Central Ohio Club Stages 36th Concours
By D. Bryan Williams
North Central Region Director
The Jaguar Association of Central Ohio, JACO, held its 36th annual Concours d'Elegance on July 12 in conjunction with the Arthritis Foundation. The Concours is part of the “show within a show” event. The show site is the Dublin Metro Center, a complex of office buildings and hotels in a park-like setting including a small lake. On Friday night, a variety of makes and models, including Pontiac GTOs, Ferraris, Aston Martins, Corvettes, Bricklin, and even a hot rod with a painting of Marilyn Monroe under the hood, (bonnet) compete for 6-foot-high trophies. A large stage is set up for entertainment provided by The British Invasion - a band that plays Beatles music - on Friday evening and oldies group DJ and the Dozers on Saturday evening. There is plenty of food vendors selling brats, pulled bar-b-que pork sandwiches, real lemonade, my personal favorite large cream puffs, and many more items.
Jim Baker, Concours Chairman, arranges each year a very unusual central meeting place at the Buckeye Buggy. This converted school bus is painted in The Ohio State University colors and sports painting of Brutus Buckeye, the school mascot; Woody Hays, the highly successful former coach and a list of Ohio State Heisman Trophy winners, including the only two-time winner, Archie Griffin. (Sorry Michigan fans, no maize and blue here.)
Jaguars have their own grassy area just across the street from the other marques and very close to the host hotel. Many out-of-town Concours participants use Friday afternoon to clean the road dirt (or trailer dust) off their Jaguars and put the cover on for the evening. This leaves the remainder of the evening to meet old friends at the Buckeye Buggy, sample a burger or funnel cake, enjoy the music and marvel over the vast variety of great automobiles. Concours registration documents were available for pick up and received a goody bag which was a very useful duffle with the Arthritis Foundation logo.
An early wake-up call is in order to put the final touches and Q-Tip cleaning on the Jaguar contenders. George Keller, the Concours Chief Judge, and long-time Jaguar expert, sounds the train whistle, yes, a real railroad locomotive whistle, signaling the judges to gather at the Bus for lunch and final instructions.
One very interesting Jaguar was an opalescent silver blue Mk 10. The owner, James Rieder, Powell, Ohio, said his aunt owned the massive car and after a few minor scrapes with the side of her garage she decided to sell the Mk 10. Mr. Rieder immediately stepped in to make sure the Blue Beauty stayed in the family. And I can't think of a better use of the Jaguar than as a wedding car for both of his daughters. He proudly displays wedding photos of his daughters on the picnic tables in the back seats. Jim Baker entered his new acquisition, a 1975 silver XJ6. George and Jo Keller displayed their two-tone Mk V and their XK120 white coupe. Looking inside the coupe, you could see the period racing helmet that was signed by Norman Dewis while on his visit to the 2008 AGM in Pittsburgh. JACO club president, Glenn Henson, showed his 1997 Neiman Marcus edition. Only 50 of these cars with special options were produced. Graham and Margaret Stokes from Ontario, Canada arrived Thursday to make sure their 1998 XJR would be exceptionally prepared for the Saturday Concours. Paul and Carol Neidert, of the Jaguar Club of Ohio, JCO, left their 2000 XKR at home in favor of their 1987 Cobalt Blue XJ6. Mike Meyer, JCO president, showed his 2000 XK8 in black with black interior.
After the scores were tallied by Jo Keller, Judy Baker, and Carol Neidert, very attractive golden loving cups were presented to the winners by Jim Baker and George Keller. A final touch capping a great show was when all participants were invited to enjoy beef BBQ, pork BBQ, corn pudding and macaroni and cheese prepared by City BBQ and served by JACO members.
I have already made my hotel reservations for the July 11, 2009 show. This entire weekend is too good to miss. Also, it's a great feeling to experience such an enjoyable event and know you have helped such a worthwhile cause as the Arthritis Foundation of Central Ohio.