Magnificent motor earns Nigel top prize at annual car show
PUBLISHED: 08:36 16 November 2018
A classic car enthusiast from Great Chesterford has won a prestigious award for the upkeep and maintenance of his Jaguar XJ-S over the last 20 years.
The chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover presented the Jaguar Drivers’ Club ‘Champion of Champions’ award to Nigel Butterworth, 82, on Saturday at the Classic Motor Show at NEC Birmingham.
The event arena covered the size of about 18 football pitches and featured more than 3,000 classic and vintage cars and motorbikes.
Nigel is a member of the Jaguar Drivers’ Club and there were seven different registers of Jaguar for the judges to assess and crown an overall champion.
The judges marked the quality of the engine and also the interior.
“It feels fantastic to have won and I can now retire from fixing the car and focus on enjoying it and driving it a bit more,” Nigel said. “I’m also thinking about selling it on and buying another one - I wouldn’t have to worry about getting it dirty or the value of it depreciating.”
The Jaguar XJ-S started being manufactured in 1976 and stopped in the 1990s, so Nigel said it’s very rare to see the car on the road.
“It was never a completely luxurious car, like an Aston Martin, and they did suffer a bit from rust,” Nigel said.
It was Nigel’s third visit to the NEC. His passion for Jaguars began with a couple of XKs back in 1959, including a racing special and a 120 roadster. He competed in hill climbs and raced until marriage, children and career intervened.
Nigel bought his Jaguar XJ-S in 1998 with 33,805 miles on the clock - it had been well looked after and was in good condition.
His transformation into a ‘Champion of Champions’ winner came about by accident - he was persuaded to enter the car for one of the concours prizes. He came second and the following year, he won. He caught the bug and began having the car’s interior refurbished, before the real restoration began, bringing the car to its present condition in 2004.
“I will be retiring gracefully to enjoy the pleasure of driving this wonderful car,” Nigel said. “It will revert to being a driver’s car rather than show car.”