Jaguar to close its Heritage Museum

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1953 Jaguar XK120

A 1953 Jaguar XK120 at the Coventry museum. Image: Dave Hamster/Flickr/CC BY

Jaguar, one of Europe’s most iconic automakers, says it will be closing its long-standing Jaguar Heritage Museum on Browns Lane in Coventry, England. It has no immediate plans to re-open the museum at another location.

Site of the original Jag factory

The Jaguar Heritage Museum stands at the site of the automaker’s original factory. It is the only place in the world where sports car aficionados can see more than 120 historic Jaguar, SS Lanchester, Daimler and Swallow models gathered in the same place — until September. After that the museum will be closing its doors indefinitely.

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Closure an inevitability

The closure comes as the result of the 2007 sale of the Browns Lane property. Faye Goldstraw, the senior press officer for Jaguar U.K., said the closure was an inevitability. But she added that it is not the end of Jaguar’s heritage:

“Heritage is extremely important to us. We don’t want people to think we are closing the doors and just walking away from this.”

Jaguar maintains that its historically significant cars will continue to shown, seen and admired at automotive events worldwide.

Another spokesperson for the automaker said:

“There are very exciting plans for the collection in terms of activity, even if there isn’t going to be a central museum for the moment. It is an important collection.”

Heritage Center owner support continues

The Jaguar Heritage Center, on the same grounds as the museum, will continue its operations, according to Jaguar. The Heritage Center provides services for classic car owners, such as authenticity certificates, parts and records. The Heritage Center is looking for a new location for its operations. There has been no announcement of plans to find a new location for the museum itself, however.

Saab museum saved from closure

The Jaguar Heritage Museum is only the latest automaker’s historic showcase to threaten closure. The Saab car museum in Sweden, facing bankruptcy, announced it would be closing its doors for good last year. The cars were to have been sold on the auction block, until a group of Swedish investors stepped in and rescued the museum.

Could re-open if venue found

At this point, Jaguar’s museum has found no deep-pocketed benefactors. But never say never. The automaker made it clear that it would not be against re-opening the museum if a suitable new location and funding source could be found.

Sources

Piston Heads
Auto Week
Motor Authority

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