Gaydon Workshop

This year’s Gaydon Workshop was another huge success with nearly 90 attendees able to learn practical yet technical expert knowledge in respect of a wide variety of Jaguar engines. If you own a Jaguar with an XK engine or a V12, whatever car it is fitted into, you cannot afford to miss these incredible workshops now established on an annual basis. John Burton is a natural public speaker with an encyclopaedic knowledge delivered with great charm and a real sense of humour. He kept us riveted between 9.25am and 10.40am and again between 1.30pm and 2.45pm. The latter talk moving from engines to body work. John Watkinson, a regular correspondent in the JDC magazine spoke for an hour on electrics, fuel systems and suspension. He spoke with clarity and great knowledge, wrapped up with the sharpest wit that had us all in hysterics. All those that attended not only know more about their cars, but also more about safe driving. As you read this as someone who has never been to the Gaydon Workshop before, make sure you come next year. You cannot afford to miss it if you are either an enthusiastic driver or mechanic. All the talks were fully illustrated and backed up with the ability to know where to turn for the parts you will need for the various jobs dealt with.

SNG Barratt again sponsored the event providing two senior managers in the form of Peter Stant and Neil Hussey. Their presence at the workshop shows how seriously Barratt’s take this event. Not only did Peter and Neil give a very interesting and illustrated talk on the variety of spares Barratts can provide, they also ran a well stocked spares stall, at which attendees could buy spare parts for futures projects, repairs to be carried out that day (the situation in my case) and also an interesting range of gifts (I was able to purchase three toy E Types for my grandson).

After a decent lunch and John Burton’s second talk we moved to a fascinating talk from Debbie Edwards, a rally driver of considerable success with her series 2 FHC. The afternoon ended with a 45 minute question and answer session. Five E Types were brought into the lecture theatre ranging from the 2013 ‘Wooden Spoon’ winner (the car least like a concourse winner – my car) to Barratt’s fully restored hard top coupé. Debbie’s rally FH was also present along with a fully restored soft top trailered to the circuit in an enclosed trailer. It was lovely to see this car at the event, but I hope it actually gets driven. I for one cannot see the point of concourse. First and foremost I love driving; and driving gets cars dirty! In any event I am slightly OCD anyway, and once I started polishing the spark plugs, my wife and family would probably never see me again! My ’wooden spoon’ winning version endured rain both going and coming from Gaydon, enhancing its reputation as the car least likely to win a concourse competition.

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