Whatever happened to Jaguar's prestigious Leaper?

Started By: D.V. McClelland on 2013-01-22 14:58:10

Iam constantly being asked when and why did Jaguar decide to drop the Leaper from the Jaguar.
D.V. McClelland
Fun@6ty
2005 XJ8 Super V8
Black exterior
Champagne interior

Comments

Well D.V. Ian Callum (Jaguar Chief Designer) will be the guest speaker at the Challenge Championship. Seems like a wonderful op. to ask. See you there!

Edited on 2013-01-23 11:04:21

It will be interesting to see if someone gets an answer from Ian on the subject. [that's your mission, George]
My understanding is that the reasons are multifaceted. Part of the reason stems from Gov't displeasure with anything that "protrudes" from the body of a car. They have been on that kick for years. That's what ultimately made the Leaper an after the fact accessory, rather than a factory installed option. Owners can get away with more than the mfg.
I think it is also a casualty of Jaguar's push to reinvent, and begin to separate from it prior self. In that vein they opted to begin using the bold and somewhat more aggressive Growler in the grill. Most people, me included, think the Growler AND a Leaper on the newer cars is a bit much. Some though, still want their Leaper.

I've gotten over it, and have become content with the Growler; though I still want my Leaper on the older cars.

My two cents.........

Steve not my question--not my mission.

Hi DV:

I think it has something to do with the Pedestrian contact sensing system first seen on the XK sports car with the automatically deployable hood to help safegaurd pedestrians from injury

Presumably programmed to avoid pedestrains anywhere!

Hi Steve: Thanks for the reply. There's an old saying: "You can take the boy out of Canada, but you can't take Canada out of the boy!" Seems to me that the same would apply to our Jags, eh!
D.V. McC.
05 Jag XJ8 Super V8

I think all the above are reasonable answers, but personaly, I think it's just Jaguar and their design team. They just wanted to get away from anything "old" or, related to the "has been" Jags.------Sad!

To me, Jaguar has missed the boat. The "Leaper" meant Jaguar and when one see's it, they know it's a Jag.

My daughter-in-law owns an XF and she say's people are always pulling along side of her and saying to her "thats a beautiful car, "what kind is it"? She say's she's proud she has a beautiful car, but the question about what kind is it, is disappointing.

With the "Leaper", no one has to ask.

People always tell me that I have a beautiful car, but no one has ever asked "what kind is it". Thanks to the beautiful CAT sitting on my hood. That-- means "JAGUAR"

Garfield
05/XJ8L

I THINK THE MASCOTS WERE ONLY USED ON EARLY SEDANS, WHERE, WITH THE CLASSIC BONNET LINE THEY FITTED IN PERFECTLY.( SOME 150's HAD THEM) UP UNTIL US SAFETY REGULATIONS PROHIBITED SOLID FITTINGS THAT PROTRUDED FROM THE SHELL OF THE VEHICLE -SUCH AS THE WINGED HUB CAPS AROUND 1968 OR SO. ALMOST ALL XJ OWNERS FITTED THEIR OWN AS THEY DID LOOK GOOD.; i REMEMBER FITTING THE 9 INCH ONES TO EACH WING OF A SERIES 1 E TYPE AND MORE RECENTLY, TO THE REAR OF THE BONNET ON AN XK8..

The hood ornaments that came on cars in the earlier years were meant to add grace and beauty to a car. The Packards, Buicks, Rolls, Jaguars and all the other beautiful cars of the pass---and now even today on the Bently's and Rolls etc..
The difference was that in most cases the ornaments were rather big and could cause personal injury to a person if hit by the car dead center and were fixed to the hood in hopes collectors (mostly kids--are some of those collectors Jaguar members today--I bet so), so due to pressure from so called concerned citizens--the Ralph Naders---, they were outlawed on American cars.
Today, as one can see, that is no longer the case---or is just forgotten, but the difference now is that these ornaments are "break-a-way" , or in some cases like the Rolls, retract into the hood once the key is turned off.
So, today the old laws have nothing to do with it when it comes to putting a hood ornament on a car or not, it's the car maker and it wasn't on just old cars. Jaguar put the cat on the hood up to the introduction of the new sedan body style in 2009. There may have been a few during the years where the ornament was not on the hood of the sedan cars, but they always came back to it. Hopefully they will again.
The new sedans are beautiful and a person should be able to see that it's a Jag and not have to guess what it is.

Garfield

05/XJ8L

The hood ornaments that came on cars in the earlier years were meant to add grace and beauty to a car. The Packards, Buicks, Rolls, Jaguars and all the other beautiful cars of the pass---and now even today on the Bently's and Rolls etc..
The difference was that in most cases the ornaments were rather big and could cause personal injury to a person if hit by the car dead center and were fixed to the hood in hopes collectors (mostly kids--are some of those collectors Jaguar members today--I bet so), so due to pressure from so called concerned citizens--the Ralph Naders---, they were outlawed on American cars.
Today, as one can see, that is no longer the case---or is just forgotten, but the difference now is that these ornaments are "break-a-way" , or in some cases like the Rolls, retract into the hood once the key is turned off.
So, today the old laws have nothing to do with it when it comes to putting a hood ornament on a car or not, it's the car maker and it wasn't on just old cars. Jaguar put the cat on the hood up to the introduction of the new sedan body style in 2009. There may have been a few during the years where the ornament was not on the hood of the sedan cars, but they always came back to it. Hopefully they will again.
The new sedans are beautiful and a person should be able to see that it's a Jag and not have to guess what it is.

