This year’s Practical Classics Classic Car and Restoration Show was once again held at the NEC Birmingham from 23rd to 25th March.
For David Marks, Rob Jenner, and Letitia Mace the show started at the end of last year when we all sat down at David’s workshop in Nottingham and worked out what we would do this year that could better or add to the live demonstration we did at the last Restoration show.
Having thought through what was practicable, interesting and achievable, both for us and for potential home mechanics, we then had to weed out anything which could not be demonstrated within an hour, as our viewers would want to see the rest of the show in a day, not sit around watching a longwinded demonstration!
Having agreed that changing wheel bearings on X308 and X100 was the topic that best fitted the bill we then worked out all the parts and equipment we would need. These were begged and borrowed in return for promoting the various donors of the parts and equipment. We then set aside a weekend and met up to do several dummy runs in order to work out what else we may need, what might need to be pre-prepared to ensure smooth running under ‘live demonstration’ conditions, and to work out exactly how deep we could go into this topic within our desired one hour slot.
This was again all done at David’s garage in Nottingham, where we all met up and invited Patch Jobson to join us in order to film the work being done for documentary videos, timings and generally liaise with him on how best to film this in a live setting.
Finally, two days before commencement of the show we had the van hired ready for loading all the equipment, a final run through, and preparation of the X308 which was to be displayed, wheels off, as a backdrop for the demonstration on changing wheel bearings.
Leaving in convoy for setup on the day before the show began we had Rob driving the van, David Marks in his Mark 7 and me bringing up the rear in David’s XJ8. We met up with Patch Jobson at the NEC and between us we spent the rest of the day unloading the van and setting up the stand.
Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club members who visited the show will have seen the 3 cars we had on display, along with an area set aside for live demonstrations and seating for an audience.
Our raffle car for 2018, an F-type convertible, made its third appearance of the year and we are very proud to say that it helped us to sell twice the number of raffle tickets normally sold at this show, in line with the London Classic Car Show, which again bodes very well for the future! (If you cannot get to a show, tickets can be purchased online from the JEC office in Bristol – details on the club website.)
Our biggest exhibit (Both physically and in terms of popularity) was a Mark 7 which belongs to Jaguar Specialist David Marks from Nottingham. The car attracted a host of visitors, many of whom commented that their father, uncle etc had once owned one, and shared with us the memories it evoked.
Our third exhibit was an X308 which was raised up on axle stands with the front wheels removed to reveal the hubs which were the subject of our live demonstrations.
F-type picture above courtesy of Peter Baker, Retro-speed.
For the duration of the three days over which the show runs, live demonstrations by Jaguar Specialist David Marks, took our audience though the process of changing wheel bearings on X308 (XJ8 saloon 1998MY-2002MY) and X100 (XK8/R 1997MY-2005MY).
These live demonstrations, lasting approximately 1 hour each, were repeated twice every day over the 3 day period of the show and judging by the size of the audiences proved very popular. Comments and discussion were invited after the demonstrations.
The Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club had been nominated for 5 awards, namely:
Outstanding Club Magazine of the Year
Best Car Club Contribution to Charity
Outstanding Car Club Event
National Car Club Ambassador of the Year
Best Live Demonstration on a Car Club Stand at the Show
and of these we walked away with two of them and were highly commended for another !!
In acknowledgement of our efforts at raising over £100,000 for The Prince Philip Trust via The Windsor Jaguar Festival and our customary annual raffle car, we were awarded Best Car Club Contribution to Charity.
In acknowledgement of Nigel Thorley’s contribution to the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club and the Jaguar community in general, our editor of more than 30 years was awarded National Car Club Ambassador of the Year.
Awards for the Practical Classics Classic Car and Restoration Show included a new award which was entitled ‘Best Live Demonstration on a Car Club Stand at the Show’. The inclusion of this award came about after the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club set up a live demonstration on changing V8 top timing chain tensioners at the show last year. The judges stated that they were so impressed that had there been an award for this, we would have won it!
Having pioneered live demonstrations at the show, many others copied our idea this year, so we were a little disappointed to only received a ‘Highly Commended’ for this years demonstration. We hadn’t set out to win an award, merely to education Jaguar owners, but a recognition of our pioneering efforts would have been appreciated.
The awards were presented at a dinner on Saturday evening which was attended by club representatives Rob Jenner, Letitia Mace, Colin Manconi, Patch Jobson, David Randall and Tom Coggins. Rob Jenner accepted the awards on behalf of the JEC and Nigel Thorley.
Without the support of volunteers and sponsors, these events could not take place, and over the 3 days of the show the JEC team consisted of JEC Director Rob Jenner, Events team members Colin and Michael Manconi, Patch Jobson and Letitia Mace, Volunteer JEC member David Randall and JEC Office Apprentice Tom Coggins.
David Randall and Michael Manconi did a sterling job selling raffle tickets for the duration of the event, assisted on Saturday by Kay Searles and Andy Webber. The £3532 worth of raffle tickets they sold stands testament to how hard they worked, talking to many people and encouraging them to contribute to a very worthy cause.
Directors, Peter Purdom and Graham Searle, joined us on the Friday and Sunday respectively.
Tom Coggins, our new office apprentice, signed up no fewer than 57 new readers for the weekly newsletter, after Rob Jenner had set him a target of 50 new sign ups!
Colin Manconi signed up 21 new members, plus 7 renewals for lapsed members.
David Marks set up and delivered his live demonstration on changing X308 and X100 wheel-bearings six times in three days in a truly professional and untiring manner, without once faltering.
JEC Director, Rob Jenner, who was stand manager for the entire event, introduced the demonstrations, acted as David’s assistant and commentated as required.
Patch Jobson provided video backdrops for the entire event, kitted David and Rob out with roving microphones and filmed each demonstration to provide live-streaming of the demonstrations at the NEC and online.
Letitia Mace was put in charge of keeping the cars clean and approaching members and potential members with parts catalogues kindly provided by SNG Barratt.
Just as importantly, we were supported by the following sponsors, who made this event possible for us.
Scott Brown Cars – who provided the two ton press which was a vital part of our demonstrations
SNG Barratt – who provided all the new parts required to demonstrate changing X308 and X100 wheel-bearings.
Eurojag Jaguar Spares – who provided used hubs and subframes, also a vital ingredient in our demonstration
Strongman Tools – who provided the vehicle lift for David to work on at the show
Blackstar Leisure – who provided sound, lighting, video etc.