18 December 2014

For Jaguar aficionado Richard Maury, the JCNA feels like family

Richard Maury’s grandfather was into cars, and cars found their way into Richard.

“The car thing skipped a generation and landed pretty hard on me,” joked Maury, who works for a company that specializes in Jaguar parts and is president of the Jaguar Clubs of North America. “My grandfather (Charles Scarratt) owned a service garage in downtown Atlanta. It used to be his parents’ house, and he turned it into a garage. I loved cars, too, and once I started working on cars, I was always working on cars. I never looked back.”

Maury said he was especially fond of British automobiles, particularly Jaguars.

“I saw my first XKE in the third grade, and I never forgot it,” he said. “I knew if I ever had a chance, that was the car I wanted. I bought an Austin-Healey at 16, and I owned an MGC, a Morgan and VW bug, and finally a Jaguar XKE 2+2 when I was 18. Three months later, I traded it for a XKE roadster. For me, that was always the dream – Jaguar.”

Maury scored a 1950 XK-120 coupe in 1973 when he was a 19-year-old college student at Georgia Institute of Technology for use as a second car.

“I saw it in a newspaper ad. The guy who owned it had to move, and I lucked out and got it for $500 and drove it home,” he said. “I was living at home and commuting 30 miles to college every day, and the XKE was my daily transportation, rain or shine. Being on a student budget, I had to learn to work on it and do whatever was needed. I probably put 80,000-100,000 miles on it before I bought a more practical car.”

After graduating from Georgia Tech, Maury went into business for a few years, but his love for cars – and Jaguars, in particular – drew him to the auto industry. For the past 33 years he has headed up the Rebuilding Department at Coventry West (www.coventrywest.com), one of the largest wholesalers/retailers of new, used and remanufactured Jaguar parts.

Maury currently owns a 1971 Jaguar XKE coupe, which he enjoys racing. For more than 38 years he also owned a 1963 XKE roadster, which he restored himself in the mid-1980s. “The mechanical work wasn’t a problem; I was already doing that anyway. But I’d never done body work or interior work professionally, so I learned as I went.”

The restoration was a huge success – even better than Maury expected. “It got to the point where I’d drive it for an hour and then spend five hours cleaning it,” he said, only half-joking. The car was displayed at Jaguar’s headquarters for a time, and it was also used by Jaguar in their display area at the Pebble Beach and Amelia Island Concours. Maury finally parted with the car in 2011.

“I took it to Pebble Beach, and I went there with a ‘high acceptable price’ in my head, just in case,” he said. “Sure enough, a guy asked if I would sell it. So I gave him my price and he said, ‘OK.’”

Maury joined the Jaguar Clubs of North America (JCNA) in the late 1970s and said he was given a membership number “in the 4,000s.” Today, that number has pushed past 45,000 (a reflection of the total number of people who have joined the club since the beginning, not active membership). Maury said he can’t imagine how different his life might be without the JCNA.

“I’ve always enjoyed the club aspect – people of like interests getting together,” said Maury, whose wife of 35 years, Mary Lee, often accompanies him at events. “Some clubs don’t have the social aspect that the Jaguar club does, and I think that’s a big drawing card for many of us. I enjoy seeing old friends whenever the club gets together. It’s like coming home.”

Maury said the JCNA has 65 affiliated clubs from Canada to Mexico. The organization provides insurance and trophies for events, hosts a national gathering each year, publishes the Jaguar Journal magazine and offers useful Jaguar information on its website (www.jcna.com).

Now in his fifth and final one-year term as JCNA president, Maury said he will continue to be involved. “I’m happy that I was able to make changes that took hold,” he said. “The club is in the black and membership is up. I feel pretty good about that.”

One thing that will never change is Maury’s affection for Jaguar automobiles.

“I love the styling, performance, technology,” he said. “The E-Type was so advanced for the time; it was earth shattering. It offers a lot of performance and features that are the equivalent of more expensive cars.”

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