Current mileage: 168,042
29th March 2016 – JEC North East Region
Last call of the month for March was North East Jaguar Club, a forward thinking club who have amalgamated all local interest in Jaguars and Daimlers and hold meetings which include members of the JDC, JEC, DLOC etc. This makes for varied and interesting content, as each local rep stands up and reads the notices for their particular club, meaning that events which would normally slip through the net are brought to the attention of people who don’t belong to that club, but may in time be encouraged to, and it was refreshing to have more involvement from the Daimler contingent!
Both Rob and I did talks at this meeting. After our own local region in Edinburgh, this is our nearest regional Jaguar/Daimler meeting, and a very impressive and well supported one too !!
9th April 2016 – DLOC AGM
The Daimler Lanchester Owners Club held their AGM in the plush surroundings of the British Motor Museum at Gaydon, and I took the opportunity to meet up with their Chairman, Tony Bagley and take another look at two of his Daimlers.
1955 Daimler Regency Sportsman
Tony Bagley has owned this car for some 50 years and comments thus:
There are many memories and places we have visited. The overall mileage of the car is now, I believe, approaching 650,000-700,000 miles. The car originally went to the Trust in 1992 with 467,000 miles on the car, having an engine change around 360,000 miles from its original 3.6 unit to the last 3.8 Majestic straight six engine that was located at Jaguar cars.
A couple of years after it had been with the Trust, they advised that the engine needed an overhaul as they thought there were ‘some noises emanating from low down’, this was after the car had been used for some time, not only for events, but I often saw it out on the road on its way to the airport to collect a visitor. True, or not, the car was being used on a regular basis, the very reason they asked me to let them have the car in the Trust to stop me putting on the miles when it was thought only six cars remained. I had been using the car for business, hence the high mileage, including regular trips to Jaguar Cars as a supplier, and we think there may now be just three Regency models remaining.
The car has been with them now for 24 years, and whilst use has now dropped to around 3000-5000 miles per year, it is kept on the road all year round for events, weddings, magazine shoots or whatever reason we can think of to give it a run. Generally, if I ring up to borrow the car I am asked ‘How far are you going?’, and if it is more than 70 miles, ’Would you like something else instead, a little bit younger perhaps?’
Jaguar Heritage provide an official description of this model HERE
This is the very last Daimler produced by Jaguar Cars and was ordered new by Tony Bagley. It is often requested for use at official events by Jaguar Heritage, as they do not own a similar car. This immaculate Daimler has now covered 23,000 miles, returning an average from new of 28 mpg. This for a Supercharged 4.2 is just acceptable, but the performance is remarkable when you need it. Production of the Daimler variant over the period of the X350 series amounted to just two per week, hence it is a very rare car!
1897 Daimler Grafton Pheaton – fired up!
A fascinated audience gathered for noon when Jaguar Heritage Vehicle Technician Dave Withers fired up the Heritage Collection’s 1897 Daimler Phaeton. I now understand where the term ‘fired up’ comes from, as Dave explained that a fire is literally made in the canister (highlighted by the white arrow on the image here) alongside the engine which runs on hot tube ignition.
Jaguar Heritage provide an official description of this model HERE
21st April 2016 – GoMW Track Day at Castle Combe
As a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers I was invited to Castle Combe Racetrack for a members trackday. I invited Rob Jenner as my guest, and initially we were going to take one of our three manual X300 XJR’s however, we then realised that with an X350 Seminar two days later, on the same trip south, it would be more appropriate to take an X350 so we chose our Black X358 XJR.
There was an excellent turnout of Guild Members, with the Jaguar marque being well represented, and with 12 cars to the track at a time we were each allocated three 15 minute sessions. The weather was dry and bright, the track in excellent order, and we were in high company! Cars were limited to 100 decibels, which for our X358 XJR was no problem!
The day began in the Tavern with a complimentary breakfast and our pre-track briefing provided by Grade ‘S’ ARDS instructor Dave da Costa who managed to get all the vital points across whilst at the same time entertaining us!
A selection of Honda’s were available for track use, but these were all booked before we got to the head of the queue! The local Jaguar dealer had also provided some cars for test drives around the neighbouring countryside.
Before I went out on my first session Mr Jenner pointed out that if I bent the XJR I would be buying it, which was a bit daunting, but I was extremely fortunate to be accompanied on the track by ARDS instructor Dave da Costa, who was very patient, very brave, humerous and most importantly, extremely knowledgable and experienced!
The X358 XJR has amazing acceleration, but we had not had a brake check before the event, and the brakes were soon incapable of pulling the car back in the corners, so Rob and I were forced to slow down and for safety’s sake we both opted out of our third sessions, but not before I almost got it to unstick in one of the corners which caused Mr Jenner far more concern that it did me, as I was confident that the car was quite capable of getting its rear wheels under it and pulling itself out of the corner!
Rob did, however, go out as a passenger in Peter Baker’s 2.4 Mark II which appeared to take the bends at an incredible 45 degrees!
Extra laps were available later in the day for those who had not broken their cars! There was only one mishap when a TVR came off at Quarry, but fortunately no-one was hurt and though battered, the car was able to limp back to its trailer in the paddock!
