41 Coventry Cats Compete in Pittsburgh at Vintage Grand Prix
By D. Bryan Williams
North Central Region Director
Jaguar Club of Pittsburgh's (JCOP) Concours d'Elegance has become a popular weekend in July for JCOP members and out-of-town guests. The concours is held in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix (PVGP), a successful charity event and the only vintage races in the country still run on city streets.
The 2008 edition of JCOP's Concours d'Elegance July 18-19 started with a Friday night dinner held at Edgewood Country Club in Pittsburgh's East Suburbs. This year's display of Jaguars in the circle in front of the country club's main entrance included Jennifer Weaver and Scott Drab's beautiful, cream-colored XK120. Traveling several miles from Irwin, PA with the convertible top down, Jennifer arrived without so much as one hair out of place.
JCOP's Don and Barbara Johnson arrived early in their pale primrose series 2 E-Type and helped Candy Williams place the PVGP programs and mementos provided by Jaguar Cars at each place setting. Lois and Bob Barbero of Jaguar Club of Ohio, after a short tour of the area, took a place in the circle with their XJR.
The cocktail hour was a time to catch up with old friends and make new ones. Guests then had the opportunity to plan their strategy for winning their favorite silent auction items. They also could watch for themselves on the slide show of the 50th AGM in Pittsburgh, the 2008 Corvettes & Jaguar show at Linden Hall, and the 2008 Susquehanna Valley and Columbus Concours. The excellent dinner was followed by a JCNA 50th anniversary cake commissioned by Linda Drago.
This year's silent auction, emceed by JCOP's own Gary Kincel, had a very "spirited" group of bidders vying for over 20 items. The Jaguar "Fast" long sleeve T-Shirt was hotly contested with the winning bid placed by new member Jennifer "Newbee" Dorsch. An AutoArt C-Type 1/18 scale model was won by Michael Fontana. Not to be outdone by her husband, Linda Fontana was high bidder on Winston the teddy bear, a leaper T-Shirt, a wine opening kit and a Jaguar hat. Our friends from the North, Margaret and Graham Stokes, won a framed dealer XK poster. The president of the Jaguar Club of Ohio, Mike Meyer, sold a copy of the Norman Dewis book and generously donated the proceeds to the PVGP fund.
The ultimate winner for the evening was undoubtedly, the PVGP charities. Due to the generosity of participants at this event, a check for $1,100 will be sent to the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix for their charities, the Pittsburgh Autism Society and Allegheny Valley School for mentally challenged adults and children
On Saturday, the 2008 edition of JCOP's Concours d'Elegance got underway with 41 outstanding Jaguars on the 18th fairway of the Bob O'Connor Golf Course. Attending her first Concours was Linda Drago in her excellently prepared Carnival Red 2000 XJ8. Also a first-time attendee and new member was Stephen Niznik who took home 2 awards, 1 for his Black Cherry 1992 XJ6 Majestic, a rare specialty Jaguar, and another for his 1986 XJ6 in Cobalt Blue. Dave and Cindie Petersen had their 2003 XJ8 Red Vanden Plas in top form.
One car that received a lot of attention was Lisa Varner's 1971, series 2 coupe in Dark Blue with a Light Blue interior. This car had the appropriate leapers on the sides of the bonnet and chrome around the mouth. We hopefully will see this car again and we just might since Lisa has already joined the Jaguar Club of Pittsburgh. Welcome to the club, Lisa.
Old friends with new Jaguars included Glenn Henson of the Jaguar Association of Central Ohio in his very rare 1997 XK8, Neiman Marcus edition. Glenn even had the store catalog page reproduced to show the special features of the car which include chrome wheels, contrasting stitching on the seats and unique wood dash. Long-time JCOP member Chuck Pipich showed his 1999 Silver XK8 convertible. This is a very nice addition to the Pipich stable. Ron Schotland, of Delaware Valley, attended with his show-stopping 1954 XK120, open 2 seater in Maroon. Ron had already received three 100 point scores before attending the JCOP show.
Current reigning JCNA Champions showing at the PVGP included Ron Gaertner, 1953 XK120, fixed head coupe; Tom & Patty Krepp, 1959 XK150-S, open 2 seater in Black; Bryan Edwards, 1974 E-Type Red open 2 seater; Wayne Tubbs, 1972 XJ6 Saloon in Black; Dave Hershey, 1976 XJ6L in British Racing Green; Terry Smith, 1967 E-Type open 2 seater in Dark Blue; and Graham & Margaret Stokes, 1998 XJR Saloon in Sapphire. These and many other Jaguars made for a truly visual feast for all the spectators and other competitors.
Thank you to our judges from the Jaguar Club of Ohio, the Jaguar Association of Central Ohio, the Susquehanna Valley Jaguar Club and the Jaguar Club of Pittsburgh. Our registration personnel, Kathy Hershey and Barb Turrell, greeted the early morning participants with a big smile. Our scorekeepers, Lois Barbaro, Jo Keller, Carol Neidert and Judy Baker calculated the scores faster than PriceWaterhouseCoopers accountants on Academy Awards night. Michael Hershey manned the golf cart, shuttling participants and guests between the show site and the Clubhouse. Tipping was permitted and Michael is well on his way to purchasing his very own Jaguar.
The hard work and cooperation by members of the various clubs was greatly appreciated. With everyone's willingness to pitch in, a very enjoyable day was had by all. Thank you very much to all the participants. The members of the Jaguar Club of Pittsburgh hope you will attend the 13th annual Concours d'Elegance in 2009.