Jaguar’s three greatest designs by Frank Stephenson; the E-Type is not on the List - story fullscreen Fullscreen

Jaguar’s three greatest designs by Frank Stephenson; the E-Type is not on the List

The famous Automotive Designer takes us through some of the British marques most celebrated automobiles

Automotive designer Frank Stephenson uses his YouTube channel to provide competent judgments and interesting ideas that help expand our knowledge on aesthetics and car design. In his latest video, he discusses the three models from one of my favorite car brands of all time, Jaguar.

Jaguar's three greatest designs by Frank Stephenson; the E-Type is not on the List
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It was a treat to watch as the designer goes over some stunning examples that hark back to the brand’s glorious past. However, before listing out these cars, he first gives us the three cornerstones that define Jaguar’s design and stylistic decisions, which describe both the brand’s past and present models.

A Car Brands Design Ethos

Jaguar's three greatest designs by Frank Stephenson; the E-Type is not on the List
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Designer Frank Stephenson regularly enriches and educates us with subjects around aesthetics and automotive design

According to Frank, there are three pillars that define a car brands ethos or identity are

  • Agile & Athletic
  • Intimidating yet Un-aggressive
  • Essentialism
In every car brands history, there is a model a car that comes out at a certain time that is of such importance that it marks a high point it's a chapter marker in the car brands history that defines everything that came before it and influences everything that came after it and today I want to talk about three cars that have done just that fo Jaguar - Frank Stephenson
Jaguar's three greatest designs by Frank Stephenson; the E-Type is not on the List
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According to Frank, there are three pillars that a brand’s design ethos is built upon

The Jaguar identity is thus based on the concept of agility and athleticism, which is evident in the lines of its cars, which are dominated by strong lines that delimit clean and streamlined surfaces, a concept that goes hand in hand with the second point that characterizes the design of the brand, namely that it is intimidating but not aggressive, just like the animal from which it is derived.

Jaguar's three greatest designs by Frank Stephenson; the E-Type is not on the List
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They are Agile & Athletic, Intimidating yet Un-aggressive, and Essentialism. The Jaguar brand certainly carries these elements in the way that their cars are designed are engineered to this day

The essentialism that distinguishes the automobiles of the past and present, that are always crisp and elegant in their lines, with no details out of place, is the third element, that builds upon the first two points. But which Jag’s make it on the list of the American designer’s top three? Well, let’s find out.

1954 D Type - Long Nose

Jaguar's three greatest designs by Frank Stephenson; the E-Type is not on the List
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First on his list was the iconic D-Type, the long nose one to be more specific

The first car nominated is the Jaguar D-Type Long Nose, which was manufactured in the mid-50s, and was planned and engineered to win at Le Mans, which it did. The car was primarily designed for speed and to be as aerodynamically efficient as possible, resulting in lines that appear to have been drawn by the wind, giving the car a timeless shape, where form really did follow function.

Jaguar's three greatest designs by Frank Stephenson; the E-Type is not on the List
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Both cars have a rich their history in racing and the D-Type has also won Le-Mans in the mid-50s

If you recall, the D-Type really was an evolution of the C-Type that came before it, albeit with that giant fin, which was a functional element. But this iconic feature transformed the D-Type into one of the best-looking and distinctive Jaguars of all time. Some of the details on these classic Jags are truly exquisite and for me personally, given the pedigree of the D-Type, it’s got to be my favorite Jaguar.

Jaguar XKS120 OTS

Jaguar's three greatest designs by Frank Stephenson; the E-Type is not on the List
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Next Frank touches upon the XK120

Next, Frank went over the Jaguar XK120, specifically the OTS (Open Two Seater) version, which was made in 1950 and had no roof. This model fully represents the three key characteristics already discussed earlier, and it served as the foundation for all subsequent XKs that followed.

Jaguar's three greatest designs by Frank Stephenson; the E-Type is not on the List
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Today he goes over three greatest designs, of one of the most iconic car brands in history, Jaguar

The flowing lines are a fantastic representation of 1950s sports design with an air of Art-deco design thrown in there as well. This was especially true with the car’s bold shoulder line, which was reminiscent of cars at the time.

Jaguar MK2 Sedan

Jaguar's three greatest designs by Frank Stephenson; the E-Type is not on the List
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The third and final car on his list is the Jaguar MK2 sedan

The third and final car on Franks’s list is the Jaguar MK2 sedan or saloon if you’re British. This one car, according to Stephenson, symbolizes the iconic four-door design from the English manufacturer. It is the quintessential four-door Jag.

Jaguar's three greatest designs by Frank Stephenson; the E-Type is not on the List
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The MK2 was a getaway car and marries athleticism and sportiness with grace an elegance

It’s an extremely elegant design that managed to blend the characteristics of other sporty Jaguars at the time into a humble sedan. One of the design elements on the MK2 that Frank highlights is that beautiful quarter panel behind the rear window, which he thinks could be based on the Fibonacci spiral. I recall first seeing the MK2 Jag on Top Gear, where Hammond did a film about it calling it the ultimate getaway baddies car.

Conclusion

Jaguar's three greatest designs by Frank Stephenson; the E-Type is not on the List
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Apart from these three cars, as is customary with Frank, he lists a few more cars, including one from the recent past. Swipe Up to Find Out which one’s.

In the end, as is customary Frank, has allocated the closing minutes of the film to three honorable mentions; nevertheless, we won’t give any surprises and will leave it to you to discover them for yourself in the video below.

Watch Frank Stephenson walk us through the design of some of the most iconic Jag’s of all time, in the video below


Khris Bharath
Khris Bharath
Khris is a classic car aficionado and adores his Jags and Alfas, although he keeps tabs on everything from super exotics like an old EB 110 to the latest from Lucid. Formula One is very close to his heart, and he diligently makes time to tune in for the Grand Prix on Sundays. Khris also loves his road trips and he prefers stick shift over an Auto any day.  Read full bio
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