In August 2017 we entered our Mk2 in the Champion Division Class 9 of the Jaguar Clubs of North America (JNCA) New England (JANE) Concours d’Elegance car show held each year in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. Over the years, JNCA has evolved many judging classes grouped into Champion, Driven, and Special divisions. The Champion category has high standards for show cars that are rarely driven, while Special handles replicas, race cars, and modified vehicles.
Despite the last minute timing (we didn’t even have time to give the car a good wash), the Mk2 was entered in the Champion Division Class 9 for small saloons like the Mk2. Happily we won our Class (not a big deal given the lack of real competition this year) and scored 96.93 out of 100 possible points.
What’s really instructive is what “defects” the 3.07 point deductions highlighted (outlined in the table below).
CHAMPION DIVISION POINT DEDUCTIONS
|Horns not operational||6||see replacements|
|Exterior paint cleanliness||2||guilty as charged|
|Exterior chrome cleanliness||2||guilty as charged|
|Passenger door sill paint splotch||2||need a magnifying glass to see defect|
|Slight wear on door edge seal||.2||due to tight fit|
|Carpet cleanliness||.2||guilty as charged|
|Non-standard covering on center dash||.1||hydrographics not acceptable|
|Not original radio||3||Alpine head unit with backup camera and ApplePlay|
|Non-matching spare tire brand||2||not worth the expense of a new tire just for show|
|Brass finish on radiator top instead of black paint||8||we prefer the bright brass finish|
|Not Cheney hose clamps||7||installed generic stainless clamps instead|
|TOTAL DEDUCTIONS||3.07||divided by 10 for Champion Division|
It would be quite easy to boost our Mk2 rating up to 99+, but what’s the point? Concours shows have proliferated to the point of silliness (and irrelevance?) today. What was once the place to introduce new automotive advancements is now pleasantly caught in a museum-like past, frequently attended by curious tourists and a few collectors rather than by mechanics, designers, builders, and hard-core drivers. Oh well.
An example of JCNA Concours angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin silliness revolves around the notorious hose clamp debate.
The vintage Cheney clamp was difficult to use but it was manufactured close to the Jaguar’s British assembly plant and it was cheap. Cheney clamps were cadmium plated (not stainless steel) in the open position so that all clamp surfaces could be uniformly coated. To use them properly, they needed to be closed around a circular template and coated with white grease.
Reproductions are now sold by XKs Unlimited (among others) for $9 … and they still don’t work very well!
Frankly, the best choice are modern generic stainless clamps. They work extremely well and are inexpensive. There is no doubt that the famously thrifty Sir Williams Lyons, Jaguar’s co-founder, would use generic stainless clamps today.