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Jag-lovers Film and TV

A TV and film Jag list! Plus Odds and Sods.

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Main index of Film Tv and Miscellany

Information on this page:

Jaguars on Television

    Minder - all series
    Bread (BBC TV 1980's)
    Columbo () - various from 1970's.
    Inspector Morse
    The New Avengers (1978)
    Callan (1974)
    Adam Adamant
    Saturday Night Live

    Minder - all series

    Arthur Daley (George Cole) from a very early stage in the program drove a Jaguar or a Daimler. In the last 2 series he drove an silver-blue XJ40 sovereign, but in earlier series he drove a Daimler Double Six.

    Who can forget the episode, when some part time staff rent his Double-Six out by mistake. Arfur reports it stolen, but the car is returned by the hirer a day or so later, dirty but apparently undamaged, and complains of the wheel balance being out when driving at over 130mph. [dm]

    Bread (BBC TV 1980's)

    The eldest son of the Boswell's, Joey, drove a black Daimler 250 V8 which was cunningly disguised, with a new front grille, as a Jaguar. [dm]

    Columbo ( ) - various from 1970's

    Well, why not ! Peter Falk didn't quite manage to get one, but the murderers usually did. Just about every early episode had an (xk) e-type in it . In one particular case, the recorded mileage on an e-type actually helps Columbo solve a murder mystery.

    ( I don't think any e-types went over a cliff in any Columbo episodes)

    In Columbo's one and only case in the UK, he was generally chauffeur driven in a series II XJ6 with whitewall tyres. [dm]

    Inspector Morse

    (Definitive Oxford dropout turned classy police inspector with love for opera and a Jag)

    .. Inspector Morse's car .. appears to be a MkII Jaguar, of course, with a horrible vinyl roof.

    I have heard rumours that it's not a Jaguar MkII at all, but a Daimler with a Jaguar grille. I can't remember how the exhaust arrangement is at the back, which would give it away (unless this was reworked as well).

    Not the best example of the breed - wrong colour, no wires - but I still cringe when they slam the doors! [pg]

    Not to mention the episode when a perp crashes through the side wall of the garage he was hiding in, only to ram into the side of Morse's Jag... [jl]

    Subject: Morse's Jag - another point of view - fwd from SOL - [bg]:

    I'm surprised the Jaguar fanatics on the net haven't spoken up. I'm a Jag fanatic wannabe, never having yet been well-healed enough to buy one, and maybe I can shed a little Lucas-like light on the subject. Being a serious watcher of British mystery shows on A&E and PBS, I have long puzzled at Morse's Jag. Over the years I've watched every scene with that car in it with a keenness only mustered by bored little boys looking at passing traffic and 31-year-olds who used to be little boys looking at passing traffic. I have noticed that he has an A-register Mark II with disk wheels and a black vinyl top. On its trunk is the key to the mystery: "2.4" in little chrome letters. (Most Mark II's here were 3.8's or 4.2's.) In one scene we actually see Morse manually shifting a 4-speed tranny.

    The "A" on the number plates means that the car was built in late 1961 or in most of 1962 (I wish I could check an article in "Your Classic" magazine that went into number plates in detail). The 2.4 liter model was never exported to America (according to my late grandfather, who was a Jag fanatic who even owned a D-type once upon a time), they had only the 4-speed found in E-type in order to make the most of the small engine's power, with no optional automatic. Wire wheels were preferred by sporty romantics as being very sports-car-like, but the disk wheels were preferred by pragmatic sporty types because of their racing connotations (D-types and E-types and even the mid-engined XJ-13 all used them for their strength). Even my grandpa preferred them on his Jags. The vinyl roof? That was a factory option considered elegant at the time. British vinyl roofs from the late Fifties and early Sixties actually inspired the vinyl roof on the 1961 Thunderbird Landau and the vinyl roofed variant of the Cadillac Sixty Special, the Fleetwood Brougham, both considered the height of luxury and suaveness in the Sixties. It is a shame that such elegant early applications led to the excesses of vinyl we've all had to live through.

    To sum up, Morse's Jag seems an entirely appropriate choice for his character. It would be the choice of someone looking for something esoteric, something thrifty (important for a policeman's salary) to run and insure, something sporty (4-speed and disk wheels), something with elegant trimmings (leather, wood, chrome, and the suave vinyl roof, as he would remember the suaveness from his school days when he wouldn't have had the money to buy a Jaguar yet, but would set himself on getting one "someday"), something quiet and refined and comfortable, all for a person without the particularly American desire for the biggest engine and the most power, even when one can't enjoy the speeds such a big engined, powerful car could attain because of modern speed limits. As my knowledge of Jaguars leaves a lot to be desired, please correct me if I'm wrong about any point, and please fill in any missing details.]

    The registration number is permanently imprinted in my mind though - it is 248 RPA. Strangely enough Hale&Pace once did a Morse skit and I noticed that the Jaguar they used had a very similar registration, only differing by one character I seem to recall. I don't know whether this was by accident or design but it was definitely spooky to see. There's an old style AA badge on the radiator grill too. I looked in my 'Making of Morse' book last night for any other bits of info but not with much success - it's reported as being 'burgundy' in colour. There's a few photographs which might interest you including one of a shot which shows the set up of the camera and so on for an in-car shot. [mw]

    248 RPA predates year-letter registrations so [sk]'s comment about the year is probably wrong [jb]


    (Ian McShane as an antique dealer - girl friend drives an XJ-S convertible) [jb]

    The New Avengers (1978)

    I'm surprised that the New Avengers didn't make it on the list before now.

    Apparently 'sponsored' by British Leyland, the cast drove as follows:

    Mike Gambit (Gareth Hunt) drove a red XJS. Occasionally there were some good fast car scenes with this XJS.

    Jonathan Steed (Patrick MacNee) drove a BRG or black XJ12C, which was modified with a Broadspeed type enlarged front grille, flared wheel arches and huge low profile tyres. ( Occasionally drove a Range Rover also)

    Purdey ( Joanna Lumley) had to make do with an MG(B) ? [dm]

    Callan (1974)

    Entertaining, but occasionally violent, spy/MI5 thriller. Edward Woodard in his stereotyped "Equalizer" type role. The man that Edward Woodward had to kill, drove a nice S type, which gets slightly battered during some attempts to escape from his house. Edward Woodwards black windowed Range Rover takes all the short cuts and cuts off the escape routes. [dm]


    (some time ago now, but Edward Woodward drove an XJ saloon for a while) [jb]

    Edward Woodward had a Series III in the 1980's series. I think he may even have had an XJ40 in the late 80's. [dm]

    Adam Adamant

    One dreadful '60s TV series comes to mind called "Adam Adamant" about someone who did a kind of Clark Kent/Superman thing in a multistorey car park. Waste of a perfectly good E-type. **shudder**. [jb]

    Saturday Night Live

    American comedy show, now syndicated throughout the civilized world, had a piece entitled "Toonses The Driving Cat" featuring a repetitious crash of a white Jaguar saloon (3.8L MK II, I think). The Jaguar just sails off a cliff for the longest time, landing initially on its roof, smashing to pieces. While this is not the easiest thing to watch, it is dramatic and could hardly be missed due to the number of times it is shown. [rm]

    HTML by Roly Alcock 1996


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