JTB and Belgian magazine combine with Jamaican Classic Car Club

The editorial staff of Belgian magazine, Porschist in action at the Art Walk district in Downtown Kingston.

The Jamaica Classic Car Club (JCCC) held its first meet for over a year at the Jamaica Horticultural Society in Hope Pastures, St Andrew recently. The event may not have been as large as its previous outings, but the meet could be the club’s most impactful to date as it brought international exposure and put a singular piece of Jamaican history on display.

“We’re happy for today that we can finally have a proper meet for the members here,” said Jason Lawson, president — JCCC.

The international part of the event came about as the editorial staff from Belgian magazine, Porschist, was on hand to document the island’s history with the Stuttgart sports car manufacturer, in conjunction with the Jamaica Tourist Board and ATL Motorsports, local dealers for the Porsche brand of vehicles.

(From right) Jason Lawson, president — JCCC, and Naresh Potopsingh, first vice-president — JCCC share a moment with club member Simeon Alexander at the club’s first event in over a year.

“We have a regional office in Europe and they reached out to them for assistance to do this destination experience, and from there we made the contact and the arrangements for them,” Christopher Burke, media relations officer — Jamaica Tourist Board explained.

With the publication’s aim to cover Porsches, the JCCC did its best to oblige. Lawson lamented that time was an overall factor in the number that appeared, indicating that the club had a larger amount of Porsches in its membership, but getting them all ready for the meet proved a challenge given their nature as classic cars.

That didn’t stop the publication’s crew as they headed to the Kingston Art Walk with all the Porsches they had in tow to capture them surrounded by the iconic settings in Downtown Kingston. The end result was a lengthy photo shoot.
“As you can see from their publication that they balance the Porsche brand with the destination experience, so they look for those unique experiences on the island while twinning it the Porsche culture, by interviewing local owners and dealerships to give that full destination experience,” Burke said.

The immaculately restored 1944 Ford GPW of Paul Mackay drew plenty of attention.

Prior to this, the magazine had been taken around the island, to other iconic tourist locations, to see what Jamaica had to offer while sampling Porsches new and old wherever they could.

Back at Hope Pastures, patrons had a piece of Jamaican history in their presence, a 1944 Ford GPW belonging to JCCC member Paul Mackay. The Ford GPW is a version of the legendary Willys Jeep used in World War II, as was this example. MacKay, fond of the vehicle, found one six years ago and began a complete rebuild.

According to MacKay his Jeep is the only one of its kind remaining on the island and was brought here as part of the Lend-Lease agreement between the USA and Great Britain during the Second World War.

The German contingent present at the recent Jamaica Classic Car Club meet at the Jamaica Horticultural Society in Hope Pastures, St Andrew. Several of the club’s Porsches are to be featured in Belgian automotive lifestyle magazine Porschist.

“Jamaica at that time was a British Colony. The USA also had Navy, Army, and Army Air Corps bases on the island, primarily to protect shipping through the Panama Canal and convoys from the region, hence a British number on the bonnet,” MacKay explained about the Jeep.

Its immaculate condition made it the centre of attention, much to MacKay’s intent and liking.
“The reason behind the insanity of resurrecting such a mess, is to honour all the Jamaicans, we were grouped as British, who served in WW2,” he said.