This morning, breakfast TV greeted me with the news that a skyscraper had melted a Jaguar XJ. Slow news day, I pondered, but then started to recall tales of small children burning random things with magnifying glasses before gaming devices were invented, so decided to look at this with a little more intent.

It was the bright light from our unusually decent summer reflecting onto the Jaguar from the ‘Walke Talkie’ in the financial district of London that caused the damage on Thursday afternoon. The wing mirror, badge and side panels had all been damaged by the sun’s rays.

jaguar xj melted panels

In a further development, Eddie Cannon, a heating engineer, claimed that his own Vauxhall Vevaro van had been damaged in a similar way with a partially melted dashboard.

The Fenchurch Street skyscraper is still under construction and part of its design has the outside clad in double and triple-glazed aluminium, and it is this extremely reflective nature of the building that has seemingly caused the problem.

Apparently, the Jag was only parked up under the glare from the ‘Walkie Talkie’ building for just under an hour, but as we all know from those childhood exploits with a magnifying glass, it doesn’t take long to heat something up channelling the immense power of the sun.

The developers, Land Securities & Canary Wharf say they are looking into the issue, and City of London has agreed to close three parking bays in the vicinity as a precaution while the situation is investigated.

It would seem that the unique angles of the building, which is wider at the top than the bottom (it’s also been nicknamed the pint glass), is reflecting the sun directly into a specific area down below on sunny days. Indeed, nearby workers had apparently already nicknamed the building the ‘walkie scorchie’ before the melting Jaguar hit the news.

walkie talking building glare

Land Securities & Canary Wharf say they have apologised to the owner of the Jaguar, Martin Lindsay, and agreed to pay the repair bill for the overly heated Jag, which is estimated to come to £946 – potentially a tiny sun spot in the great scheme of things compared to the potential cost of fixing the problem itself.

The slightly amusing aspect of all of this is that it seems as if the power of the sun has surprised the residents and workers of London, which I guess in itself is really no surprise when you live in the UK.

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