I really don't consider myself to be an old guy, I'm only 32. For some reason when I start talking cars with guys in there 20s we have completely different views on the car world. The other day we were all discussing the new Jaguar XK. Like it or hate, all the other guys said they didn't like how Jag had abandoned their traditional look. I made a comment about how I felt they were going back to what Jag sports cars should look like. It was like a herd of cattle staring at a new gate. No one had any idea what I was talking about, when I said "going back to" their traditional look.
Apparently I was the only guy in the room who knew what an E-Type was, much less lusted after one. This resulted in an informal half-hour long internet assisted historical automotive education. The group of car guys couldn't believe what they were looking at was a Jaguar, and yes I pronounce it JAG-YOU_ARE. Several commented that it looked like something Ferrari would build, or like a "skinny Cobra", they don't associate old British cars with anything resembling a sports car. They all know what a Lotus is, but they think they are relatively modern cars starting with the Esprit in the 80s.
It occurred to me later that the it isn't just the people in their 20s that have the same feeling s about Jag. I am guessing most people don't remember the once great Jaguar. The racing victories, the incredible sports cars of the past. People think of the awkward sedan that their even more awkward Uncle Lou had that seemed to spend more time in the shop than on the road. It's a fate that Jag brought on itself, but it is still a real shame.
Now the once great brand is owned by Ford, who can't seem to manage itself much less a foreign small volume manufacturer. I suppose it may be appropriate that the once great Ford is dragging down another once great company. My solution, sell Jaguar to the VW/Audi Group. I know many of you are cringing at the thought of the Germans owning such a magnificent English brand, but it certainly isn't the worst thing that ever happened to Bentley.
I would love to see a front-engined British sports car that would compete with Ferrari's GTs. With a little bit of engine sharing from Bentley and some chassis development from Porsche, I think we would have a winner.