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Jaguar MK2 – Withnail and I

Published: 20 October 2008

Ranking: 36      

Year of release: 1987

The car: One of the most clapped-out Jag MkIIs you’ve ever seen.

Why it’s special: It’s one of many cinematic appearances for the Jag MkII – one of the landmark cars of the Sixties and perfect transport for this idiosyncratic British pair. The saloon is so knackered, the wipers don’t work and the protagonists specialise in overtaking blind. You wouldn’t want to be a passenger in this Jag…

Best bit: The decadently alcohol-sozzled Richard Grant driving the Jag and being stopped by Plod. He tries out his novel scam to beat the urine sample at the police station – by releasing a secret store of urine taken from a child. Sadly, he’s so pissed, he can’t control the pee which gushes all over the police station.

Pub fact: Although set in the 1960s, you can see signs for the M25 motorway in the background; Withnail was filmed before the London orbital was fully opened in 1986…

Plot overview: It’s London in the mid-60s and two young actors living on the edge of reality decide to go for a small retreat in the countryside. Fans can mouth the words of Grant’s big speeches along with him, relishing every viperish turn of phrase… this is and always will be a perfect dark comedy and a student staple.

For: The Jag is a perfect, run-down mode of transport for Withnail’s protagonists; amusing instances of drink-driving

Against: No real chase scenes as such – and the Jag is hardly a concours example

CAR verdict: Entertaining film with a spread of Brit car highlights

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By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, motoring news magnet