Jaguar Land Rover are quick on their feet these days. Just a few months after they closed the deal on acquiring the Fen End test track from previous residents Prodrive, they also bought the entire Dr James Hull Collection, the huge collection of classic Jaguars and Land Rovers. In amongst all of this, they’ve established Special Vehicle Operations, a department with a mysterious James Bond title, launched the Project Seven F Type edition and commenced the build of the additional final six E Type Lightweights using the unused chassis numbers. The projects come thick and fast. Now, they’ve brought some of the elements together with the launch of the Jaguar Heritage Driving Experience. This means that everyone can now experience classic Jaguars, either as a driver or alongside a racing driver as a passenger on track. And that fleet includes the D Types, the C Types and even the ex Mike Hailwood Jaguar E Type 3.8 roadster. Combine the heritage of these classic cars with the technology, style and entertaining drive of the modern Jaguars and you’ve got a recipe for a unique driving experience package.
As someone with extensive experience in this type of industry, I’m frequently asked for advice on how to satisfy the more knowledgeable driving enthusiasts in the people’s lives. You know who I’m talking about. That difficult-to-buy-for person in your life who’s pretty much got everything they wish for that can be easily obtained. They have the DVD’s, the rare motoring books, they probably own a collectable car or two. They wouldn’t want a typical high street driving day package, that’s boring. They’re a sod to buy gifts for. This is for them. The Jaguar Heritage fleet is top quality and dripping with character, the venue is one of my favourites and the instructor team are top quality staff, some of whom I’ve worked with myself. The fact that most packages also include a session in a modern F Type R is almost an aside. I spent the day with them on the week of the launch and I’m happy to recommend the whole experience. Here’s the details of the main packages:
Jaguar Experience (ranging from £95 to £250):
From passenger rides to driving alongside a seasoned professional (including some recognisable faces from the world of motorsport), visitors can choose from individual models – including an XK150 or Mark II saloon – or selected pairings such as the Series 1 and Series 3 E-type. There’s also the option to drive heritage cars alongside their modern counterparts, such as an E-type with a factory-fresh F-TYPE.
Le Mans Experience (£750):
Re-live the experiences of legends such as Mike Hawthorn and Duncan Hamilton for half a day, with drives in the iconic C and D-types that dominated the world famous 24-hour endurance race in the 1950s. This package will also feature drives in an XKSS and F-TYPE R Coupé, and includes lunch. I was fortunate to get a few laps in the 1953 C Type racer, read more here
Grace and Pace Experience (£2,000):
This is a full day of driving Jaguar Heritage legends, from post-war racers to sports saloons, coupés, roadsters and much more, including the new XFR and F-TYPE R Coupé models. The Grace and Pace day will also feature opportunities to drive creations from the company’s Special Operations division, and includes chauffeur-driven transfers in classic Jaguar saloons to a lunch venue.
The facility at Fen End also features a new branded merchandise outlet – where the recently launched Heritage ’57 Collection is available to purchase.
Jaguar have big plans for their growing Heritage fleet, with the driving experience being just the first step. The Fen End facility will be comprehensively upgraded as more elements of the vast 220 acre site are brought back into regular use. As for your difficult-to-buy-for person, whatever they’ve done in the past, I’d wager they haven’t driven a C Type or D Type racer. Big brownie points for buying this one, get the full details on the website here
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