• Image Credit: Brightwells
  • Borgward Isabella Coupé, been off the road since 1975.
  • Image Credit: Brightwells
  • The cavernous estate version of the Citroën CX, a 1983 model.
  • Image Credit: Brightwells
  • One of the classic Mercedes-Benzes for sale, a 280CE.
  • Image Credit: Brightwells
  • A four-wheel-drive prototype version of the Reliant Scimitar.
  • Image Credit: Brightwells
  • A GT version of the Morris 1300.
  • Image Credit: Brightwells
  • These big Ford Zodiac wagons are really rare by now.
  • Image Credit: Brightwells
  • The Vanden Plas is a luxury version of the Austin Allegro.
  • Image Credit: Brightwells
  • The Ital isn't one of the prettiest camper conversions.
  • Image Credit: Brightwells
  • Not a Lada, but a Polish-made FSO wagon.
  • Image Credit: Brightwells
  • Yes, this is the Lada.
  • Image Credit: Brightwells
  • A MG Metro Turbo hot hatch in need of light resto.
  • Image Credit: Brightwells
  • The Metro's bigger Maestro sibling, also turbocharged.
  • Image Credit: Brightwells
  • The hot British Chevette.
  • Image Credit: Brightwells
A few years back it was reported that Jaguar Land Rover had purchased the James Hull classic car collection in its entirety. The collection is beyond significant, as it was at the time of sale the biggest single collection of British cars in the world and the largest private car collection in the UK. Consisting of 543 cars, it ranged from the mundane to the obscure, including some extremely rare prototypes. There were 130 Jaguars, for example, from the C-type to the D-type to the XKSS. When the cars were put up for sale in 2014, the asking price was a not-insubstantial $170 million.

JLR didn't reveal how much it spent to buy the cars, but now it seems the carmaker is about to recoup some of those costs. At least 50 cars from the collection will be sold by auction house Brightwells, as part of the Affordable Classics at Bicester sale on March 21; some reports have said JLR would be eventually offloading as many as 100 cars.

Looking at the listing, there are some definite gems in there. Not all cars are British, as there are Citroëns, Mercedes-Benzes, a Fiat and a Goggomobil. Jaguars and Land Rovers are notably absent from Brightwells' listing, which we take as a clue that the sale will consist of cars not crucial to JLR's wellbeing and heritage. That said, for a lover of British cars there's a possibility to grab something truly interesting: For example, the Reliant Scimitar Ferguson 4x4 Prototype must be worth preserving. A 4WD pioneer also known for Massey-Ferguson tractors, Ferguson fitted its system in Jensens as well as a prototype 4WD Mustang in the 1960s. The fiberglass-bodied Reliant sports car is an interesting sidenote in Ferguson's history.

Then there's a Vauxhall Chevette 2300 HS, which is a veritable rally-bred RWD hot hatch in comparison to the American market Chevrolet Chevette, its distant relative. On the hot hatch front, there are also Metro and Maestro turbos, which offer plenty of poke in a light, boxy body. Or if you view the internet's popular "Worst Cars Ever Made" lists as shopping lists, you could build your own collection of slightly dodgy cars: Start with the unfortunate-looking Vanden Plas Allegro, continue to the malaise-tastic Morris Ital Camper, and finish it off with a late-model Lada Riva wagon from the mid-1990s.

Some cars are in tip-top shape, and some are best seen as restoration projects, like the very pretty Borgward Isabella coupe from 1960. It's a given that these cars have been stored for a very long time, and even any casual weekend use would require freshening of fluids, belts and gaskets. But since the cars will be auctioned without a reserve, it's best to put on a brave face and prepare to come home with a cheap classic.

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