Jaguars on the Island and the Oak Bay Car Collector Festival brought a different kind of heat to Windsor Park and Oak Bay Avenue last weekend, gathering hundreds of amazing vintage vehicles that attracted thousands of people.
At the park on Saturday, several rows of Jaguars lined up on the grass, categorized by E-Types, modern and classic sedans, XJ6s, SUVs and other models by generation.
“Victoria’s car culture is strong,” Jaguars Island co-chairman Paul Segona said.
Doug Irving’s royal jaguar trio sat on special display in the middle of Windsor Park.
Every year, from May to October, Irving takes the wraps off three of his ladies: A 1950 Mark V saloon (Elizabeth), a 1962 Mark II saloon (Margaret) and a 2002 XKR convertible (Diana).
“I like to give them new life,” said Irving, who also attended the Oak Bay Collector Car Festival.
“You don’t want to see (a Jaguar) go to the crusher or get rusty.”
Elizabeth (27,000 miles) came “buzzing with life” from a famous British retreat — Irving points out Coventry, England — just like 96-year-old Queen Elizabeth II. Margaret (74,000 miles), taken under Irving’s wing after sitting in a barn for 15 years, tells a different story.
“She’s definitely classy, but she runs with a different crowd,” he said, likening her to Princess Margaret, adding that the Mark II’s motor would keep her at 160km/h even at 60. Enables killing.
The Diana (68,000 miles), which he drove in the California desert, came equipped with an all-aluminum supercharged motor and, as he put it, has the same speed as the Princess of Wales.
But during the fall, winter and spring, “those three don’t see the light of day,” as Irving said, adding that even 500 miles a year is a lot to ask of them.
He acquired his first Jaguar – a four-door, straight six-cylinder 1988 XJ6 – in 1991 and then owned a dark blue 1966 XKE and a 2003 carnival red XJ Vanden Plas for 14 years. He handed over the latter to his son with 3,400 km.
“I basically have a philosophy that I have this love for all Jaguars.”
His Mark V, born in the same month as his wife, was abandoned by the woman who had owned him for the past 46 years. Irving named the car after his wife to keep with the tradition of female owners, and found gold when it was described as a treasure chest in the back. It contained the car’s original BC license plate, spare factory parts and full service manual and recorded the car’s 72-year history.
“From my point of view, it’s really about their aesthetics,” Segona said, looking out over a field loaded with shiny jaguars.
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