British automotive icons Stirling Moss and Norman Dewis were on hand Monday as some 40 historic and current Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles paraded into a revitalized Land Rover assembly plant at Solihull, UK, to celebrate the addition of Jaguars to the vehicles being built at the facility.
Moss was among England’s most famous and successful racing car drivers while Dewis was the long-time test driver for Jaguar.
“It’s wonderful to see great cars from both Jaguar and Land Rover’s heritage helping us to celebrate the exciting new future at Solihull,” John Edwards, managing director of Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations, said in a news release. “Even more so when they are being joined by the future classics currently being made here, such as the Jaguar XE.”
The first of the Solihull-built XEs rolled off the assembly line during the event.
Rover began production of 4×4 vehicles at Solihull in 1948 with the Series 1 Land Rover. In the 1960s, Rover would become part of British Leyland. Later, its ownership would be held by British Aerospace, German automaker BMW and American automaker Ford. At Ford, Land Rover became part of the company’s Premier Automotive Group which also included Jaguar, Aston Martin, Volvo and Lincoln.
Later, Ford would sell off most of those brands, retaining only Lincoln, while Jaguar and Land Rover became part of Tata Motors of India.
“The arrival of the (Jaguar) XE at the Solihull manufacturing plant is significant for both the Jaguar and Land Rover brands,” Jaguar Land Rover said in its news release. “The advent of XE production at Solihull marks a key milestone for Jaguar, this year celebrating its 80th birthday. For Land Rover, welcoming the Jaguar brand to its home is the latest in a string of significant developments, which have seen the site undergo a spectacular transformation in just five years.”
“Cars like the Jaguar XK120 and E-type look as wonderful today as they did when they were new and it’s brilliant that they are here, taking part in the celebration of a great new chapter in Jaguar’s illustrious history,” Moss was quoted in the news release.
Cars in the parade represented eight decades dating to a Jaguar SS1 Tourer and a Land Rover Series 1 through the current Jaguar XE and Range Rover Sport SVR.