British Motor Museum – Jaguar Heritage Collection

The Jaguar Heritage Collection was displayed near the historic Jaguar Factory at Browns Lane until that site was redeveloped in 2012.   The collection is now split across a few museums, but the bulk of it can be found at the British Motor Museum.

During a recent visit to the UK, I was able to tour the British Motor Museum.   The Jaguar Heritage Collection is housed in the same building as the overflow collection.

The collection has a good representation of Jaguar vehicles from swallow sidecars to the current models.   Key models include the SS1, SS100, the first and last E-Types etc.   They also have a number of concept cars from the 90s to the present day which are quite interesting.

The best exhibits for me were:

  • 77RW, the first production E-Type OTS
  • The very last S3 E-Type
  • Early SS cars, including SS1, SS100 etc.
  • A range of cars previously owned by the Queen Mother, including a DS420, XJ12
  • Good examples of their famous models like the XK120, XK140, XK150, MK1, MK2, S-Type, 420
  • XJ13, C-Type and D-type racing cars
  • The four cylinder XK engine

Some of the collection is housed in the main museum, which will be covered in a separate posting.    I really enjoyed seeing the cars, although I think it would be nice to see a purpose built display for them.   For example, they have all four ‘Utah’ cars (the MK1, MK2, S-Type and 420), a display showing the evolution would a nice touch.   They have something like that at the BMW museum for the 3-Series.

Jaguar were probably at their peak in the period between the late 50s and late 60s when they introduced some of their most famous models.   After a period in the doldrums in the 90s and 2000’s where they focused too much on retro models, they seem to have their mojo back again.   In my view, they are taking their history seriously, but not trying to rest upon it.   You would have to think that William Lyons would be impressed with the newfound success of his company.

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