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The man who saved Jaguar

2 years ago

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Peter Robinson | Journalist


28 January 2022

The meal had been lavish and the wine magnificent beneath the chandelier of the ancient dining room in The Welcombe Hotel, a grand old English country house just outside Stratford-Upon-Avon. It was clearly an occasion the image makers felt worthy of a new Jaguar.

When we sat down that cold night late in February 1979, my dinner companion was unknown to me. Five hours later, after a conversation that ranged across the intricacies of suspension tuning, the winning of Le Mans on a budget that would pay beer money today, and the subtleties of the red wine we were drinking, we had become friends.

Our discussion covered intimacies neither of us would want repeated. Towards the end of the meal, over Stilton and port, Bob Knight, managing director of Jaguar, revealed a few of the difficulties he faced in the struggle to maintain Jaguar’s independence within the chaotic British Leyland group.

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