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".
Mike O'Driscoll, Jaguar Heritage Chairman, said:"The Jaguar Gallery shows Jaguar's development and progress through the years – from the SS products of the 1920s to the present day with the stunning new F-TYPE. We now have two public galleries, celebrating our rich heritage in making world-beating automobiles – the Jaguar Gallery here in our home city of Coventry and the Heritage Motor Centre at Jaguar Land Rover's facility in Gaydon".
Joe Elliott, Coventry Transport Museum Chairman, said: "Coventry Transport Museum is proud to have this fitting new tribute to the City's most famous export in the shape of the marvellous new Jaguar Gallery. Our thanks to Jaguar and Jaguar Heritage for making it all possible, and now the Gallery is officially open we look forward to it being a great success as a new attraction at the museum. It has opened in time for the long summer holiday and will serve to inspire a new generation in our great city".
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.
The new Jaguar Gallery at Coventry Transport Museum is titled 'The Jaguar Story – A History of Design and Technical Innovation' and is split into five sections covering: 'The Early Years' (1920s to 1940s), 'The Post War Boom and Glamorous 50s', 'The Swinging 60s', 'Growth and Consolidation' (70s to 00s), and 'Jaguar Present and Future' (2005 and on..).
In addition to the stunning collection of cars covering ten decades of Jaguar and the role of the company in Coventry history, the Gallery also references the many technology and design innovations behind these great vehicles. Contemporary storyboards, film and spectacular imagery complement the sequential journey through the gallery, with historic artifacts to further illustrate Jaguar's rich heritage.