Grinning is Winning

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

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