Our club began with a classified ad in the Vancouver Sun newspaper in June, 1969 which read:
"Drive an MG or a Jaguar? Need sympathy?"
It was the brainchild of Major Ian Newby, an army officer, and Blair Hamilton,owner of "Classic and Thoroughbred Motors".
About 20 people attended the first meeting. Ian chose the name of the club. He describes himself as the "benign dictator" of both marques until 1974, when the club had 50 or 60 members and "looked like it would perpetuate itself." Ian announced at a meeting that it was time for the members to "take over the reigns of their own marque." Harold Lunner won the election as the first MG president and Jerry Parkhill the first Jaguar president.
The newsletter, named by Ian, "Classical Gas" after a popular Mason Williams tune, was distributed on a mimeographed sheet at the second meeting.
The first "Tour and Test" attracted a dozen MG’s and a dozen Jaguars to a trailer park in Blaine, Washington in September, 1969. Pictured at this event left is former member Jim Farrell's 150 ots "in the lot".
A highlight was an intense drag race between an E-type Jaguar and a Barracuda. Unfortunately the finish line was on the grass only 100 meters from an "Air Stream" trailer. Spectators held their breath watching figure eight braking patterns being carved into the grass as the entrants narrowly missed hitting the trailer.
Slaloms were a large part of the early days of the club (Click here
for more info on slaloms) but they became less feasible due to a shortage of suitable parking lots. The "Presidents' Run" is a popular tradition that was started by Jerry Parkhill in 1980. Since then, each year at the end of September, the MG and Jaguar presidents arrange a weekend trip to carefully selected locales such as Whistler, Lac Le Jeune, Radium Hot Springs, Port Townsend.
Several of those who responded to the original ad and attended the inaugural meeting are still members. The club is unique in that it is administered jointly with the Canadian Classic MG Club and the Candian XK Jaguar Register. Many of the competition and social activities are enjoyed by members of both organizations. Many members indeed own models of both marques and qualify for listings in both Club registers. Today the Club membership numbers over 200.
The club's activities cover a wide variety of events. These include monthly social events which range from day trips through local environs to barbecues, picnics, wine and cheese events, a number of speed events which include rallies, slaloms, and most importantly, the Club's annual Heritage event which offers a
concours and awards banquet. Many members journey south of the 49th to similar events in Washington State and Oregon. The monthly meetings features guest speakers, audio-visual presentations, technical discussions and problem solving. The Club has regular "garage tours" as scheduled to local auto related businesses of interest to club members.