FRANK SINATRA is said to have taken one look at the Jaguar E-Type upon its unveiling in 1961 and exclaimed: “I want that car, and I want it now.”

So began Hollywood’s love affair with the iconic English sports car. With its thrusting hood, wire wheels and optional V-12 motor, the E-Type was an instant sensation.

The car went on to be driven by the likes of Steve McQueen, Tony Curtis, Brigitte Bardot and anyone who was cool in the early 60s.

Sinatra was definitely a Jaguar aficionado – he later owned an XJS and some XJ sedans in the 70s/80s/90s.

Well Jaguar Land Rover have certainly not forgotten their roots.

Jaguar Land Rover's new classics restoration plant

Jaguar Land Rover’s new classics restoration plant

While their present cars have been a sensational success story over the past nine years, they are paying homage to the cars that gave them their name with the opening of a new £7million headquarters where it’ll restore historic classics.

The 150,000 sq-ft Classic Works facility in Coventry will hunt out older models to restore and sell on.

Plus, it’ll also build new versions of classics like the lightweight E-Types revealed last year and an upcoming run of nine XKSS models.

Jaguar Land Rover's new classics restoration plant

Jaguar Land Rover’s new classics restoration plant

Land Rover Series 1 and two-door Range Rover models are lined up to be rebuilt, too, alongside restoring some neglected E-Types.

The site has a dedicated showroom space and 54 workshop bays for servicing and restoring classics.

It employs more than 80 specialists with plans to grow this to 120, and many have decades of experience working just on the models being restored at Classic Works.

The project also accepts commissions for improving or completely restoring cars and offers a 30,000-strong list of spare parts.

Repairs and maintenance of models out of production for 10 years or longer are supported, too.

The new multi-million pound facility is also home to the Jaguar Land Rover Classic Collection – a living assembly of British motoring history with more than 500 models – serving as an invaluable guide for restorations.

Jaguar in Le Mans 1957

Jaguar in Le Mans 1957

The Classic Works launch this week marks the 60th anniversary of the Jaguar D-Type’s historic domination at Le Mans 24 where it finished first, second, third, fourth and sixth in 1957.

John Edwards, special operations MD, said: “Classic Works is hugely important to Jaguar Land Rover.

“It’s much more than a building. It is the heart and soul of Jaguar Land Rover Classic for our clients worldwide.”

Just like Sinatra, JLR are doing it their way. With style.

Phil Lanning

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