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NCJOC ATTENDS JCNA 2024 AGM – CHARLOTTE, NC

        

 

By Matt Siegel, NE40, NCJOC, JCNA

Preamble

 

As a member who shows a “nice-driver,” and concours judge of NCJOC, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying this journey of getting to know other members, near and far, sharing stories of affection of cars, wrestling with challenges, and posing questions relating to mysteries of parts, work-arounds, self-help, and why we continue to love this. 

 

I recently had the pleasure and privilege to attend the 2024 JCNA AGM which was held in Charlotte, NC. 

 

I had been eyeing newsletters and membership alerts regarding this event. Candidly, perhaps like some of you, I wasn’t sure exactly what took place at these events?

o   Was it a Jaguar Car Show?

o   A National - “What’s up, pow-wow?”

 

I saw it was “only” around 400 miles south of our region. I’m one of those guys who believes, “what’s the point of having these great cars if you don’t get out and drive them, enjoy them, (sometimes drive the heck out of them as they were meant to be driven)” … always per the posted speed ………

 

It took just a slight nudge, being asked to be a Delegate, for me to “volunteer” and step-up, tune-up and drive my ’95 XJS V12, the 400 miles down and 400 miles back to experience my first JCNA AGM. But first, a 200-mile round trip to Hershey, PA and back. I had to be sure that I had addressed a few items to be confident in my car for Spring 2024. Now, here’s my experience.

 

ROAD TRIP!

 

Thursday morning, March 14: Hit the road Jack, and don’t cha come back no more - no more - no more - no more, hit the road, Union Jack, and don’t cha come back no more!

A 409-mile road-trip ahead!

Out of Bethesda, MD to the outer loop of Rt. 495 Beltway W, over the American Legion Bridge to enjoy NoVa morning rush hour traffic towards Tysons, through a 3–5-year Express Lane construction project.  The V12 is generally not happy with stop and go traffic. Almost to Express EZPass, to connect to Rt. 95 S! Now to get past congestion between DC and Lorton, past Occoquan, and Kings Dominion then down to Richmond! Once past Richmond and moving fast to Petersburg, Va., Rt. 85 S opens-up with much lighter traffic to Durham, smooth sailing past tall pine trees. Continuing west to Greensboro and south, down to Charlotte.  Seems that Mercedes, BMWs, Porches must be having trouble with bad fuel, clogged injectors, poorly tuned carbs or sluggish transmissions. They never seem to be ahead of me, rather, just fading in my rear-view mirror… Just sayin….

 

Thursday afternoon – Checked in to the Embassy Suites and found a buzz and excitement in the air. As I was doing so, hosts, Barbara and Brad Merlie from the host Carolina Jaguar Club registration table came over to welcome me!

Delegates’ dinner was on our own that evening as folks were arriving at differing times from flights and otherwise. Some west coast attendees were dealing with heavy snow affecting travel. Many people, now sporting JCNA AGM name tag lanyards gathered for a pint or two of Guinness, 94-octane cocktails and a bite to eat in “401 Social,” the hotel’s watering hole and dining spot.

 

Interesting to observe a national gathering where regional styles may have a minor “tell,” across this large country of ours! Would any tendencies come out? Strong influences? What’s going on here? There seemed to be some subtle undercurrents and conversations here and there.

 

I was curious if most attendees were veterans, favored particular models or engines, or other notable groupings beyond just “Jags.” Would there be a moment of silence in recognition of the end of the ICE production line? A moment of Hummm for the continued rise of the EV motor? In the word of the BORG from futuristic Star Trek, “resistance is futile!” -Double-entendre not intended. (That BORG, doesn’t seem to be Borg Warner!)

 

Ø The Carolina Jaguar Club deserves a STANDING OVATION for putting on a flawless, smooth-running, warm, welcoming, interesting, friendly, fun, comfortable, hospitable event. From arrival to departure every moment was a joy and a pleasure!