Garfield

05/XJ8L

Actually, Jaguar dropped the leaper in the 1960's. It was the dealers in North America that put them on after that to satisfy demand from customers over here. They do look ugly stuck on cars where they were never intended, especially the XJ-S. JCNA accepts them, even on cars that never had them when they left the factory.

No way in heck one of those things is ever going on my XJS-S ;-)

Actually JCNA allows the leaper on the XJ6 and XJ12 cars (all) but not the XJS or XJ-S. Reason is that in the Jaguar Master accessories catalog they offered them (USA and Canada). Problem with the XJS and XJ-S is that Jaguar NA also made it very clear in the notes *NOT FOR XJS OR XJ-S*. Same is true in later versions of the catalog when it states *NOT FOR XK8*.

What about the "Ford" S-Type? Other than the S-Type R, I've not seen one without a leaper, unless of course it was broken off.

I believe this was the official ceremony at which the leaper was finaly buried, the body was available for 24 hours allowing affectionados to pay their final respects.

I toured the factory in Coventry in 1996 and they were installing the Leaper on sedans! In fact I traded a Jag Club pin for one with a man on the assembly line. It is spr ing loaded so it can move without breaking off.

I have been looking to buy a late model Used Jag, however no matter no matter how many times I see one on the road by the time I figure out what it is, It's too late.
The badge on the grill is totally illegible from any distance and not memorable in the least.
There is a fix, having owned a Ferrari and now a Maserati, no matter how obscure the model the grill badge is easily recognized from far away.
Why not put the Leaper on the Grill ala Ferrari's Prancing Horse.
When I find my Jag I will certainly find one in the aftermarket or have one made to replace the Growler.

Prior owner of an XK120, 140 and 150
Plus an XK12C
Thanks

Ed, you can pick up a late model x350 -- they were produced through 2009, I think -- which came with a factory Leaper.

Our 2006 XJR is very recognizable as a Jaguar, as is our 1998.

Best, Harold ...

Ed, you can pick up a late model x350 -- they were produced through 2009, I think -- which came with a factory Leaper.

Our 2006 XJR is very recognizable as a Jaguar, as is our 1998.

Best, Harold ...

People who own Jaguars, can recognize a Jaguar from a mile away. To a non-Jaguar owner, not so. Even after they pass, some people still don't know what they saw---unless it has the Leaper.

It's sort of like local TV ads where the ad owner thinks it's so cute and has his small kids or grandkids talking in the ads. No one knows what the hell the kid is saying. If you have small kids around you all day, unstanding them is easy. For folks that don't have them around----impossible.
Never have been able to figure these people out----.

I am amazed that this thread has lasted so long, I still stand behind my original post on the subject, however for all you naysayers, the real reason is this. When radiators moved under the bonnet together with their fill ups, all big outside radiator caps disappeared as did their adornments. You no longer had to handle a hot Leaper,Spirit of Ecstasy or flying B, it saved countless law suits and burnt hands

Hi Harold, thanks for your reply. You are correct of course but only because they look like a Jaguar, I can see my 12C in both your car's and not because of the badge.
The model(s) I am looking at are XK/XKR's from 2007 on.
Having been away from Jaguar's for many years I did not recognize the lineage when I saw them.
To me the Leaper hood ornament would look a little out of place on these newer models but putting the leaper logo on the front in place of the Growler badge would alleviate the recognition problem and look good
I'm sure Sir William would approve.
Sorry to be so long winded but decided to do a little further research by looking at photo's of other badges used on Jag's in a fine coffee table book I have.
the Mark series has a Winged badge with the Jaguar on it, the leaper ornament on top.
XK120, 140, 150 and C Type, Growler in gold on a white background with gold wreath. (looks good)
1955 D Type, Stylized Wing with Jaguar in red on a white background.
1978 XJ 12 Series the Leaper Logo behind the front wheel well.
This is my own car I have attached showing the logo (not clearly) on the side.
My point is(now), after looking in my book is there are better options that could be updated and used for better recognition of these beautiful cars.

Again, many thanks
Ed

Saw this on a used car lot. Whoever did the addition, did a pretty good job. Doesn't look that bad

In order to help identify my 4PAW4 Jag truck, I had to add a 2nd leaper on the hood.

You can never have too many leaper's, as a matter of fact they did not get rid of it. Attached is a photo of the new XKF Interior. there are 2 shown which could just as easily be put on the out side!

Yes , i can see it would be difficult to recognize in a crowd LOL. About 35 years ago I had an actress client who had me fit two of the large 9" leapers, one on each wing of her V12E.

Just for a moment there William, I thought you were going somewhere else with those two large 9 inch leapers, But just for a moment.

Me too Edgar, There for a moment I could see two 9" Leaper's with wings. As you said though------just for a moment...........

Garfield

Gentlemen, what were you thinking? Now, if we were discussing my 53 Eldorado i would understand, it had 2 big round "DAGMARS" that caught a lot of eyes!

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