An "early days" Jaguar Tour to Ensenada
By Marty Goldsmith
In the Spring of 1958, the Jaguar Owners Club, from Los Angeles, organized a tour to Ensenada, Baja California Norte. At that time the coastal toll road from Tijuana did not exist, so the route followed the inland two lane road through the countryside and mountains. It was a good example of the 'twisties', well suited to sports cars, trucks, and burros. The Ensenada police ran escort for us as we approached the then small town.
Our first stop was at the base of the new sub-division called Chapultepec Hills. While the roads were in place, no homes had yet been built. From the picture, you can see that the main road up was long and provided a few bends. Here we staged a hill-climb. You could see the start line from the finish, so as the starting flag was dropped, the timer at the top started his stop-watch. No electronic timers here! No spectators, no problems.
One only wonders, what this looks like today.
Check out the "Floor Shows Nightly" banner hanging high.
From this fine beginning the group moved to the Hotel Bahia. Then it was the best in town, and right on the beach. Now it shows its age and is several blocks from the water. But the owner, Raul Ramirez Funke, had made all arrangements with the local officialdom, and had prepared a rousing fiesta to mark our arrival. Dancing, drinking, eating, and just generally whooping it up completed our afternoon. It all seemed quite exotic to our gang, and we had a wonderful evening.
Nothing like dancing with a 'six-shooter' on your hip.
Party time in the streets, cars and confetti.
After breakfast the next morning we all moved to the town square at the northern end of the business district. It is still there. Under the watchful gaze of the local citizens, we set up a slalom course around the square. As I recall we used dirt-filled paper bags for cones. It was a tight course, but a lot of fun, and the kids really got excited watching.
I just love the autocross through the streets of town with the checker flag waving.
As we wound down, and started packing up, one of the local bar owners appeared on the scene carrying cases of beer. This was offered to all participants in appreciation of the entertainment they had provided.
Time for a beer, pack up, through the helmet in the back and head home.
Can you imagine that happening today? It was a simpler time, and it is not surprising that we old-timers wax nostalgic.
What ever happened to the original Mexico, the real Mexico, the dancin' in the streets Mexico?
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