Classic Car News: The Journey Of The Jaguar

by Katie Norton

 She's hit the top spot at Le Mans, Flirted with many an F1 driver, rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous, and even had a love affair with Steve McQueen - not bad for an old girl about to hit the big 50. If you haven't worked out that I'm talking about the iconic Jaguar, you've missed out on a monumentous slice of motoring history.

The Telegraph website refers to the Jag as the "coolest cat of them all", which is understandable when you look back on the extremely eye-catching vintage cars that have come from the British luxury car manufacturer. Two of the proudest moments in Jaguar's long history so far, have been winning the Le Mans 24 hour race in 1951 and again in 1953.

In 1961 we were wowed by her unrivaled beauty, performance and extraordinary value, but nothing could have prepared us for the fantasies that the E-type jaguar provoked. To most Britons in 1961 owning any car was highly aspirational, so it's hard to exaggerate just what a glamorous creation this classic beauty was.

If it's good enough for Steve McQueen it's certainly good enough for us. The undeniable love affair between Steve McQueen and the Jaguar was no secret, with a thrill seeking movie star behind the wheel of such a classic creation, the pair were a match made in heaven.

Another chapter in the Jaguar autobiography is the story of the XJ220, which is both inspiring and sad. This was a car of dreams in its day, with a V-12 engine and 4WD, which saw her become the fastest ever road car. The XJ220 was built at a cost of £400,000, which was where the trouble began. On a story on, it was reported that with the market for exotic cars crashing, buyers refused to pay such high price tags, which meant these valuable cars were being sold below list price – with just over "two hundred making it out of the factory gates".

Every girl needs her girlfriends around her from time to time, so it's no surprise that at the launch party for the Jaguar XJ, the trendier Jaguar, was hanging out with other models such as Elle Macpherson and Poppy Delevigne, discussing design, silhouettes and styling of motoring over a glass of Veuve Clicquot.