[xj] Van Dusen ADFM and Road Trip/longish

“DOUGLAS DWYER” <@Doug_Dwyer>

Hi gang,
Just got back an hour ago, what a great trip. Delete now if you’re in a

First I’d like to mention a couple of our compatriots who helped me my trip
to Vancouver, BC.

Gregory, who I had the pleasure of meeting a few months ago, gave me all
sort of tips and ideas regarding lodging, navigation, USA-Canadian protocol
and so forth. Having never been in a “foreign” country this was very helpful
and very much appreciated. Gregory, you’re a real gentleman, thanks !

I particularly wish to thank Paul Barlow for all his courtesy. Paul let me
wash my car at his house, welcomed me into his home, arranged for my entry
into the ABFM dinner, and introduced me to some very nice people. He could
not possibly have been more helpful or accommodating. Paul and his (very
gracious) family own a Sage Green Jag Sovereign, a Triumph TR250, and a
Mini !

I am beholden to both of these fellows.

THE SHOW: When it come to sheer picturesque beauty VanDusen Botanical
Gardens must be one of the true great places to visit and an ideal venue for
a car show. Over 500 cars were displayed amid the rolling hills and lush
surroundings. I didn’t count the total number of jags but there were plenty,
believe me. The weather was a bit chilly and foreboding so Gregory brought
his “daily driver” instead of the white “never sees rain” car. Let me say
this: Gregory’s idea of a “daily driver” is what most of us would consider
to be “mint condition” (no surprise there, eh ?). It’s a Cranberry Sovereign
and quite a sight to behold. There were a handful of the coveted Series III
V12’s as well, all of them gorgeous. Gregory explained that one of them was
among the last 52 ever produced . Also on display was a real gem of a Mark2
and a nicely restored MarkIX. All of the entrants were assigned several
categories to vote on I one of mine was the E-types and there were several
there that made the decision difficult. Paul brought his TR250 instead of
the Jag which was too bad as we needed a nice Sage Green XJ to round out the
field. Every category has somevery nice cars and I was pleased to see a
Daimler SP250 and 3 AC Aces. All in all, a very nice show and worth the
drive. As expected my XJ6 didn’t garner much attention. I attribute this to
the aftermarket alloys. I actually heard anyone say “Oh, the hoonish
bastard” but I know that’s what they were thinking !

THE TRIP: Total, all up distance for me was 651 miles. First leg was
leisurely paced and I managed 21.3 MPG. BTW, this is some of the most
beautiful country you’ll ever find, especially so in the environs of
Bellingham, Washington. Anyhow, the only snag on the first leg was a big
accident in downtown Seattle which meant 30 minutes of near gridlock. After
crossing the boarder I went to Paul’s for carwash and a barley-pop (home
brewed) and then off to downtown Vancouver.

I booked a room at the Crowne Plaza right in the downtown district as a
fellow needs to be in the city every so often to see the sights (a
“skyscraper fix” according to Gregory) and get a taste of the life. It’s
very atmospheric, especially at night. I got hopelessly crossed up getting
to the hotel. Although I found it easily enough, the maze of one-way streets
made it inaccessible. After over 30 minutes in rush hour traffic I finally
figured out the correct combination of turns.

Had great fun at the ABFM get together in Richmond. Very nice group of
people and a fine dinner. I ducked out early as I was getting tired and
Paul says I missed the hilarious “British Car Roast”. He’ll have to regale
the list with that story.

After the car show I made a hasty retreat and hit the road. The drive home
was much more entertaining as I took a few liberties with some long
stretches of open road. How fast ? Well, a gentleman never tells but it was
substantially in excess of the speed limit. Fearing the gendarmes may ruin
my day I never held a high speed for too long but it was fun. I had clear
roads for miles and seldom got below 75 mph.

Overall MPG was 19.1 which I am happy with especially in light of spending
about 3 + hours in the city, some of it in truly bumper-to-bumper…and of
course hot-rodding on the way home. Total, all up driving time was 14 hours.

MY CAR: The old girl never complained a bit. Only two items of concern. In
the heaviest, most miserable downtown Vancouver rush hour driving my brakes
got a bit mushy. Hmmm…? Never saw any leaks and fluid level OK. Old
brake fluid contaminated and needs to be flushed ? After sitting over night
the pedal was firm as can be. Also, the engine was running a bit hotter than
usual—maybe a tick above 90. Nothing alarming, I’ll do some checking.

COOL THING I SAW: On the way back—not far from Seattle— there was a
gaggle of Datsun 2000’s with a TR6 on point and they were two lanes to my
right. They all suddenly moved over as a nifty XK150 roadster started to
merge onto the freeway. These old XK’s are usually pampered , cherished ,
and never see the high side of 2500 rpm but the pilotte of THIS one was
making things happen ! The nose was visibly rising and dipping as he coaxed
the recalcitrant old Moss gearbox thru the shift-wait-shift routine with
what appeared to be wide-open-throttle in between ! Judging from the way the
old jag gathered itself up I’m guessing it was a “150S” as it was flying by
in no time at all. The driver was not afraid of breaking it, that’s for

Well, enough for now. Great trip, great cars, nice people. I’ll be back next
year. I offer my thanks once more to Paul and Gregory.

Doug Dwyer
Longview, Washington USA===================================================
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I’m glad you had a good trip. By the way you described that show, it sounds
great. Thanks for letting us in on your fun.
John Testrake, St. Louis MO USA===================================================
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