Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Jaguar Land Rover has opened a gigantic new Classic Works facility in Coventry.

Through the Reborn Legends program, Jaguar Land Rover Classic sources and restores select classic models to authentic specifications, without compromise. Launched in April 2016 for Land Rover Series I models, the two-door Range Rover Classic joined the Reborn program from February this year, making its debut at Salon-Retromobile in Paris. Jaguar E-type Reborn launched at the Techno-Classica Essen show in April, with an initial build program for 10 Series 1 E-type cars.

Drawing together projects and staff from ten different locations across the West Midlands, the new building is less of a cosy ‘workshop’ – with cups of tea and an oily Haynes manual – and more like a gleaming, modern factory.

Spread across 14,000 square-metres with 54 service bays, JLR claims it’s the largest of its type in the world

JLR Classic was launched as a division in March 2016, coming under the control of Special Operations Managing Director John Edwards. ‘This is a dream factory’, Edwards said at the opening ceremony. ‘It’s much more than a building – it’s the heart and soul of Jaguar Land Rover Classic for our clients worldwide.’

The Classic business now comprises of four different streams: there are the continuation cars, like the nine brand new, hand-built Jaguar XKSSs currently under construction. Then there are the restorations – JLR Classic will restore customers’ cars, but they’re also sourcing barn finds around the world for the ‘Reborn’ programme. The Land Rover Series 1 was the first to get this nut-and-bolt, like-new treatment, but JLR is now returning E Types and early Range Rovers to the same factory-fresh standards.

Legends Continued currently sees nine ‘new’ examples of the D-type-derived XKSS being hand-built from scratch to authentic 1957 specifications, creating the cars which were never completed in period due to a fire at Jaguar’s Browns Lane factory. Examples of the ‘Missing Six’ Lightweight E-type continuation models built in 2015 are also maintained here.

Thirdly there are the classic parts, and JLR used the opening of the new Works to announce a commitment to the often overlooked Jaguar XJ220, once the fastest and most expensive production car in the world. The first step was to develop new ‘Jaguar approved’ tyres with Pirelli, which come hot on the heels of the Bridgestones launched earlier this year by independent XJ220 specialist Don Law. They’re badly needed – if you ever wondered why you never see XJ220s on the road, it’s because their 25-year-old tyres are all down to canvas.

And at the centre of all this activity is the new factory. From September, members of the public will be able to go round the Classic Works on a guided tour.


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