Behind the doors at Jaguar’s own classic car collection in Gaydon

Next to the British Motor Museum in Gaydon, Warwickshire rests the bulk of Jaguar’s own classic car collection.

Featuring everything from concept cars and one-offs to racing legends and vehicles of the royal family, it’s a must visit for any Jag enthusiast.

10 cars from the collection are on display in the museum itself but another 75 or so are available in the neighbouring collections centre building.

During my visit I spend a short amount of time capturing photographs of some of the collection highlights. You’ll have to forgive me for some of the strange perspectives and framing, these cars are tightly stacked.

Jaguar XJ220 concept car — the one with the V12


What’s even more special than a Jaguar XJ220? This Jaguar XJ220!

As a Jaguar development car it stuck to the original recipe of 4-wheel drive with a stonking great V12 in the back.

Production XJ220s famously ended up with a turbocharged V6 and rear wheel drive after engineering requirements made the V12/4wd car a no go for Jag. This sparked a huge number of order cancellations.

In the end, Jaguar went on to sell just 271 XJ220s although this didn’t stop it holding the title of the world’s fastest production car for several years.



Look beneath the alloy wheels on the XJ220 concept car and you’ll notice what appears to be a regular BBS split rim beneath


Because six cylinders never did look quite right back there, regardless of how many turbos you add


Also living in the collection is this awesome 1983 Jaguar XJR-5 IMSA race car


The 2002 Jaguar R3 formula one car as steered by Eddie Irvine
This ‘long nose’ D Type was the penultimate produced and is incredibly original, even down to its period trade registration plate ‘393 RW’


Originally a press vehicle, 77 RW was actually the first production two-seater E-type, making it the oldest surviving example of its kind


Another jaw dropping race car, the XJR-9 LM was powered by a 7ltr, 700hp version of Jaguar’s V12. In 1988 one of these went on to win Le Mans, with numerous others finishing in the points


For me, the Jaguar XK120 remains one of the best looking cars of all time, and this 1953 example is about as good as it gets


This Jaguar XJS cabriolet belonged to the late Princess Diana and, unlike regular production cars, featured rear seats for Princes William and Harry
At the front this XJ40 looks the way any other well kept example should…
…but the rear end identifies it as an ultra-rare estate prototype
Another last of the line car, this time an XJ12 Series 2 V12



Pictured here is the Queen Mother’s Jaguar XJ12 S1
PHP42G served as the personal transport of ‘Mr Jaguar’ himself, the late Sir William Lyons

Jaguar XK TOV 161S Jaguar Heritage Collection rearJaguar XK TOV 161S Jaguar Heritage Collection front


ERB 290 Jaguar SS100 2.5 litre front 3/4jag-37-of-41jag-38-of-41jag-39-of-41

Motorsport fans out there may may be familiar with this XJ6 which was a fire car used by Silverstone circuit


…and here’s a few from inside the museum



Although not this example,  Jaguar’s C-Type was the first car to bring Le Mans success to the brand. It was also the first car to average over 100mph throughout the duration of the race


The brutal Broadspeed Jaguar XJ12C was a pleasure to see


The Tom Walkinshaw Racing XJS was another motorsport highlight


Nub 120 Jaguar XK120 racing car from infront
NUB 120 is an immensely important racing car that significantly lifted Jaguar’s brand presence in the world of motorsport. This alloy-bodied XK120 roadster first emerged in 1950 and went on to win a string of gruelling rallies, many without losing so much as a point.
NUB120 Jaguar XK120 racing car from behind
By the time it was retired from competition in 1953, NUB 120 had clocked in excess of 50,000 miles
Nub 120 Jaguar XK120 bonnet
NUB 120 has some truly amazing patina
NUB 120 was not a works car, instead it was privately owned and driven by Ian Appleyard and navigated by his wife Pat, who is the daughter of Sir William Lyons.
NUB 120 Jaguar XK120 front number plate
Memorable plate has taken a battering
NUB120 Jaguar XK120 racing car from behind
The car’s dominance in the world of rallying can be attributed to the rugged chassis beneath its lightweight bodywork; that and its supremely reliable 3.4-litre, twin-cam engine. 

With thanks to Jaguar Heritage Trust

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