The Jaguar E-Type is British, and iconic

The poll is over and the winner can now be declared – the Jaguar E-Type is (un)officially the most iconic car from Great Britain.

Polling took an interesting turn in turn with the way the world turns.

The Mini shot into the lead in early polling – when it was basically just Europe voting – but once the United States woke up a few hours later, things changed. From then on, the E-Type took what turned out to be an unassailable lead.

It’s interesting because through comments, Eggs linked to a recent AutoCar poll that crowned the Mini as the best British car. AutoCar is a British magazine, of course, which would tend to back up the theory that the Mini would be supported in Europe (and then there’s the general popularity of small cars in Europe, too).

On the other hand, small cars have never been big in the US. Whilst the E-Type (XKE) definitely sold in good numbers in the US, I’m not sure if the original Mini ever sold much there at all. They might have sold a few in pairs, as roller skates.

Bottom line: I think voting went largely along continental lines. The Mini and the Jag were THE two prominent polling vehicles in the field, but the Jag simply had more supporters in the end. As you can see, below, I voted for the Roller. Ah well.

Shagalicious, baby!

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  1. Hmmm, good analysis Swade; the US swayed the vote. I wonder how the majority voted – with the heart i.e. the car they personally liked the most? Or with the mind – the car that was more synonymous with Britain? I took the latter approach in voting for the Mini.

    It will be interesting to see what happens if you decide to venture to Germany as there is a very obvious parrallel to the Mini/Jag shoot-out…and both contenders sold in the US in pretty big numbers as far as I know.

  2. Very appropriate image to summarise the poll BTW – even has a Mini almost pushed out of view to the far left. Well chosen.

  3. Interesting that it worked out that way demographically.

    I’ll say that US readers would find the Jaguar both more to their liking AND more iconic simply due to the relative lack of visibility of the original Mini. The car was imported for a few years in the 1960’s, but was not a success and if memory serves the sales volume wasn’t worth the cost of crash testing and complying with US regulations at some point (probably either 1968 or 1972).

  4. Even though I am both American and voted for the Mini, I see why the Jag got the win.

    First off, it IS quintessentially British in a way no other country could have pulled off. Secondly, the Mini’s reintroduction under the auspices of BMW has, for brought the Britishness of the marque into question, even for gearheads.

  5. Interesting voting pattern! I too voted for mini – hey! it became an international word!

    I was going to suggest the London Taxi. Wonder where that would have come?

    1. How could we forget about that discrete but omnipresent classic !
      The Austin FX4/Carbodies production start dating back to 1958.
      You are right, it should have been in the nominationlist.

  6. Then there’s always the interesting difference betwen “Best” and “Most British”, those two are not necessarily the same

    …..think Lucas 😉