Jaguar Land Rover’s Jaw-Dropping WorkshopAnd Plans To Keep Its Icons On The Road
- August 16, 2017
- Posted by Sebastian Schmitz
As a regular participant in classic car shows, meetings and concours, you might know that feeling of slight overload when seeing a vast number of automobile icons which – at some point – might even lead to a certain indifference towards otherwise just incredible design highlights. To be honest, we were fearing this particular feeling when being invited to visit Jaguar Land Rover’s new 14,000 square metre Classic Works facility in order to learn more about the company’s latest plans for its heritage department.
But our concerns were unfounded once we entered the bright showroom lovingly furnished with beautiful wall-art and classy seating areas just to set an appropriate stage for the company’s beloved automobile jewels. You could definitely imagine a showroom worse than one greeting its visitors with extensively restored two-door Range Rovers, Series I Land Rovers, E-Types … just to name a few.
Obviously, JLR has heavily invested not only in a new building, but also in people and there skills in order to make sure the 1.5 million classic Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles around the world – cars whose production ceased more than 10 years ago – stay on the roads and can be enjoyed for many more years to come. High time to enter the workshop…
Besides the “regular” restoration and maintenance services, a large part of the space in the almost clinically hygienic workshop is reserved for Series I Land Rovers, Range Rover Classics and E-Types that are sourced from all over to world to undertake a comprehensive nut and bolt-restoration/transformation into a “Reborn” Jaguar/Land Rover. We were particularly fascinated by the huge interest in links to the company’s past, such as the Land Rover Series I production line resembling the original one of the Solihull production plant…
Remember “Legends Continued”, the nine XKSS and six E-Type Lightweights? These are also built here with 25-30 people solely being involved in the building process of the XKSS … and no other than 1988 Le Mans winner Andy Wallace being responsible for the test drives of all cars before handing them over to their new owners. How cool is that? So of course we could spot two XKSS continuation models in the process of being finished, not to mention the E-Type Lightweight … and then there are the XJ220s … two of the “usual” ones next to one of the Le Mans cars , not that calling it “usual” would be appropriate for a car that has been built only 281 times.
Exciting, right? But almost like the friendly JLR guys were saving the best for last, you could enter what can only be described as the “holy grail” for fans of the brand right next to the in-house engine workshop: the ice on the Jaguar Land Rover cake … the former Hull-Collection. JLR bought the entire collection – 543 cars – of Dr James Hull, including Winston Churchill’s Austin, Lord Mountbatten’s Mini Traveller and Bentley owned by Sir Elton John in 2014 and we must say the cars look just incdredible being lined up here.
Maybe, this video gives an even better impression of its size:
Jaguar has no intentions to stop there as Dr. Peter Klasen, Head of Classic Germany, tells us later: not only will there be a classic center in Essen, Germany by early 2018, there are also many ideas how to involve enthusiasts that are not (yet) owning a classic Jaguar or Land Rover. Classic Drives and seminars are planned in the United Kingdom and Germany in a first step and there is more to come…
Still dreaming about our top 3 (or top 5 or top 20) of cars we saw in that hall in Coventry, we could not be any happier to hear that. These amazing cars have to be driven!
For all those who’d love to enjoy the same pleasant feeling that we had while browsing through what might be one of the most beautiful collections and workshops on planet earth, guide tours can be booked here from September onwards.
Report by Sebastian Schmitz for collectorscarworld
Photos by Gudrun Muschalla