New Special Operations division buys extensive collection of British cars, as the firm promises to "invest more" in its British heritage
Steve Cropley Autocar
25 July 2014

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 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 Brown’s Lane, Coventry, 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.

Company bosses have declined to reveal what JLR is paying for the collection but 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.

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. 

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Comments
8

289

25 July 2014
This is a quite remarkable collection including various versions and updates of the same model.
I would have been very sad to see it broken-up or worse disappear abroad, so I am delighted that JLR have stepped in.
There was a full report on the collection in the August edition of Classic & Sportscar if anyone is interested to know more.
He has every variant of XJ & XK produced, every different kind of Mini Cooper, two Minor Millions, even an Allegro Vanden Plas!, a bunch of Citroen DS's, a whole line of P6's and Mike Hailwood's Iso Grifo and E Type.
Amazing.

25 July 2014
JLR could have easily bought the Lotus company for £100 mill i suppose.

But I presume 543 old cars will hold value far better tho!!

25 July 2014
I'll have them...

289

25 July 2014
....exactly shortbread...why buy a depreciating asset/liability!
Particularly as Classics are appreciating so well just now.

25 July 2014
Very smart move. They should scatter a few cars around their new markets in China and Brazil. These cars will be like gold dust out there. Jaguars have got to be technologically fwd looking cars, but the history has currency.

25 July 2014
but look to the future. Jaguar has spent far too long looking backwards at their heritage and lost sight on the future. Thankfully Tata have pointed them in the right direction. They have to and must look forward and design cars for the next generation.

289

26 July 2014
.....quite true Symanski, and some of Jaguars attempts to look backwards have been less than successful....S Type for example.
But heritage is important in the premium sector....all of the major players have it in spades...BMW, M-B, Audi, Porsche etc. in fact the lack of heritage probably harms Lexus....it is after all just a rebadged Toyota.
Land Rover has been able to make the most of its heritage because it still makes(for now) the original product, albeit expanded some.

31 July 2014
It's good that they have picked up so many classic Jaguars. But it's great to hear they have remembered the other marques that are now owned by JLR.

Daimler (Love to see them get all of the Docker show cars together as well as the Corsica bodied Double-Six 50 Drophead Coupe. The Double-Six 40 Sport Saloon bodied by Martin Walter.)

Lanchester (Especially King George the 6th's Landaulette)

Rover (P2, P3, P4, P5, P6, SD1 etc)

BSA Motorcars (the Scout especially)

Guy.

Star.

Starling.

Stuart.

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