Heritage Collection Jaguars to go on display in Coventry


There's good and bad news for those dismayed by the closure of the Jaguar Heritage museum on the fringes of the company's now-defunct Browns Lane site in Coventry.

The bad news is that it looks ever less likely that a new bespoke Jaguar run museum will replace it, information that is sure to reignite the furore that resulted when C&SC originally broke the news that Jaguar had no plans to replace the museum

The good news, however, is that some more of the cars will be coming out of mothballs and going on display again in the city that is inextricably linked with the famous British marque.

From next month (July 2013) some 17 vehicles from the Jaguar Heritage Collection are to go on show in a specially designed area of the Coventry Transport Museum.

The gallery will be on the first floor of the museum – to which entry is free – and will be themed Jaguar: a History of Design and Technical Innovation.  

The exhibition will cover the period from the Swallow Sidecar Company of 1922 through to the present day, and will also include a look to the future.  

The vehicles will range from a 1928 Swallow Sidecar to one of the latest concept cars from Jaguar Design, but will also include many iconic models such as MkV, MkVll, Mk2 and XJ saloons as well as XK120, XK150, E-type, XJ-S and XK8.

Gary Hall, chief executive of Coventry Transport Museum said: “Coventry Transport Museum proudly tells the story of our city’s unique motoring heritage, to almost half a million visitors each year, and this new exhibition dedicated to one of Coventry’s most famous motoring brands will add a fantastic and perfectly placed new dimension to the museum.”

Mike Beasley, vice-chair of Jaguar Heritage Trustees added: “Coventry is Jaguar’s spiritual home and it is fitting that there should be a dedicated Jaguar gallery in the city’s famous Transport Museum. It will complement the display we already have at the Heritage Motor Centre at Gaydon."

For more details visit the museum's website


Chris Martin

To all those who would criticise Jaguar's decision, I say this.  Having first-hand experience of what is needed to keep a car museum running, and interesting for the public is no easy task.  Here at the Australian Motorlife Museum we have a team of volunteers who work constantly to organise and run events, fundraisers and on-site catering, as well as a dedicated team 'out the back' working on restoration and conservation.  There are also the daily requirements to keep the place clean, tidy and up to scratch, and various admin' duties. All of this is done by unpaid volunteers.  And then there is the problem of keeping it interesting, even if we had a wonderful collection on show today, and the visitors appreciate it, what would bring them back again, instead of just thinking "Oh, we've already been there"?  So, we have to constantly rotate exhibits and create new displays.  While Jaguar Cars as a business today should be proud of it's heritage, and let's face it, they trade on their history (retro looks or otherwise) more than most, it has no obligation to pour money into a static museum if there are insufficient interested visitor numbers to keep it paying for itself.  If things had been different, and a Jaguar club had obtained premises, and proved to the company they had the staff to run it, they may well have seen fit to loan exhibits, but as I say, that is a big ask.  Meanwhile, the Coventry museum is a logical choice and hopefully can use a dedicated Jaguar space for rotating exhibits to keep it fresh.  Next time I am in UK I will try to visit.  Chris M.


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