Was chatting to Coventry University’s David Browne, advocate and chief architect of the famous Transport Design course, and it seems I made a false generalisation that he didn't like much.
I made the mistake of suggesting that maybe the mould-breaking Jaguar XF shouldn’t now be regarded as a Coventry car, since the company’s new HQ is closer to Warwick than Coventry, and its manufacturing plant closer to Birmingham. It was a big mistake.
What followed was a crisply turned email reminding me that, while under the benign leadership of Ian Callum and Mick Mohan, the XF was designed by Wayne Burgess and Adam Hatton (exterior), and Ed Willis and Alister Whelan (interior). All are proud Coventry graduates, now moving on to projects that build on their XF achievements.
By the same token, there must be cars borne as far afield as Tokyo and California that, penned by Browne's design disciples, fall under the same definition. Few, however, must have the same resonance with the Midlands than the XF, and few would surely draw such quick correction from the man himself.
Just shows you how much influence Coventry's Transport Design degrees continue to have, both at Jaguar and throughout the wider industry, and how much of an advantage they must be to those talented enough to have earned them.