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A Jaguar XK Convert

On Tuesday 16 April I, as part of the Jaguar XK Club, had a hand in organising and attending the XK Media Launch Day. This was my first exposure to an XK event, and I was unsure what to expect. 


The classic Jaguar XKs are wildly enjoyable – I had roaring fun.


I must admit, I was not a lover of classic XKs before the event. I never once doubted their obvious beauty and sleek style but, honestly, I found myself questioning the ‘cool’ factor. 


I can, however, say with great confidence that my eyes have been opened, and I write today as a converted man. 


At 22, I am two entire generations below the target market for the event, and yet I still came away with an overwhelming buzz and excitement. The cars are fabulous. They are surprisingly quick and nimble – something that caught me off guard, and generated a fleeting moment of visceral fear. 


I got the chance to ride in three cars – 120 OTS, 120 FHC and 140 DHC. I did, indeed, get the full range of experience. Well, excluding the 150, but there is always next time. 



What I couldn’t believe was the sheer exhilaration of riding in these cars. The full throttle, edge of the seat adrenaline that, until the event, I hadn’t realised I’d been missing in life. Once I got past the surprise of a car so old moving so quickly, I began to love it. The most enjoyable riding experience I have ever had. 


Even without the high-octane thrills, I learnt more about XKs in an eight-hour period than I had done in the previous two decades. The sustainable and eco-friendly nature of classic XKs is something I was initially sceptical of – I was wrong. Of course I was wrong. 


The biggest thing I took from the day was that every preconception one may have on XKs is, most likely, completely incorrect. I went in blind, not knowing an awful lot, and my expectations were no different. I came out with full vision, eyes and mind open to a world of cars that I had previously been ignorant to. 


What I found to be most poignant, however, was the sense of community amongst XK owners. It feels special, and a community that one would love to be part of. There was no friction nor rivalry, just a genuine feeling of excitement to drive the cars around the track, and offers to take as many people who would say yes. XK owners are generous with their cars and want to share the experience. 



This leads me to the emotional highlight of the day, where James Mitchell, of Pendine Historic, gave an impassioned speech on this very fact. He stressed the importance of generosity, and the importance of ensuring XK love is as widespread and far-reaching as possible.


I can’t say I disagree.



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