Jaguar Heritage Museum closing its doors

The Jaguar Heritage Museum in Coventry, England, will close its doors before the end of the year.  Fans of the British company have until September to visit the last piece of Jaguar’s legacy located at the historic Browns Lane site.

Browns Lane was Jaguar’s headquarters and home factory until a few years ago.  This was the site that built great cars such as the original XKs, the XKE, and the first few generations of the XJ6.  Today everything has been moved across the West Midlands to the new home at Castle Bromwich.

Now the lone holdout, the Jaguar Heritage Museum, must move on because the rest of Jag moved on years ago.  Still, it seems there is a glimmer of hope for the future.  “The longer term vision is that we will have an all new Jaguar Heritage museum; however we are not disclosing any further details at the moment,” said Ken McConomy, Jaguar Global PR Director and Jaguar Heritage Trustee.

The Coventry area museum was not exactly an ideal location.  It could only house about 30 of the Heritage Trust’s 120-car collection.  This meant many of the trust’s cars were on loan to events or other museums.  So, with the closing of the Jag’s own museum, it is a fair assumption that more of this collection will go on tour.

Even if the cars are still going to be held by the trust, not having a central place to house them is a loss to Jaguar.  “A visit to the museum late last year was a real treat,” said our Editor, Myles Kornblatt.  “I never revealed I was a journalist, and like good English gentlemen,  the museum staff was still eager to have long chats and spend time to educate about every exceptional car in the building.”

As of November, the museum is home to some one-of-a-kind machines such as concept cars like the 1998 XK180 and the 2001 R-Coupe.  There are also some ultra-rare cars from Jaguar’s racing heyday such as C and D-Type racers as well as the Le Mans winning XJR-9.  When the one-of-one 1965 XJ13 prototype racer is not on the road, it is displayed in the collection.  The museum includes a showcase of cars from the Jag’s predecessor, the Swallow Sidecar Company.  Of course, there are also plenty of legendary XK and XKE sports cars to ogle as well (see a sample of the collection in the photo gallery.)

So if you’re anywhere near Coventry, England before this fall, stop by the Jaguar Heritage Museum.  Not only does it have free admission, but packing a few more people through the doors may get Jaguar to remember how important their history really is.

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