Like any luxury company, Jaguar, owned by the British firm Jaguar-Land Rover, guards its history to challenge the present and define its future. This legendary company is so proud of its classic models that it recently purchased the 543 racing cars that made up the largest private collection of luxury cars in Britain, owned by businessman James Hull. The terms of the transfer were not disclosed but according to estimates Jaguar paid about $170 million.
The interest of the British manufacturer in the Hull collection is well justified: most of the cars carry the Jaguar name, and over 130 are the first models of the Swallow Sidecar Company, the brand that laid the foundation for Jaguar. Also in this group, the legendary Austin Seven from the 1920s with Swallow bodywork, along with a complete and diverse range of Jaguar models from before World War II, such as the SS series and the XK 120.
To extend the legacy of classic Jaguars, the company created the Special Operations Division, which will manufacture limited editions. Recently, it presented the Project 7, which evokes Jaguar’s seven consecutive victories at Le Mans, as well as an F-Type Limited Edition inspired by the legendary D-Type, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year.
Meanwhile, a Jaguar Heritage workshop built on the historic Browns Lane plant in Coventry, in the heart of Britain, will be in charge of maintaining the old cars up to the XK8 model. Directed by Martyn Hollingsworth, who belongs to the third generation of a family of Jaguar employees, the workshop is currently rebuilding six E-Type Lightweight 1963 cars.
It will also provide restoration services for classic models to clients of the firm, who can see the maintenance work process on their beloved "jewels". Once completed, they will have access to a photographic record of the tasks that were performed, and a detailed file of all the changes made to their car.
The new Jaguar Heritage workshop will also offer a pick-up and transport service for classic models anywhere in the UK, including seaports and airports for customers who want to transfer their cars from anywhere in the world. The first customers will benefit from a 20 percent discount for work performed prior to December 31, 2014. ■
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