After featuring the Range Rover and Jaguar E-Type Reborn projects, and more recently the Jaguar D-Type Continuation series, the opportunity to take a behind the scenes tour at the home of these incredible homages, Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works, had me frothing at the mouth.
Situated halfway between Birmingham and Northampton, in a nondescript building at the front of an industrial park is a 14,000m2 purpose-built facility that houses all of JLR’s ‘Classic’ operations under one roof. The showroom come workshop comprises of 54 individual bays and strip down areas, a dedicated engine shop and storage for 480 vehicles – a private collection of important historic marques owned by the company.
Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works celebrates and cherishes the history of the company while creating new business opportunities revolving around four key pillars – retail sales, vehicle servicing, parts R&D and sales, as well as Classic Works experiences. Their Reborn, Continuation and Works Legends projects have already seen incredible customer demand with entire projects sold out and years to wait on Range Rover and Land Rover restorations. Added demand from existing customers for vehicle servicing will see an additional 30 staff and millions of pounds of investment into parts so JLR can continue restoring and continuing the life of these fantastic cars.
There’s no doubt that Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works is the place to buy a special car, with an undeniable level of legitimacy attached to the vehicles that exit this magical place. With long wait lists, use of both original (unopened since the 1950s! – see photo below) and newly developed parts, finishing that eclipses the standard that was originally delivered and work completed by the brand itself, there’s no doubt these JLR Classic cars will be highly sought after for both enthusiasts and investors.
We finished our tour of Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works with a drive in Prototype One of the Defender Works V8, a project launched to commemorate 70 years of Land Rover. The Works V8 is the fastest and most powerful Defender ever built, combining a 297kW 5.0-litre and an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission, and boy did it move! At one stage I overtook two cars in the opposite lane, much to the bewilderment of the drivers, getting ever so close to the limited top speed of 106mph (170km/h). With its thunderous V8, stunning interior finishing, modern tech and classic styling it is the ultimate Defender, and of course, I climbed out pining for one. Alas, so did the rest of the world, completely sold out just nine days after its January unveiling, with a price tag of £150k.
Enjoy the shots! Check out other Jaguar and Land Rover goodness while you’re at it as well.