Jaguar Summer Festival Brings Together Iconic Cars and Racing Legends
Weekend event was packed with huge turnout of cars, enthusiasts, and famous racers.
The Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club hosted their annual Jaguar Summer Festival on May 12 at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, England. The event reportedly became their biggest yet, with over one thousand Jaguars from past to present on display. The festival had a little bit of Jaguar’s legacy for everyone to enjoy, including rare classics, recognizable Jaguars from films and television, notable race cars, saloon cars, and the modern Invictus Games GT4 Competing F-type.
“We had high hopes for the event at Blenheim Palace and on the day the festival exceeded all our expectations,” said Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club’s General Manager James Blackwell. “It was a really special day, made perfect by the glorious sunshine and the elegantly grand surroundings that complimented perfectly, the vast array of classic Jaguars on display. We had so many great comments from the more than one thousand Jaguar owners showing their cars throughout the day.”
Guests also enjoyed an incredible motoring spectacle as a procession of over 100 Jaguars, representing almost every model and era, paraded around the roads of the Blenheim Palace parkland. The motorcade featured club members’ cars and payed particular homage to the iconic MKII saloon, a model that is celebrating 60 years since its launch.
Among the thousands of visitors were over 60 members of the Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) team. The TWR was an England-based team with no shortage of podium finishes. In 1988 their purple Jaguar XJR-9 won both the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 24 Hours of Daytona. They would repeat their Le Mans win in both 1990 with their XJR-12, and again in 1993 with the iconic XJ220. Alongside those victories came countless more podium finishes in Jaguar vehicles, making their appearance at the festival perfectly just.
The TWR display included the aforementioned purple Le Mans-winning XJR-9, an XJ220 that raced Le Mans in 1993, and even Walkinshaw’s own personal Group A specced XJ-S V-12. Over 60 former employees of TWR were reunited for the first time. The roster not only included the team’s racing drivers, as some of TWR’s engineers, mechanics, and designers were also present in the reunion.
Andy Webber, Event Manager for the Summer Jaguar Festival said, “One of the many highlights was reuniting all those incredible team members from the Tom Walkinshaw Racing team. It was a very memorable moment and we were proud, through the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club to be the conduit to that historic occasion.”
However, the racing history was not the only major draw. The festival marked the 60th anniversary of the Jaguar Mark II Saloon’s release. In celebration, a parade of over 100 cars inclusive of all years and models of Jaguars made its way around the palace grounds. On top of that, a handful of recognizable movie cars were in attendance, including the E-type driven by Sean Connery in Woman of Straw.
The festival made no doubt of Jaguar’s cult following, but also served as a reminder of the marque’s legendary history. Everything from eloquence, style, and grace to track-eating, trophy-winning racing pedigree.
Photos: Jaguar Enthusiasts Club