Classics make splashFriday, July 30, 2021
BY RORY DALEY
It was a slightly damp outing for the Jamaica Classic Car Club (JCCC) on the grounds of the Jamaica Horticultural Society in St Andrew, as intermittent rain restricted the attendance at the event throughout the day.
But, Jason Lawson, president of the JCCC, was happy to be back in action.
“Yes. I was happy with the meet today, given the circumstances with the rain. It's been a pretty good turnout,” he told the Jamaica Observer's Auto magazine.
The club's last meet was in February 2020, a month before the COVID-19 lockdown. Despite the weather, 25 JCCC-member vehicles were on display and received plenty of activity from passing patrons. The event itself was kept busy as the JCCC was also playing host to Belgian magazine Porschist, who were in the island courtesy of the Jamaica Tourist Board and ATL Motorsports, the arm of the ATL Automotive Group responsible for the Porsche brand.
“It's good that our local Porsches are being recognised internationally,” Lawson said.
He, however, had hoped that a larger portion of them would have made the event.
“We have a lot more Porsches here, locally. For a lot of them, it was just the timing. These cars, as classics, take a little more time to prepare. I wished we could have gotten some more at the event, but they were coming from different parts of the island, but we're happy to have been able to provide what we could,” he explained.
Even with the line-up stacked with the German sports car brand, it was an American veteran that got everyone's attention, the 1944 Ford GPW (Willys Jeep) of Paul MacKay. Completed in 2019 after a six-year restoration, his efforts have been noticed, not just by the club who gave him a special award that year, but the picture taking crowd that constantly surrounded his pride and joy.
“I'm glad they come and ask. They're quite surprised when I tell them it's from 1944, so it does draw a crowd which is nice. People enjoy it and I encourage them to take pictures, sit in the vehicle, not just to look at it, but to make contact with it,” said MacKay.
MacKay recounts the story of his dream of owning a Willys Jeep, only to find one locally literally in a tree. Using a forklift, it was lifted over the tree that had grown through it, at which point MacKay began his ground up restoration. Given the extensive rot and damage due to age, the rebuilding was instead based on using the salvageable components.
The Jeep, a relic of World War II, was an American vehicle lent to British forces on the island during the period.
“This is part of Jamaica's history, and so it's part of my endeavour to keep vehicles like these going,” MacKay added.
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login