When the Irish Jaguar & Daimler Club began planning the first Irish Classic & Vintage Motor Show in the Spring of 1991 it was decided to mark the occasion with a commemorative plate. As it was the 30th anniversary of the launch of the Jaguar E type it was decided to feature a Series I E type roadster. Over the next 10 years the show expanded and had to move venues from St Augustines School in Blackrock, to Harolds Cross Hospice and Leopardstown Racecourse but the plates continued to feature a classic Jaguar, Daimler or SS* car.
The foot & mouth outbreak in 2001 forced the first cancellation of the show but also gave the IJDC time to consider its future. The venue was moved to Terenure College, where it was initially doubted that the extensive grounds would ever be filled but which has now become synonymous with the event. With Jaguar’s back catalogue of heritage cars nearly all being covered it was also decided that the winner of the Esso Trophy for Car of the Show should feature on the following year’s plate. While the plates cause puzzlement to some newcomers they have become collectible and much cherished by others with a few being able to follow a lifetimes collecting by looking at 28 plates on the garage wall.
*SS stood for Swallow Sidecar, William Lyons’ first business before he moved on to design and manufacture coach-built bodies for Austin and Wolseley cars amongst others. The SS Cars name was retained when he launched his own cars but dropped in favour of the Jaguar model name after the war.