For several years I had been hearing about a collection of Jaguars hidden in South Australia’s Barossa Valley.. Information about this almost mythical collection was scarce on the ground, with no web-site anywhere that I could find.
Late last year a number of articles were published regarding the owner (Carl Lindner) sadly passing due to illness, and speculation ran rife around the possibility of some or all of the collection being sold. This didn’t however, eventuate, and further stories and rumours crept out.
Recently I tracked down the collection through an article published by a local car club, and made contact with a view of a visit and being able to take some photographs. Here is the story of my visit, where I was accompanied by my good friend (and chauffeur for the day) Steve.
This is a pretty good indicator that we’ve found the right place! What an amazing piece of art! In we go, and are immediately offered a coffee by the young Lady (Karen) who was (wo)manning the fort! How hospitable!
Karen showed us where we would find everything, and left us to look around and take some pictures. This 1932 SS1 was the very first Jaguar bought (by accident!) by Carl, and has pride of place immediately inside the door. This car started it all!
The ’32 is very original and in amazing condition for a car that was used – daily – for many years. These early SS’s had a Standard (make) Engine and Chassis, and were bodied by the Swallow Sidecar company (hence the SS). Not yet Jaguars.
This 1934 SS1 was recovered from a field in Victoria, and it had to be wired together to bring back to SA. A full ground-up resto is underway, and if the current state is any indication it will be SPECTACULAR!
Next to the 34 is another, this yellow SS1 Saloon. This would have cut quite the figure in it’s day!
A few steps further on is a 1935 Saloon in beautiful Burgundy colour. Those headlights!! And look at the ventilation flaps above the door windows!
Not a bad effort from a manufacturer of Motorcycle Sidecars! This car was evidently stored in a shed for many years only 20-30 km’s from the Barossa..
That’s all the SS’s then. On the left of this shot we have a couple of very special Race Cars that have historic links to the area.
In 1950 a local town (Nuriootpa) hosted the Australian Grand Prix! For the first years of the GP in Australia the location was moved around each year. Most of the tracks still exist in some form or another. This is an original Placard from that 1950 race.
(I believe) this car took 2nd place in 1950. It was a special based on parts from an Austin A40! It has been actively raced right up to present day. See the stickers on the roll-bar? They are Scrutineering sign-offs!
Isn’t that nice? Beautiful workmanship, and I bet it’s tremendous fun to drive – No driver aids here! The Austin was built in 1948.
Sitting quietly next to the little Austin is a JAW-DROPPING 1936 Ford V8 Special – Black Bess! This is actually a Replica, but was also raced for many years prior to being restored. The original Black Bess won the 1950 Grand Prix!
This is one MASSIVE beast of a race car! And the paint has to be seen to be believed – definitely show quality! I’m sure it would sound as tough as it looks too!
Moving back across the hall and it’s just WOW again! This replica of an XK120C was built in 2016 right here at the Collection workshop, and the attention to detail is just AMAZING!
The XK120C was the Competition version of the road-going XK120, and was the car which started Jaguar off on the road to it’s amazing success in Motorsport. This car has been modernised to meet current laws, and has a later model XJ6 engine.
And here’s the “Office” of the XK120C Replica. Nice! I love that wood-grained steering wheel and the retro gauges.
Inside the “Office” we noticed a set of Spark Plugs. Back in the day, the Racecars were often driven to the track, and so had a set of “Hot” plugs for road use, and a set of “Colds” which were swapped in at the track!
Next to the XK120C sit the first generation of Jaguars. I like the way the cars are laid out genealogically. a walk through the history of Jaguar.
And here we have the first XK! An XK120, built in 1950. In 1945 Swallow had changed it’s name to Jaguar, and this was the first all-new model to bear the Jaguar name. Look around at what other manufacturers were building in 1950 to appreciate this!
In 1953 there was a model upgrade to the XK140. The numerics after XK represented the top speed capable. This blue example is just gorgeous!
The XK140 was also the first model (I think) to offer the now famous “Leaping Jaguar” as an optional bonnet ornament. The best bonnet ornament IN THE WORLD in my opinion!
The XK1xx series finished with the XK150. This magnificent Red example was built in 1955, and restored by Carl and his team.
The interior of the XK150 shows the luxury and opulence which popularised the Jaguar motto of “Grace, Space and Pace”. Having driven many Jaguar miles myself I can testify as to the amazing comfort provided.
OK, give us a dash of fuel, and we’ll be on our way – any car will do, thanks!
Moving out of the first hall, we find this 1953 Jaguar-Ford Special – “Big Red”
Originally fitted with a 2.5 litre Jaguar engine, in 1959 a 4.7 Litre Ford OHV V8 was installed, and was raced right up to 2000, when it was brought into the Collection by Carl.
