S.U Midel Tony Arditto

John Elmes

Register Secretary 

Which came first, my interest in cars or being weaned? It’s academic. Both occurred prior to my recorded memory. If it had wheels I wanted it.

My first car was a Morris 8/40 two door roadster. What a goer. 0 to 25 in 2 minutes. A mate dropped it back to low at 30mph and the big ends parted company with the crankshaft. This was my first engine rebuild. At the end of the 50’s I upgraded to a Morris Minor and joined the Hills District Car Club. Ken and Leigh Britton along with Dave Thomas were members. It was lots of fun. I traded the Morrie for a brand new Bug Eyed Sprite. With good handling and quick self-centring steering, it was a joy to drive. Although standard I won or scored highly in lots of events.

My interest in Jaguars intensified when a mate got a Mk5. It was beautiful. Often on my way to work I would pass a BRG XK 120 OTS. It wasn’t Hutch driving but the hood was never to be seen winter or summer. I lusted after one. Then the compacts were on the scene and I lusted after those as well. I could handle this; in your early 20’s lust was a daily event.

In ’65 I met my partner Ian and Real Estate became more important than cars. Work increased and all of a sudden 30 years escaped. Later things got a bit easier and we bought a Mk2, two XK140’s and a 5.3 XJC. This is when I joined the Jaguar Drivers Club in 1998. A few years ago Toddy suggested I be the next Compacts Registrar and this time in the Club has been most rewarding. 3 or so years ago I sold the Mk2 and stood down as the Compacts Register Secretary, but as I owned two XK 140s I was asked would I like to look after the Classic XK Register and of course I said yes as I found being a part of the committee to be a very rewarding experience.

I’m happy to talk Jags with any member, so if you have a question or see me at a meeting or on a drive day and feel like a chat, come on over.


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