JagWar Stories ©


..... WebLog Anecdotes and Other Reminiscences



A Blast from the Past - 1988

Here is a 'Blast from the Past' - a bunch of Jaguar pals got together in July 1988 at Sudden Valley, WA for an impromptu gathering including their cars. From left to right: Jag XK 150 OTS, ('Crazy Bruce' Ford), Jag Mk. II Sedan, (Patrick and Joan Stewart, organizers of the annual Vancouver ABFM), Jag 'E'-type, before restoration, (Bruce MacCormack), Jag XJ6C, (The late, great 'Motoring Mouth' Mike Powley) and finally Jag XJS Coupe, (Bruce MacCormack).
Boy, did we party in those days, (but that was almost thirty years ago!).


2011 - Fifty Years of the Jaguar E-type


In this short but entertaining video shot by Abigail Humphries, Philip Porter with assistance from Clarence the cat reminds us that 2011 is the fiftieth anniversary of this iconic motor car.

Philip says in the E-type magazine: " I am certain the 'E50 factor' will have a serious impact on the E-type market over the next couple of years. To explain that, I believe that the 50th anniversary celebrations in 2011 will bring the E-type so much publicity and acclaim that all values will increase and some will rocket."



European Car Day at the Market Depot: Downtown Bellingham, WA on July 29, 2007saw the first all European Classic Car Show organized by NW European Autoworks. There were over seventy European cars in this beautiful, recently renovated building.The E-type got special covered parking alongside such notables as you see here like the Mercedes Gullwing and Holly Hollenbeck's pristine primrose OTS. In the background is Ron Jepson's fine Rolls Royce Corniche.Of course many other British, German and Italian models were on show. Local Bellingham residents, used to seeing the Depot as a Farmer's Market on other days, were very pleasantly surprised and word quickly got around so we had many visitors by early afternoon. I'm also proud to report that our E-type received the 'Best of British' award!


The Mysterious Story of QD 4360: Some time back, my friend and then neighbor, Reggie Collins, generously presented me with a set of London County Council, (UK) license plates which he proudly proclaimed had at one time, belonged to a very well known person in Los Angeles. Reggie, who had long retired from the Hollywood movie industry also had part ownership of Grand Prix Racing Center, whose patrons included such stars as Steve McQueen and the original owner of those plates, Mel Torme! Apparently, Mr. Torme had owned at one time or another, three different SS 100 Jaguars. But which of these cars had used those particular plates, was the question. 'Q' series plates are listed as special issues to foreign visitors by the LCC, so I contacted Michael Worthington-Williams, a well known UK historian of classic motorcycles and cars, who also works with Bonhams, the auctioneers and sponsors of such events as the Goodwood Revival. Michael told me that amazingly all LCC records were lost in 1977 when they were transported to Swansea for an impossible process of computer data compilation! No answers there.

Back to Reggie who remembered that the SS 100 in question had blown its' original engine and that since no identical engine was available anywhere, the only alternative was to fit a Mk V engine. During that process, Reggie said that the QD 4360 plates were removed from the car and kept at the garage. With that new information I could now call on my friend Holly Hollenbeck, a leading expert and SS100 Registrar for the Classic Jaguar Association. Holly was able to identify the car as #18905 which also had an original UK plate: DXU 65. This car was also featured on the album cover "Mel Torme at the Crescendo" with DXU 65 as the license plate. Holly, who had been friends with Mel and his wife Ali for many years told me that the car's present owner lived in Wisconsin. I contacted the current owner to give him the good news that I was in possesion of part of the history of his car and would be presenting him with the plates as soon as possible. Three weeks after I had shipped the plates, I decided to contact him to insure the plates had arrived safely. He said that they had, but he had been just too busy to acknowledge their arrival!
Well, just as the late Shah of Iran remarked as he hastily exited Tehran: "Ingratitude is the prerogative of the people".

