LATIGO CANYON, CONQUERED!
As you all know we have been “locked down” for three months in our homes, staying safe from the dreaded COVID-19 PANDEMIC. We have been aware of the possibilities of contracting this mysterious virus. Practicing “Social Distancing”, washing our hands, wearing masks, cleaning surfaces, and just not getting out to play. Well, time has gone bye, we are now in a new normal of wearing masks, six-foot separation, and TAKE-OUT dinning. As we start to come back to a normal routine Ralph Gidwitz suggested to the BOD that we organize a driving and social event incorporating the “new normal.”
So, on June 13th, 42 Jaguar club members from Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, and Ventura met in Malibu to enjoy a tour of the infamous LATIGO CANYON Drive. For those who know their history, Latigo Canyon was the epicenter of the 2018 Woolsey Fire that devasted so many homes in the canyon. The fire started at the 101 Freeway in Agora and was driven down to the coast via the canyon. Winds of 75 MPH were recorded during that tragic event. Well, anyway, the weather on Saturday was picture perfect with mild temperatures, bright sunshine, and balmy winds. The canyon was on the mend as the hill sides were green with new growth and burned trees were coming back to life. There were a few burned out homes and trees still visible.
LATIGO CANYON is a favorite road for motorcycle riders, bicycle racers and sports car drivers with its twists and turns and switch backs, “S” curves, short straights, ups and downs, narrow lanes, and dramatic vistas. We had all manner of Jags participating in this event since our lockdown. F-Types, E-Types, XJ6 Sedans, Mk2, XK-140, XJ SPORT, XKR’s and XFR were seen weaving and climbing up the canyon road, hard on the brakes going over the summit and into the Agora Hills. Speeds ranged from 15MPH to 75MPH and everything in between. This was heaven for the driver but a bit daunting for the passengers. LATIGO really tests your cars ability to handle tight corners, accelerate, brake, and do it allover again and again. Nick Berger brought his “special hot rod E-Type” just to show everyone that it was not a Garage Queen, he really drives that thing hard and fast!!! Sandy Mayuga brought his famous Squadron Blue 1964 E-Type that was featured in CLASSIC AND SPORTS CAR magazine, an international publication (front cover).
To watch a XJ6 Sedan manage these tight corners was a treat, as was the instant speed of the XFR as it used its traction control, the F-Types were in fine form as were the E-Types just handling the road as they were meant to be driven. Ralph found a charming microbrewery, LADY FACE BREWERY, in Agora that was open for outdoor dining. He organized a rather tasty menu for all pallets and budgets. GUINNESS, IPA, and other brews were consumed as were tasty blue cheeseburgers, fish ‘n chips, Caesar salads, monster bacon burgers, and donut holes for dessert. Members from the San Diego Jaguar Club, Nedra Rummell, Celia Hunter, Chuck and Kathy Leuthen made the trek to enjoy a wonderful JOCLA event. Lots of old and new members were talking up a storm, Donte Neal was back from Antarctica with his XFR, Charlie Hallums brought his rare XJ SPORT, Keith Webb trailered his XK-140 to the brewery, drove the road over to Malibu, then drove Latigo Canyon back (that’s a lot of driving, especially in an XK-140 on mountain roads), Linda and Todd Wright drove their XKR quickly, and Jim and Betty Friel toured the canyon at a stately pace. Others in attendance were Kevin Easton, Bob Baumhefner, Don and Ann Becker, Tom and Ellen Hinkley, the Santarelli’s, Dan Roberto, Malcolm Schneer, Elizabeth Waite, Ben/Jennifer Washington, Sandy and Doloris Mayuga, Nick and Shauna Berger, JoAnne and Lee Broadbent, Mel Friedman, Bruce and Kathleen Gibbons, Chuck and Terri Keas, Erwin Oei, Chinyere Okere, Cliff Olson, and finally yours truly, Mark Mayuga.
This was a fantastic turn-out of driving enthusiasts and we are planning other similar events in late July and November. Look for the EBlasts and EClubNEWS announcements. FLASH, Kevin Easton said the 2020 JOCLA ROSTER is in the Mail and everyone should be receiving theirs very soon. This is quite an accomplishment seeing that the printer had to shut down as he was about to go to press in March. Many thanks to Janet Sowell and Kevin Easton for getting it done and out to the membership.
Until our next Big Adventure, be safe, looking forward to seeing you all again, soon,
Cheers, Mark Mayuga, President