 

Friday morning, March 15: Breakfast in “401 Social,” to meet more JCNA AGM attendees. The Board has a long day of meetings ahead of it. Delegates, guests, and others in attendance are off to “RK Motors!”


 

RK Motors, Charlotte, is a cross between a museum, a for-hire storage facility, and a dealer.

 


FRIDAY Lunch: Held at RK Motors who donated their facility, hospitality, answered questions about the cars at their facility, and were enthusiastic and friendly to all of our JCNA group. Lunch was buffet at RK.

 

It was a lot of fun and a great way to get to know more members from other parts of the country. In addition to just shooting the breeze discussing which of the cars we admired, we’d like to be taking home, we discussed, how we enjoyed using our cars, things our clubs did, and things we wished we’d do more of.

Some comments included:  

  • More driving of any kind. Having time to break-away and do so whether larger organized groups or smaller “just do-it!”

  • Some trying hard to keep cars in good shape vs. having one challenge after another seeming to come-up just when it seems well-sorted.

  • Some family balancing, though candidly, a lot of the group in attendance was senior. 

 





FRIDAY EVENING, March 15: Cocktails and dinner at NASCAR Hall of Fame.

A friendly, relaxed and entertaining evening. Food and drink were plentiful. Guest speakers from NASCAR’s Hall of Fame educated us regarding the history of NASCAR. An interesting tie-in included reference to an early relationship with Jaguar success coming from a Jaguar 120. I must admit to being a little unclear if that was on the track or running moonshine….

 

Saturday, March 16th: Annual General Meeting

A formal summary has been provided elsewhere so I’m not providing that in this observation or summary of experience of attending.

 

Board Directors sat at a long Dais at the front of the room with delegates at round tables in the large room.

 

The AGM was called to order and run in a structured and organized fashion following an agenda that was prepared and distributed. The meeting was conducted by Bob Matejek, JCNA Board Member and Secretary.

 

Delegate roll-call attendance was taken and vote allocation was noted as some delegates held more than one vote.

 

Committee reports were made. Some were perfunctory while others had Q & A or discussion. Marketing and membership received a fair degree of attention.

 

Ø The 2025 JCNA AGM will be run by DVJC April 24-26, 2025 at the Sheraton, Valley Forge, PA. 30 minutes from Philadelphia.

 

Ø  The greatest amount of time and attention revolved around editing, revisions to, and discussion not only to the substance but to the internal JCNA decision making process all related to CONCOURS.

 

Following several hours of serious discussion, debate, and alternative proposals, a path forward (primarily an agreement regarding process to update Concours Standards, Rules, Regulations, and applicable Judging) was agreed-to, by show of hands vote.

 

New officers were nominated and elected.

 

Some presentations were made. One in particular was fascinating and came from the Empire Division. It was the first “club,” grew into the JCNA, and then became Empire Division. Their focus is tremendously on driving.

 

After the AGM was closed, there were a number of Break-out sessions from which to select.  I selected “Originality,” a discussion regarding the pros and effort of keeping our cars original. Sometimes facing parts challenges, sometimes considering more modern luxuries whether for comfort or safety. (Tires, nav and entertainment, side and rear-view cameras, etc.)

 

My over-arching impressions:

First, the JCNA AGM isn’t a Jaguar Car Show!  Who knew?! I thought at some time we’d be somewhere with a lot of nice Jags heading out for a drive or to meet-up. For all I know, I may have been the only Jaguar in attendance at the JCNA AGM?

 

Second, I met a great bunch of fellow members and enthusiasts. I particularly focused on and reached out to neighboring clubs such as to Richmond, Pittsburg, SVJC, DVJC, The Empire Division, but also met terrific people from Colorado, LA, Seattle, Arizona, NC, Cincy, and more.

 

Third, I continue to love to drive my XJS V12! Granted 400-mile drives seem longer than when I was in college but it’s a little bit nicer car than I had then!  A few uniformed gentlemen tailed me, definitely ran my tag, and then nodded, passed, and let me continue, uninterrupted. But it was a nail-biter! I don’t recall such courtesy at age 18.

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