About Me

My photo
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Friday, April 17, 2015

April 17: Its been a long time coming, Jaguar

Coming out of my Thursday morning business meeting yesterday, I heard this ripping sound coming from the street. Would it be a Mercedes AMG? There are lots of them around my neighbourhood and they have that unmistakable guttural sound of pure power. No, a quick look showed me that the wonderful sound was coming from a new Jaguar F-Type Coupe R. I'd seen many of them parked or from a distance, but not heard that distinctive growl, as its lucky driver gave himself a morning wake up that, would be better than any Timmy's coffee.

Welcome back, Jag.

Got me to thinking how far Jaguar had strayed from those days, when this company meant luxury sedans and hot sports cars. Way back in the late 50's the ultra hot XK-SS served as a teaser of what was to come.......

Even Mr. Cool himself, Steve McQueen had one. As an aside, the public image of this guy was the only thing that was cool, as he was the ultimate a__hole, treating his long suffering wife and his fellow workers like dirt (another story for another day, but not in my blog). So back to cars, the XK-SS was the progenitor to the still famous XKE.......

Introduced in 1961, this car is still considered to be one of the most beautiful designs of all time. Think I'm wrong? Then ask that famous New York City art museum, why they had it on display a few years back. And for its time, it was a rocket. Respected on the street and the track. Ah, but things would change.

As the years went by, the XKE morphed into a heavy cruiser, a bloated image of its former self.......

No longer a road rocket, just an urban status symbol. But this was only the beginning of Jag's journey away from being a true sportscar and their past. Next up was the strange XJ, with a convertible roof that looked like the car was still under construction. Need visual proof?

Can't argue with reality. This big cabrio model also had a big coupe version.........

Nice looking, to be sure, but a GT cruiser, several large steps away from what had been the XKE's role in life. At the time, it probably was a good move to make this model as a Mercedes SL competitor, instead of one for Porsche. After all, one has to go where the most sales are.

The models that followed this, were also in the grand touring mode.......

......lovely to look at, but not something to go up against the neighbour in his hot new Porsche or for that matter, even a Corvette. Sure, there was usually an ungraded model, the R, with a better suspension and a bigger motor, but the car's mass was just too much to overcome on corners.

Jag did their best with what they had and their cars were usually lovely to look at.......

.......and the big power R version was a serious machine, but still, not like the old days. Even with the money behind this brand, when it was owned by Ford, Jag couldn't come up with a new model to bring back the car's track cred from so many years before.

What to do?

Well, I'm sure this next move had the old British traditionalists spitting bullets (like the sale of Bentley and Rolls to the Germans a few years before). Jaguar, that old British company from the days of tweed sports coats and jaunty caps, would be sold to the Indian mega company, Tata. Oh, the shame. But like with those other two British icons, the new owners had tons of money and  a good business plan, which included (thankfully) a return to Jag's sporting roots.

And those roots included a real, balls out sportscar. Enter the F-Type and its XKE inspired fastback, along with an equally gorgeous cabrio. Ah, the good new days!

So back to that beautifully raucous engine noise that I heard yesterday. Those old memories came flooding back, but even as they did, I realized that the good old days are really past and the good new days are so much better.

Welcome back, Jag!

Until next time.......

No comments:

Post a Comment