Jaguar Land Rover’s recently launched Special Operations division has acquired the entire 543-strong collection of British cars – including 130 Jaguars – compiled over a lifetime by the British multi-millionaire dental pioneer, Dr James Hull.
Acquisition of the collection, which features C- and D-types, an XKSS, an SS100, a rare alloy-bodied XK120, several early E-types and a Mark X once owned by Sir William Lyons, underscores JLR’s determination to "invest more" in its distinguished heritage. "We share the same objective as James Hull of keeping this unique collection in British hands," said John Edwards, managing director of Special Operations. "There is a strong brand and business rationale underpinning our agreement."
Jaguar will maintain some of the cars in a new workshop at Coventry, England, its former manufacturing site, and use them to support the many events it stages for customers around the world. For the time being, most of the cars which are in excellent running order will stay in their current location in specially erected buildings in Hertfordshire, England.
Company bosses have declined to reveal what JLR is paying for the collection to Dr Hull, who made his fortune pioneering new forms of cosmetic dentistry. Classic car experts have estimated the collection's value at between £25 – 35 million (Rs. 201.78 – 282.48 crore). As well as the Jaguars, the collection is understood to include a wartime Austin used by Winston Churchill, a Bentley owned by Elton John, a Mini Traveller owned by Lord Mountbatten and a collection of early Land Rovers and Range Rovers.
Jaguar Land Rover bosses have talked in the past of establishing a "brand centre" on the site of the Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon, and some of the cars could eventually go there.
First Published: Jul 30, 2014 18:31 IST