Richard Patterson’s Top Five Automobiles With Movie Roles


  • As past owner of 4 E-types, series one and two, I must concur with your selections, since all your descriptions are accurate and additionally, the E-type is the best balanced car I have ever driven. It even handles well in the snow and ice. I put 120,000 miles on one of them (my ’64 series 1 coupe) with no major drive train issues. It was a fast car for the 70’s when I owned it.

  • Richard Patterson

    Mr Horn, my Lord Duke, (not sure of the correct term of address here):

    Four E-Types: Magnificent. “Danger: Diabolik” levels of E-Type ownership. I sense a connoisseur and a professional’s pen.

    It’s official – C-X16 images released ahead of Frankfurt’s official release next Tuesday. It is an incredible vindication for the company’s efforts and heritage. It is a complete vindication.


    Shortest car since the XK120 in the ’50’s – approx price GBP 50,000 = $80,000. Formula One drive train technology called KERS – This retrieves energy and supplements its already powerful V6 engine with electric power. At the push of a big red button on the steering wheel, output is boosted from 375hp to 467hp. 186mph. The car can run in ‘electric mode only’ on zero tail pipe emissions at low throttle for city driving at speeds under 50mph. Fuel consumption 41mpg (UK) combined. Performance comparable to a Porsche 911 or V8 Audi R8 but with half the CO2 emission of the Audi. Cutting edge technology. The looks speak for themselves. I think the production version will stay close to this “production concept’. Very handsome Anglo/Italian looks, evoking (for me) Brabham and Lotus race cars, a dash of Ferrari, while retaining Jaguar DNA in an exciting contemporary way – they’ve finally arrived at what will be a new iconic front end. Parkable at ‘Prius only’ spaces at Wholefoods.

    Meaning and significance:

    There is no longer the need to sacrifice beauty, heritage and style in the name of legumes.

    The last five years have for Jaguar been the most exciting period of germination and creativity. Any artist recognises such a phase as the most exciting period. To be in the midst of such a period (now passing its “procreational” zenith – as it were – but my no mean over – as Churchill would have said, “Now this is not the end. This is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning…” etc Now that the company is emphatically bearing fruit, I would predict that Dallas collectively will pick up on the phenomena in about 2025. It’s usual time-lag. Or possibly not at all. I hope I am wrong.

    It would not be unfair to say that Dallas, as of 15-20 years ago, was overly focused on German output in relation to culture – still roughly jammed in a fog of post-Greenbergian psuedo-rhetoric and taste that led it back to abstraction and expressionism. Various major art movements thus passed Dallas by, like oil tankers unable to find port. One might track this in its auto appreciation – stuck in Mercedes and BMW mode before leap-frogging to a vague and approximate globalized picture centred on Lexus/Toyota. In so doing, missing key cultural phenomenon: one can barely buy a French car here for example. Britain and Italy poorly represented until very recently and even then, the more predictable moves, Bentley, etc. Sheer elevation of price being used as a proxy for appreciating quality and meaning.

    In reverence to the ancient Roman gods, I could see in every day events the significance of Jaguar’s ascendancy. There are two blue jays that visit our house’s small pond using binary logarithms to decide which of the three parallel copper fountain pipes to utilise on each given day – which over time creates a code. There is a feral cat that has been living under my doorstep for over two years and has since had three kittens, and now resides permanently on the patio. It was a sign. It remains feral; the kittens have all been domesticated and adopted within the city. The three kittens represented: the new XF, the new XJ and now the C-X16

    Jaguar Land Rover now has phenomenal funding – its full creative potential was unleashed several years ago by its visionary Indian owner, Ratan Tata. It cross-brands internationally with art events, fashion, sport, hotel and restaurant groups like no other company. Its cultural connectivity and depth in TV, film and the media is unmatched. In the US, particularly here in Dallas, it is utterly misunderstood – routinely pronounced, “Jagwharrr”, which under the auspices of the UK-US ‘special relationship’, I have now personally reconciled, but cannot endure the pronunciation “Jaguire”, as in “squire”- which is an abomination, indicative of a sort of belligerent ignorance too often seen here.

