Dusky-skinned men clad only in loincloths gathered around the flat slab of rock in the mountain’s side. The day had been warm, but night’s chill began to wrap itself around them. One of them leaned closer to the fire. It was spring and things were different then. More rain fell from the sky; the rivers flowed year-round. One man, oblivious to the bite in the air, furrowed his brow and scratched intently upon the wall of rock. As he did he spoke in gutteral tones, his story one of courage. The picture was crude but effective: a man facing down a spotted cat with a large head and massive jaws. This was the first jaguar club of central Arizona.
Shortly after that, Jay Ryan became a member.
Actually that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Jay has only been a member since the early 1980's. A few years ago he researched the club history discovered that the club dates back to the mid-seventies.
Our early history is a bit sketchy. We unearthed an an album full of faded pictures from 1977 and 1978 — pictures of guys with long sideburns, ‘fros, and lots of polyester, and some great shots of Jaguars. Bob Beian owned what looks to be a Series 2 E type. A gentleman with obvious good taste, John Harrison, owned a white Mark 1 with red interior, just like mine ... if it had an interior.
In 1977, Robert E. Beian of Phoenix received correspondence from JCNA indicating that two years earlier a Phoenix group had expressed an interest in forming a club. March 31, 1978, a affiliation agreement was signed between Mr. Beian and Frederick S. Horner of the Jaguar Clubs of North America (JCNA). Less than a month later, on April 23rd, Phoenix hosted 25 Jaguars and their owners at its first Concours d’Elegance.
The JCCA was incorporated on June 4, 1979.
From what I could glean from old membership lists, concours programs, and the photo album, ours has always been a small, tight-knit club. Membership has fluctuated between forty to over one hundred, but of those, between twenty and thirty are die-hards, making it to most meetings.
JCCA achievements of note include Bud Bourassa’s XK150 ranking fourth in class nationally in 1992 and Dennis Eynon's trifecta -- his series 3 E won it's JCNA class in 1996, his Series 1 took continental honors in 1998, and for 1999, he won with a Series 2.
Our newsletter was ranked third in the Bound Magazine Format in 1992, second in 1993, and first in 1994, with Mark Stephenson also receiving Editor of the Year honors that year. In 2002, Mark received top honors for JCNA website content and the JCCA was judged to have the third best website overall in North America.
2003, Phoenix was honored to host the JCNA Challenge Championship organized by Dennis Eynon. A grand affair it was. Dennis set a new standard for CCs, doing such a good job that he headed the 2005 and 2007 events and was elected to a two-year term as President of JCNA that ended March 2008.
In 2001, I received the following e-mail from founding member Bob Beian:
"I just ran across your web-site for the JCCA. I'm glad to see that the club is still growing strong after all of these years. Your history of the club write-up indicated that I owned one E-type. Actually I owned about a dozen E-types and one XK-120 and won first place in several concours in Arizona and San Diego with several of them, but mostly with my 1971 E-Type V12. I was president of the club for a couple of years during which we designed the logo you still use and had them made in England. "We held our annual concours in Phoenix, Tucson, Prescott. It was great to just be able to look at all of the wonderful Jaguars entered. Although, at that time there weren't all that many entered. Good luck with the club. Bob Beian"
—Mark Stephenson, JCCA