David Gandy on cars and why he wants a classic Jaguar
Male supermodel and self-confessed car nut David Gandy faced a dilemma during the Los Angeles Motor show this week.
Given the choice, would he choose Jaguar’s brand new E-Pace sports utility vehicle, being launched in the USA, or a classic E-Type Jaguar from the 1960s?
I posed him the question while he was being filmed with both vehicles during an automotive and lifestyle photo-shoot by fashion photographer John Russo on the El Mirage dried-out lake-bed in the Californian desert for the men’s magazine Nobleman.
Decisions, decisions: Our man Ray Massey asked British supermodel David Gandy if he preferred Jaguar’s new E-Pace SUV or the gorgeous classic E-Type sports car. Guess which one he went for…
And Gandy was happy to spill the beans on his love of cars and which of the two he would choose – the answer probably coming as no surprise considering his love of classics.
Jaguar’s new compact SUV, priced from £28,500, is being launched to the US market at the Los Angeles motor show and promises be a big export earner for the UK, while the E-Type is a favourite among collectors and was even judged a work of art worth of display at the Museum of Modern Art in in New York.
Gandy was also intrigued by Jaguar’s recent electric E-Type conversion to allow collectors to drive their classics into zero-emissions zones, saying: ’It’s a clever option. Jaguar seem to be on top of electrification. It’s good to see them setting the pace.’
So a tough call? Not really, his mum and his girlfriend love the new E-Pace and so does he.
But, if pushed, Mr Gandy would go for the 1960s classic: ’I’d have to go for the E-Type,’ he told me.
‘I’m a car nut. Even Enzo Ferrari said it was the most beautiful car in the world. So who am I to argue.’
True to his Essex roots (he was born in Billericay), Mr Gandy revealed that his first car was a 1.1-litre Fiesta Ghia. But his passion now is classic cars.
’It’s true driving,’ he explained.
‘You are not as fast as in modern cars. You have to re-calibrate your brain. You have to brake in time – and a lot earlier – when you see what the traffic up ahead is doing. There’s no power steering.
‘And if they do break down the mechanics are simple to fix.’
His current classic collection is decidedly German, he says, and comprises a Mercedes-Benz 190 SL that had been in the same family for 60 years, and a 1965 Porsche 356.
This causes ribbing from friends who say: ’You are such a British car enthusiast but you have German classic cars.’
That is about to change.
David Gandy is a self-confessed car nut and already owns classic cars, including a Mercedes 190 SL
His dream car is the 1957 Jaguar XKSS – the road going version of the D-Type racing car. Nine of the 25 cars being built were destroyed in a fire but Jaguar’s Classic division is recreating the original missing nine from scratch as continuation cars costing more than £1m each.
But for now that remains a dream and the car he’s most likely to take delivery of in the coming weeks and months is a classic 1950s Jaguar XK120.
He said he’s scouting for one in half-decent nick that he can have restored by Jaguar’s Classic division at its recently opened new headquarters in Ryton on the outskirts of Coventry.
‘I’ve twice driven the Mille Miglia in an XK120. So I’ve decided to bite the bullet, buy one, and work with the Classic division to restore it. I’d like something with a racing history,’ he said.
The British supermodel’s favourite car of all time is the Jaguar XKSS, based on the D-Type racer
Jaguar Land Rover Classics is building 9 continuation models of the car (pictured on the raised platform) at its new specialist premises outside Coventry
David Gandy has been on the hunt for a Jaguar XK120, like the one pictured here
He’s already got two in his sights. While out in the USA he will be looking at a left hand-drive version, which – thanks to the dry climate in the USA – hopefully won’t be ruined by rust after years of pounding by winter salt and slush.
‘It’s in great condition. There are no salty roads to worry about.
‘I can get it converted from left to right hand drive for British roads. And I’d like to race it in the Mille Miglia.’
He’s already taken part twice in that classic 1,000 mile drive across Italy behind the wheels of an XK120, once with model Yasmin Le Bon and most recently with model and motoring pundit Jodie Kidd: ’She’s got all her racing licences. But she’s unhinged,’ he laughs.
