James Hull Collection

Whether you're looking at Bertone going bankrupt or Spyker 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."
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Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations Strengthens Heritage Business with Acquisition of British Classic Car Collection

- Jaguar Land Rover has purchased the largest-known privately owned collection of British classic cars in the world
- Jaguar is the leading brand in the vast collection of 543 cars amassed by British enthusiast James Hull
- Jaguar models in the collection include an SS100, a rare alloy XK120, early E-types and a MK X owned by Sir William Lyons
- The acquisition underscores Jaguar Land Rover's investment in its history, through its newly created Special Operations division which includes the Jaguar Heritage business
- A brand new Jaguar Heritage workshop at the historic Browns Lane, Coventry, site will maintain the Jaguars in the collection - this new facility will also offer Jaguar warrantied servicing and restoration of the company's classic models
- The cars in the collection will be actively used to support Jaguar brand events and customer experiences around the world and in developing markets, creating value for the Jaguar Land Rover business.


Jaguar Land Rover has today announced that it has purchased the largest privately owned collection of British cars, securing this important collection for the nation. The collection assembled over many years by British enthusiast James Hull, includes 543 mostly British classic cars and features many significant Jaguar models including XK SS, C, D and E-types. The acquisition underscores Jaguar Land Rover's increased support and focus on heritage. The cars in the collection will be actively used to support brand and experiential marketing to develop the brands and business in existing and emerging markets.

The collection which has been painstakingly assembled and restored by James Hull, British car enthusiast, entrepreneur and philanthropist, has at its core over 130 Jaguars. These include early Swallow Sidecars and Swallow coachbuilt Austin Sevens, plus a full and diverse range of pre-war SS models, 7 XK 120s - including a rare alloy-bodied example, C- and D-types, an XKSS, 8 E-types, 30 classic Jaguar 'Mark' model saloons plus 19 XJS models and over 20 XJ saloons with interesting and famous previous owners. The majority of these cars are in truly outstanding condition, with many having fascinating histories behind them. The collection also features many other iconic and famous British cars and models.

This acquisition is part of an increased commitment by Jaguar Land Rover to protect and nurture the rich heritage possessed by both brands. It follows the recent creation of Special Operations, which has been established to develop and oversee heritage and the creation of special vehicles, such as the recently announced Jaguar Project 7. The Project 7 is a limited edition F-TYPE, which takes its inspiration from the legendary D-type. The Project 7 name refers to the seven outright Le Mans victories scored by Jaguar and is highly appropriate given this is the 60th Anniversary of the creation of the D-type.

The Jaguar Heritage business, part of Special Operations, recently announced the build of six perfect recreations of the original, race-bred Lightweight E-type that was created in 1963. The new Lightweights will hand-built by highly skilled Jaguar craftsmen in a new Jaguar heritage facility at Browns Lane, less than a hundred yards from where the original cars were assembled in 1963. This new facility will utilise those same skills to offer Jaguar warrantied servicing and restoration of the company's classic models.

The cars in the collection will be actively used to support experiential marketing with customers and for global brand events. A good example of this will be the global launch of the Jaguar XE in early September together with many other events and activities in new and emerging markets. It is in these newly developing markets that heritage can play a key role in establishing and developing the brand.

John Edwards, Managing Director of Special Vehicle Operations commented. "We are delighted that Jaguar Land Rover has come to an agreement with James Hull to secure the future of this very significant collection of Jaguar and British cars. We share the same objective as James to keep this unique collection in British hands and we are delighted this agreement secures their custody for the future. We look forward to continuing to work with James going forward as we develop our heritage activities.

Heritage is becoming an ever more important differentiating factor when it comes to experiential customer marketing and in developing our brands in new and emerging markets. Jaguar and Land Rover have a combined "back catalogue" of over one hundred and forty years to draw upon and some of the most iconic vehicles in the industry. In addition with the explosive growth and interest in classic car events worldwide and the increase in the size and value of the market, there is a strong brand and business rationale underpinning this agreement."

James Hull commented, "Travelling all over the world to build the collection over the years has been a labour of love and a life's work, so 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. I have got to know Jaguar Land Rover well in recent years and they have borrowed cars from the collection for events such as the Mille Miglia and supporting Jaguar in China. They are the perfect custodians to take the collection forward and I know it is in safe hands."