Inside Jaguar: Making a Million Pound Car, TV review - Mark Evans is no Jeremy Clarkson

Channel 4's documentary reminded viewers that Jaguar was "risking its reputation" in playing for the hearts of multi-millionaires

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The Independent Culture

With no new Top Gear due until 2016, Channel 4 provided a perfect opportunity for big boys to indulge their love of fast, vintage cars with Inside Jaguar: Making a Million Pound Car, a look at the making of 12 Jaguar E-Types, which are due to sell for £1m each to a hand-picked selection of super-rich classic-car obsessives.

The documentary reminded viewers that the company was "risking its reputation" in playing for the hearts of multi-millionaires by re-creating a car based on the dozen E-Types built in 1963, one of which recently sold for £5m at auction.

Kevin, a Jaguar employee for more than 30 years whose father also worked for the car manufacturer, was tasked with the burden of producing 12 handmade racing cars for the über-wealthy clients whose identities had been kept secret from the engineers on the production floor. With the crisscrossed lines on his forehead frowning in overdrive, he told us: "If it isn't perfection, we shouldn't be considering it."

 

The documentary did its best to instil some drama into its hour-long slot. Kevin tracked down the only E-Type body press left in the UK in Newcastle, only to find it had a crack in it. Cue an ad break as classic-car aficionados were left to chew over the thought there were still 45 minutes to go until the cars were to be presented to their mega-rich buyers.

Veterinary surgeon-turned-TV presenter Mark Evans, who is such a classic car fanatic that he failed his A-levels the first time round because he was too busy restoring a Triumph Herald 1360 convertible, also tried to add to the building tension surrounding the making of the "world's most exclusive car".

With Seventies sideburns and puppy-dog eyes to rival Andy Burnham's, he is unlikely to be first in line to replace Jeremy Clarkson. Especially as he took great joy in repeating to the camera what had just been said by a featured expert, engineer, millionaire buyer or the like. "It's perfect," said one Danny DeVito-lookalike American buyer after flying across the Atlantic to look at his car in the making. "He likes it," whispered Evans to camera.

Later he told Kevin while in the passenger seat of a newly completed E-Type: "I have got to find a way to get one of these. If only I'd been half decent as a TV presenter I might have found a way to buy one."

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