Beaulieu’s first ever Simply Jaguar saw 319 Jaguars of all ages and marques drive into the National Motor Museum grounds for an impressive launch show. Together with glorious sunshine, visitors were treated to a display of these treasured machines, ranging from 1940s classics up to the latest Jaguar models.
Fans of Jaguar’s sports cars were spoilt for choice with the varied line-up. Examples of the XK120, XK140 and XK150 represented the legendary post-war XK range, while its modern day namesakes also featured heavily, with much-loved XK8s, nearly-new XKRs and the latest F-type. E-types were crowd favourites, with straight-six and V12 versions displayed in a range of vibrant colours, while coupe, convertible and targa-top examples of the later XJ-S attracted interest.
Jaguar’s high performance saloons also made up a large proportion of the display. The oldest car of the show, a 1949 3½ litre Mk V looked impressive in its silver paintwork, while an immaculate 1970 XJ6 4.2-litre Series I only had 34,000 miles on the clock. Almost every variation of the ubiquitous Mk II was present, from a delightfully original gold 2.4-litre example to a Mk II with a 4.0 V8 Jaguar engine, last-of-the-line 240s and 340s, and even examples of the Daimler V8 250 and Jaguar 420 derivatives. Also on show were modern Jaguar X-type, S-type and XF saloons.
Club stands were an important part of the show, with the Dorset, West Sussex and Isle of Wight branches of the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club all putting on a strong display of members’ cars, while the Jag-lovers enthusiasts’ group also took its place in the line-up.
Enthusiasts looking to take home their very own Jaguar could have chosen a 1966 Series 1 E-type roadster for sale. A fully restored left-hand-drive car, offers in the region of £80,000 were offered for this immaculate grey machine. For Jaguar fans whose pockets were not quite so deep, a variety of miniature Jaguar models were on sale, while visitors and owners could browse a selection of trade stands.
Visitors and owners had the opportunity to vote for their favourite car of the show in the People’s Choice Award. The overall winner was Steve Varden from Wolverhampton with his supercharged XKR-S. Although this special order roadster had only covered 20,000 miles, Steve has worked hard to personalise it.
Steve said: “I just like to tweak it and make it different. I’ve changed the supercharger pulley, the exhaust and the air intake, and it has been lowered and all chrome removed.”
Steve was presented with a Beaulieu trophy and a special Autoglym prize by Beaulieu’s Events Assistant Reuben Rhodes-Leader.
Runners-up in the People’s Choice Award were Malcolm Watson with his race-prepared 1963 E-type low drag coupe, featuring striking aerodynamic bodywork, and John and Helen Bowen of Shropshire with their XJ8 Sovereign. Celebrating their first wedding anniversary, the happy couple had adorned their XJ8 with the ribbons from their wedding car.
The other high scorers in the vote joined the top three for a cavalcade through the grounds of the National Motor Museum. Trevor Whyte drove his 1957 D-type replica, which is used regularly for motorsport events, while Graham Woodberry’s Daimler Sovereign, Neil Blaxill’s highly modified Mk II, Stephen Hayman’s XJ6, Clint Watson’s replica E-type lightweight, Ryan Upward’s Mk II 2.4 and Henry Fryer’s XJR 3.6 all joined the cavalcade.