Over the August bank holiday weekend our visitors included a group of car enthusiasts, celebrating 30 years since the launch of the Jaguar XJ40.
Between the end of August and the end of September 1986 Jaguar launched its new saloon to around 500 members the world’s press at the hotel, which at the time boasted just 28 bedrooms! The journalists had the opportunity to road test each variant of the cars over some of the stunning and challenging drives in the area around the hotel. Some routes were selected specifically for the poor quality of the road surface to demonstrate the ride quality.
It was an incredible undertaking by Jaguar, with up to 12 journalists daily driving the 12 different models. Apparently as much as 70,000 miles were covered!
Jaguar even built a temporary garage, with hoists, in a marquee in the gardens in order to be able to service and maintain the cars. Some of the original team were present over the weekend, and indeed one couple met at the launch and have been happily married ever since.
The group, from all over Europe numbered almost 40 cars. At the end of their Monday rally we managed to squeeze a few of them onto the lawns for a group photo, courtesy of Neil Fordyce.
Neil, however, was not responsible for the smaller photograph, but we couldn’t resist including it!