The first Jaguar club formed in North America, first in the world since the pre-war SS club in England had disbanded, was the Jaguar Owners Association (JOA). It was the brainchild of New York resident George Evdokimov and was incorporated on December 16, 1954.
JOA was intended from the beginning to be a continent-wide organization and the structure established by Evdokimov survives to this day. There were six Regions, each with a Director. The Directors supervised Divisional Directors who were actually the chief executives of local clubs. The New York group was called Empire Division. Other JOA divisions grew quickly in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Montreal. The first issue of the JOA magazine, dubbed Jaguar Journal, was mailed to members in January, 1955.
Membership in JOA grew rapidly imposing a heavy work load on the founding members, indicating the need for a paid staff or some form of administrative support. The developing size and influence of the club had also made Jaguar executives aware of the potential benefits in a close association between the company and the club. On Dec. 16, 1957, a meeting was held with officials of Jaguar Cars at the Plaza Hotel in New York.
The result of this and later meetings was the formation of Jaguar Clubs of North America, Inc., incorporated on Jan. 16, 1958. In a cooperative agreement, Jaguar Cars undertook the administration of the club and the publishing of Jaguar Journal while leaving the policies and general activities of JCNA in the hands of the membership. An editorial in Jaguar Journal said: "We believe that the newly formed sanctioning corporation with its Directors speaking as they will for every section of North America, will provide a framework within which affiliated Jaguar clubs, which will be completely autonomous, will have a very promising future." A new logo design was presented in the same issue and is, basically, the one in use today.
JCNA growth continued. Beginning in the 1960's, regular Annual General Meetings were held in New York, usually around the time of the New York International Automobile Show. In 1975, the Jaguar Association of Greater Chicago became the first host of a meeting outside New York. Since then, the AGM has moved to a different host club each year.
During 1991, a serious decline in the automotive market with resulting budget cuts, made it impossible for Jaguar Cars to continue administrative support. A decision was made to sever the business connection while retaining a cordial relationship. Announced to the JCNA Administrative Committee at a meeting in St. Louis in August, the decision was made effective four months later. As of Jan. 1, 1992, JCNA was a separate entity, operating on its own.
Preparations for this step were made in November at a meeting in Chicago during which the Administrative Committee revised the club Bylaws and set up a basic administrative format for the new organization. Members of the Committee became the first Directors and Board members. The late Fred Horner, Secretary of JCNA for nearly 20 years under Jaguar, was named Director For Life, a position which was eliminated on his death in 1995. Further decisions by the delegates at the 1992 AGM in Cleveland established that there would be two Directors in each JCNA Region, elected one per year for two-year terms. Other Directors are the immediate Past President and a Designated Director, named by Jaguar Cars, who provides an open channel of communication between club and company.
JCNA offers a number of member services including Championship competition in concours d'elegance, rallies and slaloms. The club sponsors the Annual General Meeting, JCNA's business meeting, where delegates representing the affiliate clubs take care of administrative details, vote on rules and procedures and act as a forum in which delegates from the US, Canada and Mexico can exchange opinions and discuss issues. JCNA's other major function is the Biennial Meet, an every-other-year event which brings together JCNA's best for a concours competition and other activities. The next will be in Franklin, Tennessee in 2001.
The Jaguar Journal, a bi-monthly magazine, is included with membership. It publishes JCNA History articles of interest to Jaguar enthusiasts, club news, technical information and classified ads and acts as the club's primary means of printed communication with members. The magazine takes advertising and actively solicits subscribers. Membership in JCNA includes liability insurance during JCNA sanctioned events. The club offers merchandise and a range of technical and other publications including rule books for JCNA competitions.
JCNA concours d'elegance rules emphasize authenticity, cleanliness, condition and appearance. Championships are determined by the highest average score from three JCNA sanctioned events. Slalom champions are selected on the basis of their single best time on a standard course. Rallyists compete in two events for best average score in Time-Speed-Distance or Monte Carlo events.
In mid-1998 JCNA had 49 active affiliate clubs. Membership stood at approximately 5400.
The following Vision and Mission statements were adopted by Jaguar Clubs of North America's Board of Directors in March 1994.
JCNA Vision Statement
The Jaguar Clubs of North America is the friendliest and best association of Jaguar enthusiasts fulfilling the needs and interests of the members.
JCNA Board of Directors Mission Statement
The Board provides a structure for effective and efficient operation of the Jaguar Clubs of North America in finance, administration and competition. It communicates effectively with the members.