Story and Photos by Dave Light
The Jaguar Club Of North America (JCNA) gathers every even-year for an event called the Western States. Any of the dozens of regional clubs west of the Mississippi River are invited to host this event. The event is open to every JCNA member in the US. For 2014 the event is hosted jointly by the Southern Colorado Jaguar Club and Rocky Mountain Jaguar Club.
Activities include a JCNA time-and-distance rallye, JCNA certified slalom, JCNA certified concours and, of course gathering for food and grog along the way. All these events (except eating) offer participants points towards nation championship in each of these regimens. Of course there is time built into each Western States to allow attendees a chance to do some sightseeing and discover what makes living in each region special.
The 2014 event was located in the city of Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA. Located at 6050 feet (1850 meter) the elevation takes some acclamation for people and cars alike. When we arrived the temps were in the high 80°F (mid 20s C) range and clear sunny skies horizon to horizon. Three days later we had a late summer shower and temps dropped almost 30 degrees, blustery conditions for the outdoor activities. The photos show the progress from clear to overcast conditions, with showery conditions for the concours show.
We seemed to go from highlight to highlight as the week progressed. We arrived Tuesday and took care of the XKs Unlimited display duties and registration for the week's events. Wednesday was the T-D rallye for the participants and we opted for the self guided tour of the area covering 60 miles of our surroundings. Garden of the Gods National Park, Pikes Peak National Park, Manitou Springs historical mining town, and on and on. We didn't take photos all along the way due to a baulking and ultimately dead camera.
Thursday shone brightly and after tracking down a new camera we made our way to the slalom site to shoot a few pics. The heat was still noticeable as we tramped around the tarmac in the unshaded parking lot of Cheyenne Mountain State Park, a few miles from the host hotel. For us another highlight was the Thursday evening dinner reception, sponsored by XKs Unlimited, at the WW II National Air Museum. Not only is the museum an interesting array of period memorabilia and history of major air battles from the European and Pacific theaters, but, also aircraft on display. Located in a nearby hanger is WestPac, a site for complete restoration of surviving 'war birds' of the era.
Friday morning was cool and blustery with showers on and off, the concours went forward as planned despite the conditions. Nearly 50 cars turned out, as with a lot of US concours the events are dominated by late model daily drivers. We saw 5 very nice E-Types in the mix and four XK-series as well, even one MK IV.
Friday night was filled with awards dinner banquet noting all those placing in the points in the rallye, slalom, and concours. Although the reason to gather is centered around the cars, it's the people and good times that are important. The clubs represent over 100 members and were a thoroughly delightful group to be with. Many of the cars in the area are driven seasonally with very few garage queens. It's great to see so many owners enjoying motoring in their classics and in each others company.