Blenheim Palace

Picture courtesy of Andrew Honour, W. Sussex JEC


Blenheim Palace and a Project 7 for the weekend … the stuff dreams are made of!

Chris Sturgess, of renowned Sturgess of Leicester the oldest surviving family owned Jaguar dealership in the UK, asked Rob and I if we would like to take his most prized possession to Blenheim Palace for the weekend …. how could we refuse an offer like that? We had so much fun with his Project 7 and it was very hard to give it back!!!


We stayed at Heythrop Park, along with most of the other JEC members and travelled the short distance to and from Blenheim Palace for the event.


Friday evening at Heythrop Park we enjoyed the TWR talk. We knew many of the ex-TWR employees who were present at Heythrop Park on Friday and Blenheim Palace on Sunday.

On Saturday we drove to Blenheim Palace for set-up.

Saturday evening, and back to Heythrop Park for the Gala Dinner. We shared a table with Nigel and Wendy Webb, Phil and Mrs Tucker, David Marks, Ron Siddle and Rob’s fellow auctioneer/commentator, Wayne Scott.

Rob had been asked to do the auction with Wayne Scott and it went very well, raising almost £9000, all of which went to the JEC charity for this year, which is The Invictus Games.

I had invited Win Percy to donate a copy of his signed biography WIN1 for the auction, and it fetched £100, all of which went to Invictus Games!

Many thanks Win!

Picture courtesy of Bruce Foster Photography

Bruce Foster was on hand to take pictures, so Rob and I had pictures taken of us with the Project 7, as a memento of the event.

Bruce Foster Photography


Sunday 12th May at Blenheim Palace

  • 7:30am Gates open.
  • 10am Show Opens
  • 10-10.40 – Interviews with Club Partners & Sponsors on the Big TV.
  • 10.40 – 11.20pm Interviews with Concours entrants and film car owners
  • 11.20 – Interviews with TWR alumni and members in TWR area
  • 11.46 – Lancaster Bomber flypast
  • 11.50 – Interviews with Invictus Race team drivers in courtyard
  • 12.35 –  Interviews with parade car drivers
  • 1pm – The Classic Motor Cars Ltd sponsored Commemorative Parade
  • 2pm – David Marks Seminar on history of Jaguar compact saloon cars in Courtyard
  • 2.05pm – Live screening of the Spanish Grand Prix
  • Close 4pm


A very early start on Sunday morning saw us marshalling the traders in to Blenheim Palace, after which we took care of Nigel Webb’s V12 XJ220 – the only V12 powered XJ220 in existence, aside from the original concept car which is held at Jaguar Heritage and can usually be seen in the museum at Gaydon.
We knew how highly privileged we were!
In the courtyard at Blenheim Swallows Jaguar were supporting the show with a display of racing cars (left), David Marks did a 60th anniversary presentation on the Mark 2 – development, evolution, buying and running (below left) and the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust display included a C-X75 (below).
Our friend Åsmund Lindal, editor of the Norsk Jaguar Klubb magazine, travelled as co-driver from Norway with Tor Bottelfsen in his TWR Series 3 XJ – a very rare beast in superb condition.
Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust were supporting the event with a display of cars, which included the C-X75 (above) and Tony Merrygold approached Rob and myself with the idea of presenting a special ‘Trust Trophy’ to ‘something special’, as Tony put it, anything rare or unusual that caught his eye and captured the spirit of Jaguar. This was to be the 1st of such awards to be offered annually at major events. Rob and I agreed that this was an excellent idea, so Tony went off to have a look at the cars at Blenheim. Returning some time later he said he was quite taken by a TWR Series 3 XJ, a model he had never come across before, so he wanted our thoughts and advice.
We were able to confirm the authenticity of the car and introduce him to the owner, Tor Bottolfsen, who had driven the car to Blenheim from Norway. Tony felt that this was even more well deserved, as the car was clearly fit for purpose!
Pride & Joy Prize Winners

Rob began by saying that there was no award for the best dressed couple in keeping with their car, but if there was, it would have gone to Marisca and Ronald from Holland with their Series 1 XJ – car and owners are always immaculately turned out 1970’s style!

Rob and I judged the Pride and Joy classes, and Rob then presented the prizes with Gary Robinson of Swallows Racing who sponsored the Pride & Joy and Concours d’Elegance, along with Meguiar’s

Picture courtesy of Andrew Honour, W. Sussex JEC

Following the prize-giving we rounded the day off by joining the parade in the Project 7.

Excellent weather throughout the weekend had framed the event and contributed to its success!


We stayed one more night at Heythrop Park and in the morning we drove to Jaguar Classic to say hello to Esta-jane, before heading back to Leicester to hand the Project 7 back to Chris Sturgess. Then it was time for the long journey back to Edinburgh.


Bruce Foster Photography


Sturgess of Leicester

Swallows Racing