Rob Jenner and I were both involved with the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club stand at the Practical Classics Restoration Show which was held at the NEC over 3 days at the end of March this year. This is an extension by one day from previous years when the show was over 2 days.
This year the JEC wanted to try something radically different for the show instead of the usual static display of cars, so with Colin Manconi’s X100 XKR and David Marks Prototype XJ40 as a backdrop we opted for a live demonstration by David Marks on changing V8 top timing chain tensioners and water pumps, the display cars were therefore relevant to the demonstration, one being powered by a V8 engine and the other belonging to David Marks.
Both cars attracted a lot of positive attention, and the live demonstrations proved extremely successful, during which a large crowd gathered around the stand, inevitably helping us to achieve record raffle ticket sales and new members signing up.
In fact, the live demonstrations were so professional that they were commented upon by the NEC organisers who apologised for not including a ‘live demonstration’ category in their awards, which apparently we would have won had there been one. This is now being considered for future shows!
JEC member, Patch Jobson of Blackstar Live Productions, from Devon came forward with the offer of setting up all the requirements for communicating the live demos to the audience. He provided a sound system, cameras and necessary rigging, plus large display screens where the demonstration could be seen by those unable to get a seat close enough to the action.
During the demonstrations Patch Jobson also provided a live feed which was viewable on You-tube.
The 2 chosen demonstrations (top timing chain tensioners and water pumps) were repeated each day over the 3 days of the show, and between demonstrations the screens displayed details of what was happening on the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club stand, for the duration of the show, along with details of those who had sponsored this event with the provision of parts and services, viz: SNG Barratt (new replacement parts), Eurojag (engine and broken parts), David Marks (expertise and advise), Ken Jenkins (specialist tools), Patch Jobson (camera, sound, and recording equipment).
Everyone was very impressed by how professional David Marks’ demonstrations were, to the point where it was assumed that he did this on a regular basis, when in fact this was the first time he had demonstrated the work, apart from a weekend spent practicing in the workshop in Nottingham (with no audience, save Rob and myself) where Rob Jenner and I had the privilege of working with him to set everything up. David Marks is nothing if not thorough in his approach to everything.
Members from local JEC regions manned the raffle car stand selling tickets to win our dark blue XK 5.0 convertible in aid of our chosen charity for this year, The Prince Philip Trust.
Many thanks to Meguiar’s for providing cleaning products, ensuring that the Jaguar XK raffle car looked its best throughout the show!
The JEC hope to develop this new idea further, so watch this space and keep your eye open for future NEC show announcements.