at the SILVERSTONE CLASSIC
Being a fan of E-types and an owner of one, I was determined that I had to do something special to mark the 50th anniversary of these iconic cars, so in the early part of the year I looked around for what I thought would be the best E-type event and it seemed to be the Silverstone Classic where they had all sorts of Jaguar related things planned.
With the support of my ever-patient wife we booked a cottage nearby and planned our holidays around this event. I decided to carry out a thorough check of the car before I went, but having been to the Goodwood Revival meeting in the car in 2007 I had faith in the reliability of the car, however this time I had my wife and kids with me, and as any sane man who owns an old car knows this puts a whole different perspective on the prospect of a breakdown so everything was checked and re-checked.
I converted the car to electronic ignition for reliability. I had already up rated the radiator and cooling fans and I made a point of replacing the core plugs in the engine. I then drove the car up to the Jaguar Enthusiasts Club’s 50th E-type bash at the Spirit Group showroom. Needless to say I had nothing to worry about. The following day I drove her to the Terenure Car Show, so up and down to Wexford four times in forty eight hours gave her a good testing.
The day before we set off the biggest issue was fitting everything into the car, but with very careful packing and despite the fact that the car is a 2+2 (very handy for kids) we managed all the family paraphernalia for a two week holiday. The day dawned and off we went to Rosslare for the ferry, everything went smoothly except for the weather (typical) but we got to our destination in Banbury at about six that evening. We had a few days to settle in and do family friendly things.
On the Friday of the Silverstone event at about eleven o’clock and despite some confusion with the overzealous security we got into the race circuits display area. Most people have probably read about the event in the Classic Car press at this stage.
On the Saturday afternoon we headed out onto the circuit to take part in the parade lap for the Guinness World Record attempt. They verified 767 cars on the track but I know that there were plenty of cars there that were not registered on the circuit that day due to some confusion over registration. Taking part in the parade was quite a proud moment for me and I felt very privileged to be there. Sadly, I saw no other cars from Ireland at the event and I thought that I had come a long way but there were cars there from as far away as Switzerland, Mexico and Australia.
There was plenty to see and do with historic racing, live music and other non-E-type activities. Overall the event was a huge success and it was good to be part of the celebrations. It was great to see all the famous E-types and Jaguar celebrities like Norman Dewis. I will remember it for many years to come.
We spent another week driving around England in the car and all four of us visited many sites, the most amusing being the reaction from people in their Zafiras and Mondeos as we crawled through the traffic to get into Legoland, Windsor. We even got as far as the Battle of Britain memorial in Dover. We covered approximately two thousand miles and the car performed faultlessly all the way mixing with M25 traffic jams and blasting along the motorway for mile after mile. The ability of the Jaguar E-type continually delights me and I look forward to my next road trip.
The only failure was the Speedo cable that had the good manners to wait until we departed the ferry in Rosslare on the way home and in the rain of course. Two weeks later we went to the Powerscourt Picnic and won a prize, chuffed with that car I am…
By ALEX HYNES