Jaguars on the Island. A Brief History
by Gregory Andrachuk and Malcolm Baster
Because the Jaguar Car Club of Victoria began its life as an affiliate member club of Jaguar Clubs of North America, one of the main events in the yearly life of the club was determined to be the annual Concours d’Élégance – a staple in the programme of JCNA clubs. The purpose of these events is to provide a venue in which proud owners can display their Jaguars and have them evaluated according to strict rules of authenticity and condition. But these events normally also permit owners who do not want their cars judged to participate in the display and the camaraderie of the day. In practice this meant that, for most clubs, the major number of cars on the field were to be judged and a sprinkling of other Jaguars (known as “display only” cars), not to be judged, would be relegated to a back corner of the field, their owners most definitely feeling like second-class citizens.
At JCCV we decided that things would be quite different. Our original JOTI chair, Doug Ingram, presented the idea that our event would differ from others in that it would showcase ALL Jaguars, judged or not – and that there would be no separation between judged and non-judged cars. Ours was, as far as I know, the first JCNA affiliate to integrate the non-judged cars (called Enthusiast Class cars) into the ranks of the judged cars – so that all E-Types, judged or not, would be together, all XJ cars together, all S-Types…well, you get the idea. The result of this has been that from the outset JOTI has been the “largest annual Jaguar show in North America” (click here to see the photos of the very first JOTI in the August 2005 issue of the Island Growler). Other clubs marvel at our participation figures – while some struggle to get 20 cars on the field, we have regularly had over 150 Jaguars on the JOTI field – a stirring sight indeed!
There are many benefits to this de-emphasis of the Concours, that is, the judged, portion of the event, among them the fact that it democratizes the event, and that it allows owners of non-judged cars to see how the judging is done, what aspects of the cars are judged, and how a car should be presented so that it “shows” well. But more importantly, it encourages the participation of a wide cross-section of the club membership – since EVERY Jaguar is welcome – and it fosters a growing camaraderie among members. All of this strengthens the club itself and underlines one of its main purposes: to foster the enjoyment of our Jaguars by maintaining them in prime condition.
This pattern has continued under the leadership of subsequent JOTI chairs: Terry Sturgeon, Merritt Chisholm, Wayne Watkins, Isabel Weeks, Graham Walker and now Telse Wokersien. It has been a great success and shows every sign of continuing to be so. Now, will YOUR Jaguar be on the field at JOTI this year? If not, why not? Because EVERY Jaguar, regardless of age or condition, clean or dirty, is welcome on the field.
There is, of course, much more that makes our JOTI weekend so special. We have always started with a Friday evening welcome reception. This has proved a very popular venue for renewing old friendships and meeting visitors from other clubs in other cities.
Our Saturday evening awards banquet has also proved to be a highly successful “mixer,” as we recognize the labours of love that have been expended on the Jaguars of the various award winners.
For JOTI 2007 we organized our first “Prowl,” in this instance a winery tour of the Saanich Peninsula. There is a steadily increasing number of wineries in our area, and some very good wines, particularly whites, are now being produced. In subsequent years our Prowls have taken us along some of the most interesting and scenic roads in the local area.
The other major event of our weekend is the JCNA-sanctioned slalom, our first slalom being in 2007. This is held on the Sunday afternoon, after our brunch. It is usually held at Western Speedway, a local motor-sports venue.
Jaguars on the Island is the largest Jaguar car show in North America and we hope that all our guest and competitors enjoy the different events to the max, and take home many happy memories.