Jim Perrell has some fun with visitors checking out his 1956 Jaguar XK140 MC Drophead Coupe at a summer event. The classic will be parked with other great cars at the Oct. 7 Niello Concours at Serrano. Village Life photo by Shelly Thorene

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Classic beauties roll onto the green

By From page B1 | October 03, 2012

“My primary reason was to open an opportunity to the general public and to those folks that have a passion for classic and antique automobiles that they wouldn’t be able to normally see on the streets,” said Jim Perrell about displaying his classic Jaguar at this summer’s Saturday in the Park.

If you missed his 1956 Jaguar XK140 MC Drophead Coupe, a second chance to check out this classic ride and many other rare, valuable vehicles occurs Sunday, Oct. 7, at Niello Concours at Serrano, featuring the marque of Pierce-Arrow and celebrating 50 years of the Cobra honoring Carroll Shelby.

Niello Concours at Serrano has partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Dorado County this year. Big Brothers Big Sisters will benefit from the proceeds of 200 general admission tickets on sale now at mentor4youth.org or by calling the office at (530) 626-1222. Advance tickets to the event are $35 each. Tickets at the door will be $45. Children 12 and younger are free with a paid adult.

Concours guests can also purchase raffle tickets at the Big Brothers Big Sisters booth for a chance to win a 1965 Shelby Cobra CSX 6095. The drawing will be held on Dec. 31, 2012.

Those wandering by Perrell’s vehicle Sunday will get a special treat; they’re welcome to touch and even sit in the driver’s seat of his Jag.

“[Some people] have signs on their vehicles that say ‘Look but don’t touch.’ I find that absurd,” Perrell said. “How are you going to involve these youth and get them to have a passion if you don’t invite them and encourage them in the same passions that you have and allow them to get a little piece of something that they never in their life have had an opportunity to do?”

As a preservationist of old vehicles, community events allow Perrell to share his interest with the general public — a way to “reach out and tell others to follow their own passion.” Perrell’s Jaguar has never been restored, but rather preserved. “Nothing has ever been done except rebuilding the safety systems,” he explained.

To fully restore the vehicle would cost about $90,000.

“My passion for automobiles started when I was 6 years old … watching my father as he used to tinker on the cars,” Perrell said. “It’s a therapy in itself.”

As a child, Perrell’s father took him to the car dealership in the Malibu area and Perrell quickly fell in love with the Jaguar. To his delight, his father bought the car new. Unfortunately, he had to sell it four years later. The next door neighbors had their eye on the car and purchased it. If it had to go, at least it wasn’t going to be very far.

Still, years later, Perrell said he couldn’t get his mind off the car and finally asked the neighbor if he would be willing to sell it back. Perrell’s neighbor generously gave him the vehicle back free, as an exchange between friends.

Perrell said he has a passion for this car and other antique cars that he owns and restores because they are “reminiscent of a simpler, easier time when we weren’t sucked into the television and trying to keep up with the Joneses.”

He unofficially retired from showing his cars in 2007 and continues to judge antique car shows. Occasionally for certain events, such as the Niello Concours at Serrano, he parks his own cars on the lawn.

Many of the car events Perrell participates in benefit charities and organizations, such as the Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

“All I’m able to do is to give back a small portion of the blessings and opportunities that I have received,” said Perrell.

In addition to beautiful classic cars, the Niello Concours at Serrano features a fashion show by Felicia Strati, Hennessy will set up a Cigar & Cognac Lounge. The Jaguar Patio will serve a specialty cocktail and Maserati will serve champagne. Wines poured come from Boeger Winery and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse will provide concessions. Special displays from McLaren of San Francisco and Fisker Karma will also keep guests entertained.

For more information about the concours visit nielloconcoursatserrano.com.

Megan Donnelly


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