Jaguar Land Rover has acquired the entire collection of 543 cars owned by dentist and philanthropist Dr James Hull. Dr Hull made headlines earlier this year when he announced that he was putting the entirety of his award-winning collection, amassed over more than 35 years, up for sale for health reasons. On Friday, July 25 it was announced that JLR had purchased the collection for an undisclosed sum. Dr Hull said that his cars were collectively worth around £100 million but other estimates put it at around £30 million.
The move is not entirely without precedent. Jaguars form the core of the Hull collection, with 130 cars representing the marque. Many are rarities such as C and D-types, an alloy-bodied XK120, an XKSS and the MkX once owned by Sir William Lyons, as well as several early E-types. Jaguar has previously used cars from the Hull collection in publicity and to appear on corporate stands at motor shows and at launch events. Early Land Rovers and Range Rovers are also present.
We try to pick a winner from Lotus and Porsche’s four-cylinder 1980s line-up.
Lotus may have lost its sense of purpose as a road car builder in the last couple of years, what with its ambitious model plan followed by the swift departure of its chief executive, but back in the late ’80s its focus was clear: Colin Chapman wanted to move upmarket and set his targets pretty high. The Esprit in turbo form tilted ambitiously at Ferrari, while the four-seater Excel had the Porsche 944 in its sights.
Was this pure folly from the Norfolk maker or an entirely justified attempt to enter the mainstream? After all, Lotus had proved itself on the F1 circuit and had gained respect for the giant-killing handling of road cars like the Elan. On the other hand, the Germanic solidity of Porsche products backed up by its ability to borrow from the giant VW group’s parts bins meant that its 924 and 944 offered the same hassle-free ownership proposition as a mid-range Mercedes saloon.
To find out how the Porsche and Lotus approaches compare, we reacquainted ourselves with the Porsche in 944S form but as we discover, there’s more than one Lotus product in the frame as competition.