Terrance Merx (left) and Clara Toledo polish their 2006 Jaguar XJ8 Vanden Plas in preparation for the classic British car show coming to Government House this Saturday (Sept. 8). File contributed

Jaguars, Aston Martins, MGs and more: British invasion taking over Government House

The 24th annual English Car Affair in the Park is set for Sept. 8

If you’re a fan of Jaguars, Aston Martins, Rolls Royces, MGs, Minis and more, you’re in luck. The 24th annual English Car Affair in the Park is heading to town on Saturday, Sept. 8.

“People can look forward to a good variety of English cars, motorcycles and commercial vehicles,” said Bob Wilson, the Old English Car Club event chair. “There will be everything from small MGs to commercial pickups and vans.”

Wilson expects over 120 classic and collectible British cars will be on display at Government House, 1401 Rockland Ave. The free event includes live music from the Saanich Peninsula Pipe Band and classic rock band 12 O’Clock Rock.

Attendees are welcome to bring a picnic lunch and eat on the sprawling grounds of Government House, or purchase food from any of the on-site food trucks.

They can also enter the popular Win a Ride draw, where winners will get a ride in a classic British car owned and driven by a member of the Old English Car Club.

ALSO READ: Car fanatics get set for Langford’s Show and Shine

Car collectors are also welcome to display their vehicles for a registration fee of $20, with sign-ins running from 8 to 9:30 a.m.

The feature vehicle this year is the Jaguar XJ, first produced in 1968.

Terrance Merx and his wife, Clara Toledo, own a 2006 Jaguar XJ8 Vanden Plas and will have their car at centre stage on the day.

While he’s part of the Jaguars on the Island car club and has attended shows across the Island, Merx is entering for the first time at the English Car Affair.

He said his 18.5-foot-long luxury sedan is a rare spectacle for people to see.

“It’s a car to be driven in, more than to drive,” he said. “But I love to drive it, it’s really super.”

Merx spotted the Jaguar while waiting in line at a restaurant for his wife’s birthday. The vehicle was sitting on a car lot across the street and Merx couldn’t help but take a look.

ALSO READ: Exotic cars bring added interest to Oak Bay Collector Car Festival

It was an instant ‘yes” for him and his wife, and as the lot’s sales representatives were winding down their day, Merx told them he wanted to buy the car.

“Those guys came out of the office like hornets!” he said, laughing.

The car, brand new, would have cost $110,000 but because it was six years old, the couple got it for $18,000.

“I’m really excited about it,” Merx said. “I’m sure we’ll have a great time.”

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept. 8. During this time, Government House will not be open, but the Costume Museum on the property will be.

For more information, you can head to oecc.ca/sib.


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