Guess who just bought 543 classic cars in one go?

Imagine if your love of classic cars – especially Jaguars – was so overwhelming that you acquired not 10 or even 20 of them… but 543. That’s the number of mainly British classics amassed over the years by private enthusiast James Hull – and guess what? Jaguar Land Rover has just bought the lot.

From the SS100 to the D-type

It is, says Jaguar, “the largest-known privately owned collection of British classic cars in the world” and most of them are Jaguars: from an SS100, a rare alloy XK120, through to early E-types and a MK X once owned by Sir William Lyons himself. Plus there are early Swallow Sidecars and Swallow coachbuilt Austin Sevens, C- and D-types, 19 XJS models and more than 20 XJ saloons with “interesting and famous” previous owners. We’re told that the majority are in truly outstanding condition.

History is everything

So why does the great British marque want to buy so many of its old classics? Well, heritage is big business these days, with many top manufacturers keen to remind young buyers of the glorious past. The cars will be maintained at JLR’s newly created Special Operations division in Coventry (which incorporates the Jaguar Heritage business) and actively used to support the Jaguar brand around the world.

Hull's life's work

According to James Hull, the British car enthusiast, entrepreneur and philanthropist who painstakingly assembled the collection, “Travelling all over the world to build the collection over the years has been a labour of love and a life’s work, so my primary motivation was not to get the maximum price but rather to secure the future of the collection in this country with the right custodian.”

Photo: Jaguar

Would you like to build a Jaguar collection of your own? There are currently 473 Jaguars for sale in the Classic Driver Market.