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XKSS: Niele McQueen at the Festival

Janet Sowell | Published on 6/2/2022

XKSS: Niele McQueen at the Festival


            Steve McQueen is a movie legend but also, he was a “CARGUY” to the bone. His most memorable contribution to our automobile passion was the epic movie “Le Mans”. His connection with JAGUAR cars was thanks to his first wife Niele Adams McQueen. Her story was covered in detail in the May-June issue of the JCNA JAGUAR JOURNAL. She is the one that purchased the XKSS for Steve as a present. Fast forward to today, the 68th GARDEN GROVE STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL has been a celebration of the rich agriculture history of Orange County. Peter Crespin, JJ Editor,  contacted me while at the AGM in Milwaukee and asked if the JAGUAR OWNERS CLUB could provide a few JAGUARS for the annual parade. Well, I knew that we could fill the bill and set out to select the cars that would represent our club and marque. The requirements were automobiles that could run in a parade without trouble, represent the history of the JAGUAR CARS, were convertibles, and were available on the Memorial Day Weekend.


            We had just had our annual concours at the Battleship IOWA, so I knew the cars that I had chosen would be in good condition. I called 20 of our members with cars ranging from a C-TYPE replica to a XKR convertible. Sure, enough the gang came through with wonderful cars and all in excellent condition(Cooling fans at the ready). The event was organized by Steve Moyer and David Sorrell of Pageantry Events a well-known special events company in DOWNEY that organizes large parades in SoCal.


            The organization of such an event is tremendous with hundreds of people involved, over 50 celebrities to feature, marching bands, veteran’s groups, politicians, and not to mention the carnival rides, vendors, food stations, VIP events, it was a great three-day event. The parade was on Saturday, the weather was cool and the crowds lining Chapman Ave. and Euclid Ave.  route were cheerful and large. There were probably 20,000 folks along the parade route, cheering, saying hello, and just having a good time, the old fashion way.


The JOCLA provide 15 JAGUARS for the parade honoring Steve and Niele McQueen. Niele rode in the XKSS provide by the PETERSEN MUSEUM and it did well in the parade. Our roster of cars included a C-Type Replica, XK-140MC, XJS convertibles, XK8 and XKR convertibles, E-Type Coupe, E-Type roadsters, and F-Type OTS. We had politicians, county officials, and a few TV personalities as passengers. At the end of the parade, we were assembled at a special parking area for display and were invited to the VIP Luncheon. A very generous buffet with all sorts of tasty treats and hand-dipped chocolate covered strawberries of course! I got to chat with Niele McQueen for a few minutes, she was very gracious and thanked me for our JAGUAR support of the event and honoring Steve and herself.


I want to thank those members who gave of their time to volunteer and participate in this special event:


Keith Webb, Maurice and Lexi Mandell, Charlie Hallums, Ralph Gidwitz, Jacob Cherub, Nedra Rummell, Dick Parris, Nick and Shauna Berger, Charly Anton, Clyde Kendzierski, Don Becker and Ann Becker, Domenic and Audrey Valvano, Mark Mayuga, and Steve Kirby, Bob Funari, James Waite (mechanical issues, had to cancel but they volunteered!)


Once again, the Jaguar Owners Club is called to represent JAGUAR CARS and our rich history complimented by our enthusiastic members!


Cheers, Mark Mayuga, President JOCLA, Southwest Regional Director