ian Callum (Jaguar Design Director) and Norman Dewis OBEapr15_brucie28_330 I risk a kiss with Norman, while Dr Christian Jenny is busy writing a dedication in my copy of his bookapr15_brucie27_330


Having explained that his first attempts to write the book had been in German, Dr Christian Jenny rounded up the evening by saying that he had come to realise that with the home of Jaguar being in England, the only language the book could be published in was English, and how touched and honoured he was to have everyone here at the launch of his book.


Entitled ‘The Jaguar Sports Car Collection: A Personal Endeavour’ the book can be purchased from Dönni  Classic Cars GBin Europe or from Paul Skilleter Books in the UK and ROW. (Cover picture courtesy of Paul Skilleter Books)



Basing ourselves in Birmingham in readiness for the Restoration Show at the NEC, we had taken the train to London and on returning to Birmingham we found that the Diesel X358 was suffering from a recurrence of the park brake fault, so we made a hasty return to XJK to allow them to rectify this, and while we were waiting, I went off to take pictures of John Sillitoe’s new Jaguar, a late 5 litre XK convertible in Jaguar Racing Green with Cream hide trim and the Gucci Lynx Eventer – a car I never expected to see in the flesh! Pictures of these, and details of work relating to the Diesel X358 will appear in a future issue of Brucie’s Diary.



Arriving at the NEC for a 10.00am start we met up with Ray Searles and James Blackwell, fellow JEC Events Committee Members, to set up the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club stand for the Restoration Show. Everything ran smoothly, with the necessary cars arriving on time and the stand being built up around them, which meant that we were able to leave relatively early and by 3pm we were on our way to Leicester to collect the XJR-S that Rob had purchased at International Jaguar Spares Day the week before.



While Rob went off to the JEC V12 engine seminar, in his newly acquired Jaguar XJR-S, at the Jaguar Visitor Centre in Castle Bromwich, I stayed at the NEC Complex and spent the day helping on the JEC Stand at the Restoration Show. We displayed 4 cars …..

The 2015 raffle car, introduced at International Jaguar Spares Day, as reported above and sourced from Sturgess Jaguar of Leicester …..



A Mark 2, kindly supplied for the event by Sturgess Jaguar of Leicester, trailered in and in need of major restoration …..



A Jaguar XJ-S Cabriolet 3.6 Manual, kindly supplied by Just XJS, which could be considered as a rolling restoration and is currently for sale at £1750 …..



Finally, by contrast, we displayed an immaculately restored Daimler 420 Sovereign, belonging to Patrick Moynihan JEC Mark 2, S-type and 420 Forum Co-ordinator, as an example of what can be acheived …..



The Restoration Show is relatively new and therefore not so large or so busy as the Classic Car Show held at the NEC in November, but with some major suppliers offering services, goods and advice, it may be an ideal one to attend in future. Aside from the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club, those who attended, and of interest to Jaguar owners, included Peter James Insurance, 4Sight Visionary Lighting, Meguiar’s, SNG Barratt, whose E-type graced their stand ……



and Jaguar Heritage Parts, who displayed an XJS formerly of the James Hull Collection.




Seems amazing that it is already a year today since my first Grandchild was born and his Mum is already back at her desk in Gaydon, working for Jaguar’s Competitor Teardown Department!

On this, the second and final day of the Restoration Show, Rob joined us on the JEC stand, and during our break we went off to look around the show and Rob joined the Sporting Bears Motor Club

If you ever get the chance to visit one of the motor shows at the NEC, make it the final day and stay until the very end, when they announce closure of the event, because as soon as the announcement is over, you will hear the joyous chorus of every car horn at the show for the next couple of minutes as we say goodbye and farewell in the most appropriate way for petrolheads! I find the goodbye very touching and feel that it is something you need to experience first hand – it echoes the camaraderie that is experienced by the participants of the big NEC motoring events and this farewell always seems very final, sending a shiver down my spine and bringing tears to my eyes, every time! Why, I cannot say, but sometimes wonder if it reminds me of the horns being blasted on the ship as we left Sydney when I was a child, knowing that I was leaving Australia, unlikely ever to return. That too was a very emotional time!

After the Restoration Show had closed Rob and I left the other JEC volunteers to break the stand down while we returned the JEC Raffle car to Tony Ridge, then we drove the Diesel X358 and the XJR-S home in convoy via the A1, arriving at 1am – tired but exhilerated!