When I make my fortune as a writer, I’m buying a Jaguar (note: that’s pronounced jag-u-ar for my North American readers). An F-Type, of course. It’s such a beautiful piece of mobile art. The design is so sensual. I’m torn between the partial impracticality of the F-Type Coupe and the total impracticality of the F-Type Convertible. The question I keep asking myself is this. If I’m laying over a serious slice of wonga should I at least have room for a shopping bag in the chariot? The Coupe does have room for an overnight bag (I’m hoping for company if I’m driving this set of wheels) – but who can resist a model who can go topless at a moment’s notice. And when she is topless, the drophead is just so damn sexy – the automotive equivalent of Gisele Bündchen (don’t you just hate Tom Brady).
You know, to my eye the Jaguar is probably even more attractive than that other icon of British motor manufacturing, the Aston Martin. And for the price of one Aston I could buy both Jags. That makes it a positive bargain. Well, that argument works for my wife!
There’s something quintessentially English about a Jag. And that creates a particular irony. That this symbol of the British diplomat should now be owned by an Indian company – the former colonial outpost. And a company named TaTa at that! Jaguar has had a chequered history, particularly through the days of its ownership by the state-owned monopoly of British Leyland. The combined effects of incompetent management and archaic trades unions crippled and decimated pretty much all British motor manufacturing – to the extent that there are now no major UK manufacturers.
Without doubt, though, Jaguar has made some seriously classy machinery over the years. Bill Lyons could certainly wield a pencil – the original SS vehicles pre-war are incredibly sexy vehicles, then the XK range and on to the E-type, so much a part of the ’60s. The present range is as good as anything that’s gone before. This iconic status didn’t go unnoticed by popular media either. The Jag has been a central character on TV and in movies over the years. It has been cast as the villain’s car in so many cops and robber movies: The Sweeney, Inspector Morse, and of course, Austin Powers in the Spy Who Shagged Me drove a Union Jack bedecked E-Type.
Jaguar is as English as strawberry jam and scones. The marque evokes images of country lanes, Cotswold villages and picnics. The modern designs echo back to the grand tourers of old. Sure, the Teutonic BMW and Mercedes are engineering marvels. Italian supercars are thoroughbreds, amazing but temperamental. The American contenders – Corvette or Viper are powerful, certainly. But they are rescue pound mutts alongside the pedigree of the Jaguar.
So where are you on this? What’s your dream car – no expense spared?
AtoZ Challenge 2014 – J
Picture sources: jaguar cars & Daily Mail