Gandy, pictured here during a photoshoot, will be using a Jaguar E-Pace over the festive break to visit family with his girlfriend, barrister Stephanie Mendoros
However, Gandy will be behind the wheel of the E-Pace this Christmas when he motors up to Yorkshire on a 400-mile round trip for a relaxing break with his girlfriend, barrister Stephanie Mendoros.
And she may even trade in her current Porsche for the latest leaping cat, he said.
‘My girlfriend has a Porsche Macan but we’re looking to switch to an E-Pace.’
He’s also looking for a new car for his mother: ‘Mum said it looks great. It probably handles better than you need a crossover to handle.’
The E-Pace, he predicts, will be a big hit: ’It will appeal to the female buyer. The larger F-Pace SUV brought in a different customer. The E-Pace will do so even more. It’s a very clever design.’
Jaguar unveiled its baby SUV earlier this year. It is set to gobble-up sales in the rapidly growing compact 4×4 sector
Gandy said chief designer Ian Callum had done wonders producing cars that appear ahead of their time yet – years later – remain contemporary never seem to age.
The 37-year-old model, whose face and physical features will be a familiar sight to shoppers this Christmas in the menswear departments at Marks & Spencer where he is now a tailoring ambassador, is currently driving a £110,000 200mph Jaguar F-Type SVR.
Thanks to its supercharged 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine that will accelerate from rest to 62mph in just 3.7 seconds, in a distinctly old school display of power.
‘I’m a motoring enthusiast. I love racing cars,’ Gandy explained.
‘Of course we’ve got to be a lot more conscious about the environment. I totally understand about electrification. It’s the future and the way we have to go.’
David Gandy said he preferred the all-electric Jaguar E-Type to one of the newer SUV models, like the E-Pace
David Gandy pictured on the El Mirage dried-out lake-bed in the Californian desert during a shoot for men’s magazine Nobleman
But he was quick to say that the demonisation of diesel by politicians who once urged motorists to switch to lower CO2 emissions was unhelpful, as is Government plans to ban all petrol and diesel cars by 2040.
‘How can we all drive electric cars by 2040?. Can the grid support it? Has everything been looked at before going out with these plans?
‘You may be punished through taxation or because the value of your car goes down. People are not sure whether to buy diesels. It’s brought down sales of new and second hand cars.’
David Gandy and Yasmin Le Bon attend the 2013 Mille Miglia on May 16, 2013 in Brescia, Italy
Two year’s later Gandy returned for the classic car event, this time driving with fellow model and petrol-head Jodie Kidd
Gandy is also proudly unashamed to fly the flag: ‘I’m always up for something British.
‘I love British brands and the heritage behind them. But we also have to move forward.
‘British firms make the best cars in the world – Rolls-Royce, MINI, Bentley, Jaguar and Land Rover.
David Gandy, pictured in the Private White jacket that’s part of the new Jaguar clothing collection
‘Jaguar Land Rover are at the forefront of motor industry design and electrification right now.’
He said: ‘Brexit is coming. We should support our British businesses.
‘We will weather whatever the Government does about Brexit – whatever deal we have to pay. It’ll happen. We’ll manage.
‘I’d very much like to see Jaguars on the driveways of friends and family, rather than a German alternative.’
He works with a number of British brands and start-ups, including M&S, luxury leather goods firm Aspinal of London, and the London Sock Company, as well as having a long relationship with fashion house Dolce and Gabbana.
He is pictured in the photoshoot wearing a jacket by British brand Private White that is new to the Jaguar merchandise collection, as well as the car-maker’s new sunglasses.
Passionate about animal welfare, Mr Gandy is a supporter of Battersea Dogs Home and has taken on an adorable mongrel called Dora. He’s also backing Hollywood actor Samuel L Jackson’s testicular cancer awareness campaign through the charity One for the Boys.
Courtesy: Daily Mail Online