2015 Concours d'Elegance Shines

17 Mar 2015 3:42 PM | Anonymous

The annual event brought out a plaza-filled array of Jaguars in downtown Chandler, sparkling under bright sunshine and temperature in the 80s.

Here are 41 pictures from the concours and dinner.

And here's a fun video Lynn Brown's sister Linda Anderson produced.

The judges drew the very slim difference between two spectacular E-Types to name the Best of Show, handing the trophy to David and Robin Levy. David has gone to incredible lengths to make sure his 1962 coupe is absolutely perfect, right down to manufacturing his own labels for the clutch and brake cylinders.

The post-show dinner at the Crowne Plaza San Marcos capped the day with a record turnout and an excellent response to the silent auction.

Many thanks to event chairman Phil Parker and a crowd of volunteers who pulled it off.

Next day: a handful of Jag performance fans turned out for the "slalom" section (actually an autocross) before declaring the weekend a success. Mike Silverman picks up the story:

Chandler, AZ – The Sunday morning after the March 15 JCCA Concours offered those intrepid few the chance to put their kittys through their paces on the low-speed handling course known as the JCNA Slalom.  While just four Jags were entered, all four are currently at the top of the JCNA National Slalom standings, each in 1st place in their car's class.  Truth is, that's because this was the first officially sanctioned Slalom event of the year. The participants can stand atop the podium for at least two weeks, until the Virginia Jaguar Club takes on "the Cone Zone," and maybe even until May 3 when New England gets a shot.

The quartet turnout indicates most JCCA members are missing out on the one chance they have all year to improve their driving skills and learn via seat-of-the-pants experience the handling characteristics and capabilities of their Jaguars. The low-speed slalom (most cars never go past 2nd gear) offers the opportunity in a safe, one car at a time format to summon your inner Walter Mitty, strap on a helmet and have a go through the cones at Chandler's Hamilton High School parking lot, which is safe, smooth and larger than most skidpads at the racing schools ... and a whole lot cheaper.

The setup:  you get five timed runs through a series of orange traffic cones, from a standing start to a standing stop. There are three loops – hourglass, figure-eight and oval – which you navigate in your Jag and learn the sequence. It's pretty simple, but also pretty easy to forget what type of lap you're on if you get distracted.  Take my word for it ... I bobbled my XF paddle-shift and ended up doing four loops instead of three.  Oops.

Joe Capano stands his Seafrost XK8 on its nose in the stop box. The brake lights are working... overtime! Photo: Mike Silverman

Two of the participants were from the British Columbia club, and Dave Frisby posted the low time of the day in his black XJS convertible, a blistering 46.504 seconds, which would be good enough to finish just 5/100ths of a second out of 2nd place last year in Class J.  He admitted to this admirer "I've been doing some autocrossing."  His fellow Canadian club member Barry McCallan put up a notable 49.359 sec. time in his XJ40, impressive for a heavy 6-cylinder saloon in Class F.  I think he told me his other autocross car was a Lotus Seven...

JCCA member Joe Capano finished 2nd at the slalom, with a nice 48.923-second run in his XK8 roadster.  That's just 2 seconds off a podium finish in last year's Class K, pretty good for a convertible, which is much less stiff than the XK8 coupes that dominate that class. Then there was yours truly, whose 2009 XF finished dead-ass last with a best run of 50.135. That's more than 3 seconds off the 2014 Class M winner's time. In my defense, I've previously done nicely using the 4-speed manual in my '68 E-Type (47.68 sec).  However, the paddle shifters on the XF (as I found out mid-course) are not stationary, but rotate with the steering wheel.  Turns out this klutz was shifting up to 3rd gear and bogging in the corners when I thought I was downshifting to 1st gear. Next year I'm just letting the automatic do its thing, I swear.

The moral of the story:  Don't sleep in the morning after the concours, bring your kitty to the "track" and have some fun!

Phil Parker supervises the starting line as Dave Frisby's Jaguar XJS leaps off its haunches; Joe Capano lurks in the background awaiting his turn on the course. Photo: Mike Silverman

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