The track closed at 4.30pm and we were all invited to tea at GoMW President Nick Mason’s country home, a Grade II listed Georgian-style property, formerly the home of Andrew and Camilla Parker Bowles.
As a fairly well informed petrolhead I was aware that Nick Mason has an incredibly impressive list of automotive accolades, connections and roles to his name, however Rob Jenner was in ecstacies over the thought of tea with Nick Mason, as unbeknown to me, he is Pink Floyds drummer! With a helicopter on the front lawn, Nick’s La Ferrarri parked up on the driveway, and all the Guild members exotica in the paddock, I could hardly keep my attention on the sumptuous array of cakes, which is almost unknown for me!!
On the Xclusively Jaguar Facebook page under albums (Castle Combe) and on Jeff Bloxham’s Facebook page there are lots more pictures of the day by Jeff Bloxham, including pictures of our briefing by ARDS Instructor Dave da Costa, current Guild Chairman Guy Loveridge, and future Chairman Andrew Noakes, but for Brucie’s Diary I have chosen pictures of each of the Jaguars that took to the track plus, of course, the La Ferrari!
All pictures courtesy of Jeff Bloxham Photography
24th April 2016 – Drive It Day
We all had a whole choice of events to choose from on this day, but as we had arrived home in the X358 XJR at 2am in the morning we opted for a late start and a gentle run to Belford Classic Car Show in our newly acquired Maserati Qattroporte Ottocilindri IV ….. a change from a Jaguar and a test run before we take it to Shetland at the end of May!
This show was seriously short of Jaguars, but while we were there I spotted an F-Pace in the car park – this is the first one I have seen ‘on the road’.
26th April 2016 – Edinburgh Region JEC AGM
Our local regional AGM saw a good turnout of members at The Cockatoo Bar & Restaurant Millerhill EH22 1RY and while everyone was enjoying a pre-AGM reception I did a quick tour of the car park to see who had braved the recent bad weather and brought their Jaguars out for a run!
|Not a bad turnout of Jaguars, and ranging from XJ40 to XE. The Jaguar XJ40 is a 4.0 Morocco Majestic Sovereign recently deftly prised from our very own collection by one Paul Keating, a new and very keen Edinburgh member who was duly elected to the committee at the AGM.|
|The Jaguar XE, on the left, was supplied by Xclusively Jaguar sponsors Pentland Jaguar based in Edinburgh|
Update on my newly acquired XJ40
She has had an air chamber earmarked for her for next winter – Brucie wants to know how she managed to jump the queue! Meanwhile she has sneaked into the XJ81’s air chamber – Brucie tried this last year and got kicked out, so clearly there is no justice!
She also has a nice new car cover, given to her by Rory Mackinlay of Double Six Chauffeur Limousines
|Last month Simon Goldwater of Jaguar XJ40 Enthusiasts Club (inc X300 and X308)Facebook Group decided to make her the Profile picture for the group – gosh, I was so amazed and truly honoured!|
At that time, I was still trying to decide on a name for her, and looking through the Jaguar XJ40 Enthusiasts posts I came across an XJ40 with the registration ‘OPL’ – I thought immediately, now if that was my car, it would be called ‘Opal’ – that’s what it says to me! Then I chuckled and wondered if my car is dyslexic and instead of ‘OMP’ it should read ‘OPM’ (O-P-M) or ‘Opium’ ??? ….. it would suit her – she is intoxicating, addictive and for an XJ40 she was very expensive!
My Perfect Garage
Rob Jenner has spoken a lot about his perfect garage, which he finally achieved last year after waiting 30 years, and consists of 4 cars.
I am of simpler expectations, and mine was only 2 cars, which I now have, after a 10 year wait.
Admittedly I could extend it to include an Insignia, a Magestic, a V12 Daimler Century and both XJ40 and X300 XJR’s, however, I am utterly content with my very own two pieces of Jaguar history, and fortunate that I can share Rob Jenner’s collection of unusual XJ40’s and X300’s!
An early XJ40 and a late X300 represent, in many peoples’ view, the ugly duckling to the swan. Fundamentally the same basic floor pan, drive train, suspension set up, body shape and trim, all refined over the period of a decade, and I love them both.
A 1987 3.6 XJ40 would have been the ultimate, however, they are now so rare and I am happy to settle for this 1988 MY version, as she is in perfect condition with low mileage and still has the early scuttle finisher, wing mirrors and other features that were replaced with the 1989 MY and beyond. Again, unlike many, I loved the quirky digital dash and the indicators which tried to work with the driver, but somehow never did! How many people would be aware that an early Sovereign lacks chrome finishers around the headlamps and tail lights? Very few XJ40’s from this era remain, and I feel that it is important to preserve this one in its original condition.
Meanwhile my 4.0 X330 demonstrates features unique to the 1997 MY – the last of the X300’s – the most important of which to me are the three full three-point seat belts in the rear cabin. The 1997 MY Sovereigns also had a wooden gear knob and 20 spoke alloys replaced Kiwi’s. Although not to everyones taste, the long wheel base particularly appeals to me, more so, now that I have a 3.6 XJ40 which was only produced as a swb.