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Jaguars and other collector cars bring the heat to Oak Bay

Decades worth of awe-inspiring automobiles hit the lawn and street

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, assembling hundreds of awe-inspiring vintage vehicles that drew the gapes and attention of thousands.

Over at the park on Saturday, several rows of Jaguars categorized by E-Types, modern and classic sedans, XJ6s, SUVs and other models from across generations lined the grass.

“Victoria’s got a strong car culture,” said Jaguars on the Island co-chair Paul Seguna.

On special display in the middle of Windsor Park sat Doug Irving’s trio of royal Jaguars.

Every year, from May to October, Irving pulls the covers off his three ladies: A 1950 Mark V Saloon (Elizabeth), 1962 Mark II Saloon (Margaret) and 2002 XKR Convertible (Diana).

“I like to give them new life,” said Irving, who also made an appearance at the Oak Bay Collector Car Festival.

“You don’t want to see (a Jaguar) go to the crusher or get rusted out.”

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Elizabeth (27,000 miles) came “oozing with life” from the an iconic British era – Irving pointed to Coventry, England –much like 96-year-old Queen Elizabeth II. Margaret (74,000 miles), taken under Irving’s wing after it sat in a barn for 15 years, tells a different story.

”She’s certainly classy, but she moves with a different crowd,” he said, likening her to Princess Margaret and adding that the Mark II’s motor enables her to still hit 160 km/h at 60 years of age.

Diana (68,000 miles), which he picked up in the Californian desert, came equipped with an all-aluminum supercharged motor and, as he put it, equated the speed of the Princess of Wales.

But during the fall, winter and spring, “all three of them don’t see the light of day,” as Irving said adding even 500 miles a year is a lot to ask of them.

He acquired his first Jaguar – a four-door, six-straight cylinder 1988 XJ6 – in 1991 and subsequently owned a dark blue 1966 XKE and 2003 carnival red XJ Vanden Plas, for 14 years. He handed the latter over to his son with 3,400 kilometres.

“I have a philosophy basically that I have this love of all Jaguars.”

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His Mark V, born the same month as his wife, was given up by the woman who owned it the last 46 years. Irving put the car in his wife’s name to keep the tradition of female owners running and struck gold when he found what he described as a treasure chest in the back. It carried the car’s original B.C. licence plate, spare factory parts and the entire service manual and recorded 72-year history of the vehicle.

“From my perspective, it’s really about the aesthetic of them,” Seguna said, gazing out onto the shiny Jaguar-laden field.


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