Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has bought one of the UK's largest collections of classic cars - a huge fleet of 543 vehicles valued at around £100 million.
The largest-known, privately owned collection of British classic cars in the world, it was amassed by enthusiast and entrepreneur James Hull.
The company's interest in the collection was due to the fact it contained 130 Jaguar or Swallow Sidecar vehicles - Swallow Sidecars being the former name of Jaguar.
The Jaguars will now be housed in a purpose-built facility in Coventry.
Models include early Swallow Sidecars and Swallow coachbuilt Austin Sevens, plus a range of pre-war SS models, 7 XK 120s, C- and D-types, an XKSS, 8 E-types, 30 classic Jaguar 'Mark' model saloons plus 19 XJS models and over 20 XJ saloons.
Although Jaguar Land Rover is not thought to have paid the £100 million the collection was valued at, the deal was welcomed by Mr Hull who described the new owners as "the perfect custodian".
He said: "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.
"I have got to know Jaguar Land Rover well in recent years and they have borrowed cars from the collection for events such as the Mille Miglia and supporting Jaguar in China.
"They are the perfect custodians to take the collection forward and I know it is in safe hands."
The majority of cars are described as being in "truly outstanding condition", with many having interesting histories behind them. The collection also features many other famous British cars.
JLR's purchase reflects an increased commitment to preserve the heritage of both brands and follows the recent unveiling of its newly created Special Operations division.
It has been established to develop and oversee heritage and the creation of special vehicles, such as the recently announced Jaguar Project 7 - a limited edition F-Type, which takes its inspiration from the legendary D-type.
The Jaguar Heritage business, part of Special Operations, also recently announced it would build six perfect recreations of the original, race-bred Lightweight E-type created in 1963.
A new heritage workshop at the Browns Lane site in Coventry will maintain the Jaguars in the collection and will also offer Jaguar warrantied servicing and restoration of classic models
The cars in the collection will also be showcased at Jaguar events around the world.
John Edwards, managing director of Special Vehicle Operations, said: "We are delighted that Jaguar Land Rover has come to an agreement with James Hull to secure the future of this very significant collection of Jaguar and British cars.
"We share the same objective as James to keep this unique collection in British hands and we are delighted this agreement secures their custody for the future.
"We look forward to continuing to work with James going forward as we develop our heritage activities."
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