Spanning over 2000 miles, the event is named in part after the legendary film Cannonball Run and the size of the challenge ahead hence Cannonball 2000!
One of the charitable aspects of the event is supporting the Dreams Come true charity.
Mr Peter Novani purchased a Jaguar XK from Grange Jaguar Brentwood to participate the Cannonball 2000 Event.
Peter said about the Jaguar XK:
As you may know, we bought the Jaguar XK from Grange specifically for the Cannonball 2000 event. My late father owned a 3.8 ltre MkII Jaguar automatic in the 1960s, and a 4.2 litre Jaguar XJ with manual overdrive transmission in the 1970s. We looked at other marques, but my faith in buying a pre-owned Jaguar from your dealership was full vindicated. The Grace, Pace and Space slogan used by Jaguar in the past was exactly how we felt about the big cat. In fact it was the only Jaguar entered in the event. 2000 miles in just five days from London to Paris and back to London again via Barcelona, Monte Carlo and Milan was a good test for any car, and the Jaguar did not miss a beat. It swallowed up our luggage after having taken far too many clothes with us. The XK was fast when required, very comfortable and quite economical too – it averaged 29.7mpg. It looked very stylish outside some of the best 5 star hotels in Europe, and amongst such company as Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Porsches and Aston Martins.
Peter comments about the Dreams Come True Charity:
In fact until we entered the Cannonball 2000 we both had no idea the charity existed. Therefore, we decided that as our Jaguar XK carried the charity’s logos (front and rear) we would try and gain some exposure for them. We will be taking the Jaguar around the West End of London this weekend, parking it at various hot spots to see what happens. As you might note from viewing the Scalextric stuff in my Photostream, I have been active charity-wise in the past. People get the wrong impression of the Cannonball 2000 event. They think it is a bunch of petrolhead speed crazy jet setting poseurs causing havoc on the roads of Europe. Not so in my view. Take my/our involvement. In truth it was my first trip abroad since 1987! We opted for a “Grace, Pace and Space” (old Jaguar advertising slogan) approach and entered the only Jaguar on the event. Fast, comfy and room enough for all our clothes. We like to look smart. My girlfriend did much of the driving on the event. One of the very few woman present to get behind the wheel. Some of the guys were a bit too protective of their machinery. Why I do not know. I loved the attention she was getting at the wheel. For example, she was interviewed for the Monaco-Matin newspaper, when we stopped off to swap seats at a service station. They featured our photo (and the Jaguar) and wrote about our participation. They called it the “Le Rallye Bling-Bling.” That said the number of French people who turned out at the St Malo port and on the AutoRoute bridges to wave and photograph the cars is something we shall never forget.
Although the French police were out in force to get the Cannoballers. Their countrymen (and the Italian police too) were more understanding. That especially applies to the old French guy we met in the Paris suburbs when we got totally lost on the final day. He agreed to show us the way into Paris rather than explain in broken English. Trouble was we were stressed out and running late, sitting in a 155mph sports car. On the other hand, he was on a bicycle and cool as a cucumber. Nonetheless, he rode along the pavements for about half a mile while we crawled beside him at 3mph with hazard warning lights ablaze. It has to be said, that was somewhat surreal. Once he was satisfied we were pointed in the right direction he bid us farewell. He even got off his bicycle to shake my hand and wish us “bon chance.” Who said the French are arrogant? It was a fantastic experience as the whole Cannonball 2000 adventure was a focal point for us after we first met. Having decided to take part and share the driving duties we needed to find a car suitable. Having test driven various sports cars we were both smitten with the Jaguar XK after road testing one at Grange Brentwood. Far smoother than many other sports cars we tested, and fantastic to look at too. Our relationship stood up to the intensity of spending five days together on the road and the Jaguar helped keep us relaxed. It was in its element cruising around Europe, and I am proud we did the event without drama and chose exactly the right car for us to enjoy it in. We both have two grown-up children, and they all thought we were really cool doing the event, and in the only Jaguar to take part too. Trust me being cool is important when you get to our age.
We are very happy at Grange that the Jaguar XK was so well received at the event and was quite fitting amoung the other sports cars.