    While creativity in manufacturing is paramount – more so than ever, and particularly in the US, it is sometimes perhaps assumed that creativity in art trumps all other creativity. This is not a given. Contemporary art currently resides in shallow waters, washed back and forward by the tide and raked over a bland beach desperate for the exposure to sunlight, but rarely returning to deeper waters where it can re-oxygenate and cleanse. Little true value is bestowed in heritage, depth and tradition here. Perry’s “$10,000 university degree challenge” is an indication of such populism and goal-post shifting. In the name of thrift and fashionable belt-tightening, it might gloss over a much deeper issue about education, cultural value and depth. He is right that funding in education should be revisited. But it demands a more radical rethink than the implication of his proposals, which further encourages an already ominous two track system.

    Certain other ‘high creativity’ marques are in funding dire straits. This will seriously curtail R&D and future production, and the true innovation that spills in to other areas.

    To use Jaguar’s new drive train as a metaphor – its benefits will be felt across the industry. It is a leading contribution in real world auto efficiency and CO2 reduction – not just tokenism. They are also working jointly with Bladon Micro Jets in micro gas turbine technology for application to the auto industry. They receive government grants for such endeavours, while relying more heavily on Tata’s huge investment. They are currently at the leading edge of developing ultra efficient low capacity high output conventional engines that run at very high temperatures – which are the real future for emissions reduction in the long (50-75 year) interim before true electric power becomes viable. (As opposed to emissions shifting technology i.e. from the tail pipe back to the power station).

    Despite Perry’s claims that global warming is just a corrupt funding exercise or “a theory out there, right now”, or whatever – I tend to side with the 98% of scientists that seem to regard it as fact. Just as job creation should not be confused with ‘job creationism’, and belligerent belief, convenient whimsy, or bare-faced expedience, are not to be confused with “uncontestable fact”, so far as there ever is such a thing. For me, I’ll play the percentages.

    Such innovation at Jaguar has come about not as a result of cut backs and lowest common denominator “trimming”, but because the company pursues excellence as its goal, and attracts the best candidates in its company therefore. There is considerable capital investment and considerable investment in four key areas: “passion, creativity, culture, innovation”. None of these criterion taken individually are significant enough. As a debater astutely pointed out on the subject of Perry’s challenge in yesterday’s NY Times, quoting W.B.Yeats in saying, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire”


    Quality is paramount. It should govern larger decisions. There should be considerable federal and state investment in education and manufacturing industries, Neither of these are cheap, but they yield far higher returns and enhance quality of life. I don’t see it as optional. If money is to be cut, cut it elsewhere. And raise taxes a bit. That would be a simple enough start.

  • Richard Patterson

    For anyone who struggles with certain aspects of FrontRow, it would be worth checking out the Fast Show- a seminal TV series from the UK which has never aired in the US as far as I know – probably because it’s too good. (It unquestionably influenced much SNL material over the last five to ten years). Johnny Depp is a huge fan. A new series is airing soon. It fills in the cultural gaps for anyone that has been away from their desk for too long or stuck in Dallas for more than three months at a time. Swiss Toni and Rowley Birkin QC are a good place to start.

  • Richard Patterson

    Sorry – not a new series – it will be online. Find old clips on youtube.
    Here’s Rowley Birkin QC (Queen’s Counsel – a retired barrister)

    And another favourite character, Dave Angel – Eco Warrior

  • Richard Patterson

    And, “Jazz Club”
    “I’m not Pissed” (should translate well to Dallas)

  • Richard Patterson

    Aired on BBC America apparently, under the name of “Brilliant” instead of “The Fast Show”.

  • Old Man

    When I saw the headline, I was thinking more on the lines of “Christine” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”