Cold Start: The Serious Jaguar Instrument Cluster Hiding A Huge Smiley Face

Cs Jagdash

You’d think anything so pretentious as to be labeled “Functional Efficiency Allied to Beauty” would be terribly, terribly vigilant when it comes to doing anything undignified and silly, right? This 1960 Jaguar Mk2 brochure certainly fits into that category: serious, elegant, refined. Not silly, not even in the slightest. And yet, when it comes to explaining what all the levers and knobs and sliders and chromed nubbins there do, we’re confronted with this:

Untitled 9

See where I’m going, here? Lemme assist you:

Cs Jagdash Face

How did they not see this huge, goofy face staring right at them? It’s like a Cheshire Cat, all wide eyes and colossal grin. You can’t crow about “functional efficiency allied to beauty” and then throw this shit at us, Jaguar. Come on.

 

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25 Responses

  1. In a related yay for materials advancements, I’m so glad we’re seeing the return of toggle switches in some cars.

    We went through that looong period where they were replaced entirely by buttons, but like here, toggles look so cool, and while buttons are better than touchscreens for many things (in my book anyway), what’s even better is flipping a switch. Esp. if they’re in a row and something lights up near them.

    1. Admit it, you like long activation sequences with lots of switch flipping, buttons, displays and readouts flashing to life, and a knife switch thrown in for good measure. 🙂
      Or maybe that’s just me. Whether it’s Airwolf’s startup sequence, the Jaeger suitup and activation, or even the amp sequence at the beginning of Back to the Future (not to mention all the lovely buttons and toggles of the time-traveling Delorean)

      Used to be every time I adjusted the rearview to dark mode at night I’d flash on Wash flipping an overhead switch while flying the Serenity from Firefly … IMDb trivia claims Alan Tudyk said he would flip the same three switches overhead anytime he was given an order on the bridge. Verisimilitude!

      1. They’re popping up in a handful of sporting and higher-end vehicles. I think it’s a situation where something needs to go aaaalllll of the way out in 95 percent of cases before it becomes trendy for the few.

        1. I think it’s a legislation thing, certainly in Europe. There is a (apparently) a risk of impaling yourself on toggle switches in an impact. While they weren’t banned completely, any impact needs to be spread over a larger area, hence the guards around the toggle switches in Minis for example.

    1. This is basically the archetype of what I think all luxury car dashboards should look like – big expanses of beautiful burl wood, tastefully restrained chrome accents, minimal plastic, and no giant screen showing off the driver’s fingerprint smudges

  2. Little known fact:
    Wilbert Awdry (Author of Thomas Tank Engine series) worked as a technical writer for Jaguar in post-war England as a side gig when the children’s books weren’t selling well. He left his mark too on the Mk2.

    (Not really)…

  3. I’m assuming you guys never had Roland Rat over there, he was a kind of anarchic muppet kids tv show ‘host’ here in the UK in the 80s.

    Anyway, it’s a well known thing over here that the previous gen Ford Fiesta’s instrument cluster and steering wheel looks exactly like him.

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