Famed for their aerodynamic lines, crafted through the expert eye of founder Sir William Lyons, Jaguar cars have always been synonymous with speed, elegance and jaw-dropping looks.
On Friday, as a special salute to the marque, for once, it was not a Jaguar that ‘roared’, but a Eurofighter Typhoon, also famed for its speed and performance, in a flypast and tribute to Jaguar to celebrate a remarkable birthday.
More than 40 of the cars had come together for a seven day rally starting in Brown’s Lane, Coventry and finishing where Jaguar first began life born from The Swallow Sidecar Company in Blackpool in 1922. None of the drivers on the rally had been told about the special flypast and tribute until the last possible moment.
Like Sir William Lyons’ designs, the Eurofighter signature characteristics revolve around power, poise and aerodynamic effectiveness. And like many of the cars from the Jaguar stable – the Typhoon has an aesthetic appeal coupled with engineering excellence that has won it acclaim throughout the world.
But Friday belonged to Jaguar as Typhoon’s Chief Test Pilot Mark Bowman, who flew the flypast, was happy to concede: “These cars are fabulous machines and, like Typhoon, they are deep in the DNA of the nation. When I was growing up, if I wasn’t lusting after planes, it was cars like the SS100 and the XK120 that did it for me. They are just beautiful designs which reflect a real understanding of aerodynamics and engineering excellence. It was a pleasure to salute such a birthday.”
Tony O’Keefe, who organised the Rally and the birthday surprise, said: “Today has been a really special day for all of us who have taken part in this event. Typhoon proved more than capable of blowing the candles out! It is a magnificent aeroplane and it is great to have such a salute. I am sure somewhere , wherever he is, Sir William Lyons will be smiling.”
- Among the group was 92 year Norman Dewis – Jaguar Test Driver (1952-1985)
- Jaguar Cars included: 1929 Austin Swallow; Jaguar SS100; Jaguar XJ220; eleven classic Jaguar E-Types; an XJS Cabriolet (formerly Princess Diana); the Jaguar XK150 and an original ‘Brough Superior’ motorcycle and sidecar which started the Jaguar journey back in 1922