Report and pictures by Pim S….. (Holland)
The event was first organised last year, around the same time: late September.
2015 saw a rather informal meeting of around 40 – mainly Jaguars old and new – classics followed by a brief but fast rally through the German-Dutch border region.
2016 had similarities: same venue, same time of year, but….
There were differences aplenty: while Jaguars were still in the majority, many other brands were represented. This ranged from Triumph to Rover, and from Rolls Royce to Morgan along with exotics like a Lola T-70 track car (driven as a regular road car!), and an AC Ace. The event’s scale was different, too: over 150 cars present!
The final difference was the weather: 26+ degrees Celsius and an almost cloudless sky made a one-day event feel like a small vacation. The event took place in the grounds of Burg (Castle) Zelem, the Arden family house for several centuries. A brief tour of the House was available for the history buffs amongst the visitors.
A large Marquee provided shade, sandwiches and beverages, and the Moers CC regional cricket team had been recruited to add even more Britishness to this day out.
Jaguar representation covered many models and years: half a dozen XKs, probably a dozen E-Types, MkIIs, a C-Type replica, and virtually every XJ generation ever built, including two wonderful XJ-Cs.
“Ardenised” Jaguars were present as well, of course, including some of Jochen Arden’s most iconic creations. Two Arden classics were shown prominently, next to the marquee: the Arden AJ1, a highly modified ‘80s saloon in black and white and my personal favourite: the XJ-S based, V12 powered AJ3 Shooting Brake. Both are low-mileage cars, with only a 4-digit number on the AJ3’s odometer!
It was not just the classics, though: a facelift XK and Arden’s current showpiece (a modified and optimised F-Type) were among the other stars of the show.
With Zelem being mere miles from the Dutch border the audience was quite mixed: probably ¼ of the crowd being Dutch, with the occasional Brit, some Belgians and a visitor from Luxembourg who had driven all the way up in his D-Type (replica?).