With the price of Jaguar and Land Rover classic vehicles soaring — a rare North American version of the 1993 Land Rover Defender 110 with 180,000 miles sold recently for $93,110 — JLR is opening a factory restoration, sales and service center in Savannah, Ga.
The facility, which will employ 75 old-car specialists, is scheduled to open in about a year, JLR said last week. Owners of classic vehicles, such as the Jaguar XKE sports car and Land Rover Range Rover Classic will be able to have their vehicles serviced or even completely restored by JLR-trained staff.
JLR operates two similar facilities, one in the U.K. and one in Germany. Its restoration specialists can research a vehicle's original build records, then use factory assembly manuals, literature and a growing range of classic parts that JLR has put back into production to return a vehicle to showroom condition.
JLR says the Savannah facility will offer vehicle restorations, processing (light restoration), sales of used classic cars, vehicle servicing and maintenance, customer commissions, branded accessories, driving experiences, customer race car prep and site visits or event hosting.
"Creating a dedicated facility in the U.S. — one of the largest markets for classic car enthusiasts — is an important and exciting step," said Tim Hannig, director of Jaguar Land Rover Classic. "We're delighted to bring the future-proofing classic expertise and support we've nurtured in the UK direct to U.S. clients."
The facility will have 42 bays and handle vehicles out of production 10 years or more. A separate showroom will offer what JLR calls its Classic Works Legends vehicles for sale. Such vehicles would include Land Rover Defender and Series SUVs, Jaguar XKR sports coupes, the classic Jaguar XJ6 sedan and even early versions of the Land Rover Discovery, which are now also becoming collectible.
Private imports of Defenders 25 years or older from Europe have soared in recent years as the value of used models in the U.S. has risen.
Mercedes-Benz and Porsche operate similar facilities catering to owners of classics.