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Jaguar’s new XF to walk the tightrope

22 March, 2015

The Jaguar XF was first released in 2007, and is Jaguar’s biggest-selling and most awarded car. The all-new XF is to be revealed on March 24 and, featuring Jaguar’s aluminium-intensive architecture, is expected to provide class-leading efficiency, weight, and design — Ian Callum, Jaguar’s director of design, has said, “I believe the all-new XF will be the best-looking car in its class.”   

The XF’s lightweight credentials are to be highlighted, and Jaguar have thought of something quite outside the square to achieve this. The aluminium-intensive XF will be driven, in what Jaguar call a high-wire drive, across two 34mm thick wires suspended high above water.

Jaguar has enlisted world-renowned stunt driver Jim Dowdall — whose driving has starred in films including James Bond, Jason Bourne, and Indiana Jones titles — to help pull it off.

A teaser video for the feat can be viewed below.

Taipan – surpassing interest

“It’s merely a passing interest,” insists Selby — despite owning three variants of the classic VW Beetle, including an unusual VW van that was sold as a body kit for a Subaru. In his defence he points to a 1961 Ford Thunderbird, a car that he converted to right-hand drive. However, on the VW side of the ledger, since he opened Allison Autos in Whanganui 27 years ago, Selby has built 15 VW-powered Formula First cars, followed by a beach buggy, restored a derelict Karmann Ghia, and hot-rodded a common or garden Beetle into something that has to be seen to be believed. As speed is not something generally associated with classic VWs, though, Selby is still waiting for this particular modification to catch on amongst the hot rod faithful.

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.