Jaguar's pledge: our heritage collection is safe and will go back on display

| 12 Mar 2012

Jaguar has publicly vowed to safeguard its heritage collection and to put it back on display at a new venue as soon as possible after its Browns Lane site closes in the autumn.

The news comes after C&SC broke the story in January that after the long-planned closure of the current museum later this year, the company had no site – or immediate plans – for a new facility.

Even though there was still no official announcement of a new venue today, the company pledged that a "very ambitious" scheme would soon be unveiled.

In the interim, a selection of cars from the 150-strong collection would go on display at the Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon while the rest goes into storage.

The company's Ken McConomy admitted there would be a "period of transition", but that it intended to provide a better home for the collection in the long run.

He added: "We are committed to creating a new home for Jaguar Heritage – Jaguar Heritage is in good hands, its future is bright and it won't be moving far from its spiritual home in Coventry."

That just fuelled speculation over whether the collection might move to the Coventry Transport Museum, become a larger, more permanent display at Gaydon or be housed in a purpose-built unit elsewhere.

The overall message at the star-studded launch of Jaguar Heritage Racing, a formal programme of events in which Jaguar's most famous cars will compete this year was overwhelmingly positive, however.

Global head of communications Frank Klaas had earlier stressed that more investment would be made in Jaguar Heritage, starting with a specialist workshop. He said: "This great part of the brand has been, let's be honest, a little under-resourced in the past when you watch our competitors. We want to change this, we want to put ourselves above the rest."

He added: "Whatever we do with our heritage, it must support our business today. We are building a bridge between our heritage and our future."

Mike O'Driscoll, chairman of Jaguar Heritage, also welcomed the news. He said: "We have 150 cars in the collection and for so long we've only been able to display 30-35 of them."