With the 24 hour of Le Mans starting this weekend, 17 June, Jaguar Land Rover celebrates the event’s 85th anniversary by putting on display the D-Type, C-Type and the XJR-9 - the three most iconic Jaguar endurance racers. The trio will be on display at Jaguar Land Rover’s new Classic Works Facility in the United Kingdom.
The new facility has been opened to service the manufacturer’s classic cars. Jaguar built this as a dedication to preserve the company’s most iconic vehicles - to restore, maintain, and sell Jaguar’s old vehicles. The classic headquarters cost them £7 million to build.
What makes this so special is that all three cars have had a special history with the Le Mans race. All three models once became winners of the Le Mans. And speaking of the past, the June 14 opening date marks the 64th anniversary of the Jaguar C-Type’s win at the 1953 Le Mans, with Duncan Hamilton and Tony Rolt as the drivers behind the wheel - that was also the first ever victory of Jaguar at the Le Mans.
And if you didn’t know, 60 years ago, a few Jaguar D-Types finished in first, second, fourth, and sixth. That is just incredible; 1957 must have been a good year for Jaguar! The XJR-9, on the other hand, would be the most modern car in the lineup that won at the Le Mans back in 1988 with Andy Wallace, John Dumfries, and Jan Lammers behind the wheels.
Going back to the present moment, the Coventry facility covers 150,000 square feet, with 54 individual workshop bays, its own strip down areas, and an engine shop. The space is large enough to house a total number of 480 cars at once. And Andy Wallace is now back after Jaguar Land Rover hired him as a chief test driver for the facility. He will be the one giving his final assessment on vehicles before being returned to clients.
The Coventry, England facility will serve as the D-Type, C-Type and XJR-9’s temporary home. After being displayed here, the trio will head back to the Jaguar Heritage Trust collection at the British Motor Museum in Gaydon. As soon as the trio leaves the facility, the current display will be replaced by five D-Types before summer ends. A few of those will be from the 1957 Le Mans cars. Following that, they will then make their way to the Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace on September 1-3, 2017.
According to Autocar, Jaguar will be opening another classic cars facility in Essen, Germany later this summer. So, now you know where to go if you want to have your Jaguar restored.