Special guests at the opening of the new Jaguar Gallery also included Jaguar Design Director Ian Callum, Jaguar Brand Director Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar Heritage Chairman Mike O’Driscoll, Coventry Transport Museum Chairman Joe Elliott and senior representatives from the city of Coventry and the UK motor industry.
In advance of the special ceremony, a unique collection of Jaguar heritage sports cars was driven in spectacular procession into Coventry.
Ian Callum, Jaguar Design Director and Jaguar Heritage Trustee, said: “The new Jaguar Gallery is a fitting celebration of eight decades of design and technical innovation in our spiritual home of Coventry, and today’s presentation of the new F-TYPE offers a glimpse into Jaguar’s future too.
“We are investing £2.75 billion across Jaguar Land Rover in product development annually, and our Whitley headquarters, just down the road, employs thousands of engineers and designers. All are fully focused on creating the next generation of Jaguar cars.”
Led by the new F-TYPE, the historic procession into Coventry saw some of the rarest and most iconic Jaguar sports cars in a unique convoy through the city’s streets. From a 1938 SS100 to a 2013 F-TYPE, with a further 14 models in between, the procession included record breakers, race winners, a number of ‘firsts’ and the sports car once voted ‘The Most Beautiful Car in the World’ (E-type), denoting a clear bloodline from Jaguar’s history to the present day – continuing a long tradition of innovation in design and engineering.
Among the guests at the reception to mark the opening of the Jaguar Gallery was the company’s legendary test driver, Norman Dewis, who celebrated his 93rd birthday this week. Norman tested and developed over 25 Jaguar cars in his career, from the C and D-type through to XJ13, E-type, XJ-S, XJ40 and many more. He was presented with a birthday cake at the event, which featured the XK120 that in 1953 broke the production car speed record in Jabbeke; achieving a phenomenal top speed of 172.4mph.
Images and a short film of the Jaguar procession and the VIP reception at Coventry Transport Museum to celebrate the official opening of the new Jaguar Gallery are available to download.
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