Robin Craig

All British Softball Picnic held at Sudden Valley, Bellingham attracted lots of cars

On a hot sunny Sunday in mid August, over forty British Classic Sports Cars arrived from B.C.and Washington State to participate in a really fun event which included a team softball game, swimming in a private pool and plenty of good things to eat. Local residents came in some numbers to view all the beautiful cars which were looked over by our local Security Staff. The game came to a sudden but temporary halt when the mobile beer cart arrived! Future plans are for the Northwest XK and E-Type Clubs and their guests to use this occasion as an annual get together.





This picture was taken at the Seattle ABFM back in 1998 and was featured at one time on the JDRC/NWA website, both as a gallery picture but also as a 'background' to several of the web pages. I certainly appreciated Steve Averill using my E-Type for this purpose so I decided to reproduce the effect for my Jaguar Blog! The problem is that neither Steve nor I have any idea as to the identity of this gentleman. Is he a club member or just someone passing by?

Send me a note at note if you think you know the answer!




"A Joyful Encounter"


© Bruce MacCormack, 2001



Classic British cars have that infuriating way of reminding you, just when you think everything is properly sorted, that calamity can strike when you least expect! This is what happened to us as we were returning on a Sunday morning after the Heritage Classic Concours in Canada and still some way from the border. The fuel pump on our silver blue '66 E-Type modified FHC decided to depart this universe with no hope of return.(This fuel pump is dead ..... this is a dead fuel pump ...... apologies to Monty Python)

Having just determined this was indeed the case, after a highly technical and sophisticated review of the situation, (tapping aggressively on the body casing of the pump with a blunt instrument!), you can imagine our relief when who should pull over behind us were our friends, Don and Joyce Joy. They were also on their way home, trailering their gorgeous red E-Type OTS

Don immediately made the generous suggestion that I drive his car to Sudden Valley, while he followed with our car on the trailer. By dint of first gear and the starter motor, (thank goodness we had a new battery), we were able to get the coupe aboard the trailer and off we went! It was a beautiful sunny morning and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to drive the Joy's OTS through quiet country back roads to Sudden Valley, where we all arrived without further incident. Patricia and I were deeply grateful to Don and Joyce for helping us out and being at the right place at the right time.

The Joys and the MacCormacks have been friends for a lot of years and more often than not, Don and I have found ourselves placed next to each other on the field at the same event, although never competing directly in the same class at a sanctioned concours meet. We have shared those last feverish moments of vehicle preparation prior to 'rags down', helping each other out as necessary, while engaging in lighthearted banter. I often tease Don with that well worn chestnut: "Don, if you ever see MY car on a trailer, you'll know its' been stolen!"

So there was one moment during this whole fuel pump experience that will always bring a smile to my face when I recall it. Don had just cinched down the last strap with my E-Type settled safely on his trailer prior to starting the journey back to Sudden Valley. He looked up with that special Don Joy twinkle of humor in his eye and said: " Well Bruce, who's got the Trailer Queen now?"


Getting to the heart of it'

(Reprinted from CXKJR/CCMGC 'Classical Gas' Magazine - November/December 2002)

A mechanic was removing a cylinder head from the motor of a Jaguar when he spotted a renowned heart surgeon in his shop. The heart surgeon was waiting for the service manager to come and take a look at his recently purchased beautiful new cat. The mechanic shouted across the garage "Hey Doc, can I ask you a question?"

The mechanic straightened up, wiped his hands on a rag and asked "So Doc, look at this engine. I can also open it up, take valves out, fix them, put in new parts and when I finish this will work just like a new one. So how come I get paid a pittance and you get the really big money when you and I are doing basically the same work?"

The surgeon paused and smiled, and leaning over to the mechanic, whispered "Try doing it while it's running!"

Click here to go to Bruce's Jaguar Blog


©Copyright 2001 - 2003 Bruce MacCormack. All rights reserved. Website by Cascadia Consulting, LLC