Whether you're looking at Bertone
facing (and subsequently resolving
) a large tax bill
, it's saddening to see an automaker having to sell off its factory collection. That's why we're glad to report that there are still some acquiring historic vehicles from their pasts. Like Jaguar
, which has just bought the largest private collection of classic British cars in the world.
The collection of 543 cars was painstakingly assembled by one James Hull, a British dentist with some 50 dental clinics to his name across the UK and who was keen to find the right buyer to take possession of his life's work and preserve it for years to come.
Of those 543 cars, the majority are of British origin, including over 130 Jaguars. The collection includes seven XK120s
, several C
- and D-Types
, a rare XKSS, eight E-Types
, thirty Mark-series Jaguar sedans, nineteen XJS coupes and convertibles, some twenty XJ
sedans as well as some pre-war SS models and Swallow sidecars and coachbuilt specials from the company's early days. Among the many noteworthy examples are a rare SS100, an alloy-bodied XK120 and an MK X owned by company founder Sir William Lyons himself, as well as Winston Churchill's Austin
, Elton John's Bentley
, and racing driver and motorcycle rider Mike Hailwood's E-Type.
The collection was acquired by Jaguar Land Rover
through its new Special Operations
division – the same unit responsible for the F-Type Project 7
and which now incorporates Jaguar Heritage. It will be housed at a new facility at Jaguar's historic home at Browns Lane in Coventry, the cars to be used at future events to promote the brand and highlight its history.
Although most of the cars were made by other manufacturers, Jaguar spokesman Dan Connell confirmed in correspondence with Autoblog
that "the collection will stay together for the foreseeable future." As for the final price, neither party is saying, but while it was reportedly listed for sale at £100 million ($170m), we're told that wasn't the price which JLR paid for the collection. As Hull put it in the press release below
, "My primary motivation was not to get the maximum price but rather to secure the future of the collection in this country with the right custodian." Evidently Jaguar was deemed to be "the right custodian."