Jag magic on streets

Jessica CuthbertAlbany Advertiser
Phil Shephard with one of his Jaguars.
Camera IconPhil Shephard with one of his Jaguars. Credit: Wayne Harrington

For Jaguar aficionado Phil Shephard, the Albany Classic is “absolutely magical”.

The historic motorsport event, which dates back to 1936, returns next weekend with a record number of entries. Vintage and classic cars will be roaring through the heart of Albany as a new pedestrian bridge makes things easier for spectators.

Albany Organising Committee’s Mr Shephard said he would be taking to the streets once again in his 1962 Jaguar E-Type coupe.

“My dad competed in the very first Albany Classic and I have competed since before 2003 and every year since. I absolutely love it,” he said. “How good is it when your council lets you soar around the streets and do a skid around the Town Hall?

“It bloody rocks, it’s awesome.”

Laurie Lapsley in his 1961 Jaguar Mk2.
Camera IconLaurie Lapsley in his 1961 Jaguar Mk2. Credit: Albany Advertiser

He said it was a rare event, with a vibrant atmosphere and something that everyone in the family could enjoy.

“The track is so unique. The concrete makes it a challenge so all the competitors have to behave, but it’s just magical,” he said. “I really like how the people, the spectators are so close to the event.”

This year is the 60th anniversary of the Mark 2 Jaguars — and spectators will see two models on display and on the circuit.

“You’ll see them roaring around. One driver is Laurie Lapsley and the other is Mike Gallagher. They are really beautiful cars,” Mr Shephard said.

“I look forward to celebrating the anniversary of the Minis and the Datsun 240Zs too. The Minis have their own round this year — that will look unreal.”

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