I ran across that quote by Richelle Goodrich. It reminded of what I saw
at the September 12 JCNA-sanctioned JDRC slalom at Emerald Downs.
There were more grins there than I have seen at any other Seattle Jaguar
club event. George Wheeler seemed to have a perma-grin flashing
through his beard as he threw his XJ around the cones. And his grin
didn’t come off after he removed his helmet at the end his runs. I still
remember the grins on the faces of Erica and Lee Ash with their powerful
F-Type R and GT-R. Same with most of the other drivers. And the
spectators were all grins as well. What fun!
There’s much to like about owning, maintaining Jaguars and sharing
our experiences. We can lump many of these into the categories that end in the “el” sound: social, technical, artful,
practical, mechanical, intellectual, financial, relational, etc. But “grin” is a different category and doesn’t even end
with the “el” sound. Anything that creates a grin is more powerful and comes from someplace deep inside. Besides
the slalom, I wonder what else there is about our Jaguar experiences that induce big grins. Being awarded a concours
trophy seems to do it. The visceral experience of listening to the thunderous exhaust of Greg Whitten’s lightweight
E-Type at the All British Field Meet is another.
For me, driving our XK120 OTS generates plenty of grins-per-mile. Arm-low waves from passing Harley riders, little
kids pointing at the car and smiling, and the honks, waves and thumbs-up. Best of all is driving along a fast, uncrowded
two-lane road like 101 along Hood Canal with the distinctive big six soundtrack, looking over and between
the multiple lunging shapes of the fenders, hood and headlight nacelles, periodically scanning the instrument for
fun and engine preservation, shifting gears myself thank you, and the tight steering through the intimately close,
skinny, slick, circumferencalicious (made that up), steering wheel. It’s such a retro, evocative romantic experience.
Finally, watching others grin also makes us grin. So, what makes you grin? Please share your thoughts with Tanya
Book, JagMag Editor at JagMag@SeattleJagClub.org.