On the 19th February 1964 a very enthusiastic group started the Jaguar Drivers Club of Australia as a branch of the Jaguar Drivers Club in England. As a result and, interestingly, the President therefore was Jaguar Cars Founder and Chairman Sir William Lyons and the committee consisted of various knighted and other well credentialed Englishmen and European royalty.
Early membership numbers were around the ninety mark with Concours d'Elegance being the main interest, the first of which was held at Vaucluse House in 1965. The JDCA thrived and prospered as a branch of the Jaguar Drivers Club of England until 1975 when an increase in their fees prompted a decision, after much debate, for the JDCA to become independent.
The Initial meetings of the JDCA were held at C.V Murrays's Jaguar Dealership in Parramatta but in 1966 the club moved to reneted premises in Five Dock. Paying the rent was always difficult and things didnt go as well as planned so by 1969 the club was forced to move its meetings to the Australian Racing Drivers Club in Leichardt.
Since then the Club has held its monthly meetings at a number of different venues including bowling clubs at Hunters Hill; West Strathfield; Homebush and Concord; then for a number of years at Sydney Rowing Club at Abbotsford. Meetings have been at Denistone Sports Club since 2004 and it is a real home where we are welcomed, wanted and needed.
In 1977, the club organised with circus owner Stafford Bullen to bring a live genuine Jaguar to the Concours at Vaucluse House. The press became aware of this and a photo of the Jaguar, taken sitting in an SS100, appeared in the next day’s paper. Some days later the club received a very angry letter demanding to know why the Club had allowed a non-native wild animal to be in their grounds without authority!
Concours d’Elegance continued to be the main focus of the club and, by the early 1980’s, the standard of preparation had risen to great heights with full professional restorations entering the scene and the standard remains at a very high level to this day. The annual event has been held at various venues over the years but for the last few years it has been held very successfully in conjunction with the All British Day Display at The Kings School in Parramatta.
The JDCA has been very strong in National Concours events. It has won many class, sporting, and team prizes and has won over 20 outright National Concours trophies since their inception in 1976. There have also been numerous class wins and four outright wins at the CMC display days
On the sporting front, the club has also been very successful in the Combined Sports Car Association Supersprints, winning Champion Club eight times between 1993 and 2002. In addition, the JDCA teams in the Alfa Romeo Club Six-Hour Relay Race at Eastern Creek achieved numerous podium finishes in the 90’s, including two overall handicap wins and two marque wins. Further, a number of members have been very successful competing in Historic Racing in both sports and saloon cars.
In 1991 the Club staged the inaugural 'Mountain Rally' which went on to become a hugely successful annual event. What had been envisaged initially as a week-long drive in the countryside of NSW to give owners an excuse to get their special vehicles out of the garage, quickly became a full-on serious navigational rally. It gained in popularity and attracted Repco and Shell as major sponsors. The rally continues to this day albeit in a reduced weekend format.
The Club today is in very sound shape with membership around 700. It continues to be very strong in its sporting endeavours, doing just what founder Sir William Lyons intended with his high performance vehicles and, with a continuing Concours emphasis, is living up to its charter of ensuring preservation of the marque.