The walls aren’t completely covered with memorabilia and trivia, but what is there is interesting and relevant – like this great picture of Carl with some of the collection.
On into the bigger hall then, and the first thing we saw was this magnificent Series I E-Type Roadster, which is partway through restoration.
I found it really interesting to see “under the covers” so to speak. The level of detail given to parts of the car that will never be seen was just amazing. These guys spare NO effort with their restorations, that’s for sure.
Next to the Roadster was this STUNNING 1968 Daimler 250 V8. This car was bought as-is, and is in completely original condition with very low mileage.
The Daimler V8 is acknowledged as being a better engine than the more popular straight 6, but was discontinued at the command of Sir William Lyons, who preferred the 6. Less than 20,000 were produced.
Although it’s hard to imagine a wheel looking better than this, I’m glad that *I* don’t have to clean it!
On then, into the Big Hall proper… and Oh My! Have I died and gone to heaven? I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many E-Types in one place, and they are just a part of it!
First up then, this fantastic looking Jaguar C-Type Replica! Built in 2011 right here (with a body from New Zealand) the original cars were the first Jaguars to win Le Mans, and are worth millions of dollars now (IF you could buy one!)
The C-Type was the first Le Mans entrant to be fitted with Disc Brakes, which contributed greatly to their success.
Next to the C-type is this beautiful D-Type Replica. This was also built here, in 2012. It features a later XJ6 4.2 straight 6 engine, and the body again came from New Zealand.
What a beautiful piece of work!
And here we have possibly the most desireable E-Type, a 1963 Series I Roadster. This example is immaculate (as are all the cars here). I think you could name your own price for this car if you were selling it. Note the little rod holding the mirror?
MUCH too pretty to only have one picture, don’t you think?
The interior certainly doesn’t disappoint either. I remember my Dad taking me for a ride in one of these when I was small. It scared the life out of him, and he bought a MK2 3.8 instead.
Next E-Type was this 1963 Series I Coupe, which had history with the Lindner Family back from when it was new, and was originally owned by a friend. It was purchased a bit bruised and battered, but looks like new again now!
And another E-Type. This 1972 Red Series III Coupe really DOES go faster, as it’s fitted with the turbine-like 5.3 Litre V-12.
I’m not sure there’s a bad colour for an E-Type, and sky blue certainly isn’t one – it looks fantastic on this 1972 Series III Coupe. I do prefer the later grill I think. This one also has a Sun Roof, which is quite rare, I think.
ANOTHER 1972 V-12 E-Type! A Silver Coupe. Have you noticed the number plates yet? Carl’s middle initial was “R”, and for a long time all South Australian Plates started with “R”. How he laid his hands on all these “special” ones I don’t know.
Here’s another Blue one – a 1972 !! Series III Coupe. Is this getting boring? Naaaah! Didn’t think so 🙂
Carl must have had a “thing” for 1972 V-12 E-Types! Here’s yet another one in a beautiful Burgundy, a Roadster this time. I wouldn’t say No to having this in MY shed! Was there ever a sexier looking car?
One last lingering look back at all the lovely E-Types and we’ll move on.. Wait.. wait… OK.. let’s do it!
It’s a bit out of place amongst all the Jaguars, but by this time the VERY informative and friendly Jake Alcorn had joined us to show us around, and explained why the big 1930 Lincoln Zephyr was here. Why? you ask? I forget! But it looks cool.
Next to the Zephyr were two XJ-S’s – this Coupe and a Roadster. I didn’t like these when they came out, they didn’t have much of a Jaguar look about them. But they grew on me, I like them a lot now.
Tucked away in the corner is another stylish Daimler 250 V8, this one in white.
Turning around has us looking at this wonderful 1965 MK2 3.8 Saloon. Iconic, and still very beautiful, even by todays standards.
And LOOK at this interior! They don’t make them like this any more.
The front is even better than the back! Just perfect.
And next to the Mk2 is this MONSTER Mark 10! These were renowned for having “a few problems”. Including Over-heating and Oil Leaks to start with.
But WHAT an interior! You could have a party in here!
Troublesome they may be, but they sure look great! And this is a brilliant example, built in 1963.
And on to the final piece. A Replica XK-SS. I’d never heard of these until recently.
I first saw this car a few weeks ago, at the National Jaguar Rally (in another post) and was blown away by it.
There is a REALLY interesting story behind these cars. I’ll provide a link below.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our visit to Carl Lindner – I sure did! Karen was very friendly and helpful, and Jake (who maintains and builds the cars) was an absolute wealth of information, knowledge and trivia. His work speaks for itself, he is a master of his art. Thanks for spending time with me, both of you!
I found a couple of interesting articles whilst checking details for this piece. If you have time, you might want to check out the following pages: