JAGUAR Land Rover has purchased the largest-known privately owned collection of British classic cars in the world from a Newport dentist.

The vast collection of 543 cars was amassed by enthusiast James Hull, 53, who founded the James Hull Associates chain of dentists, opening his first dental practice in Newport in 1987.

The collection, which has been painstakingly assembled and restored by the car enthusiast and entrepreneur, has over 130 Jaguars.

Jaguar models in the collection include an SS100, a rare alloy XK120, early E-types and a MK X once owned by Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons. He decided to put them on the market for £100m earlier this year.

Mr Hull said: “Travelling all over the world to build the collection over the years has been a labour of love and a life’s work, so my primary motivation was not to get the maximum price but rather to secure the collection's future of the collection in this country with the right custodian.”

The collection also includes early Swallow Sidecars and Swallow coach-built Austin Sevens, 30 classic Jaguar ‘Mark’ model saloons plus 19 XJSs and over 20 XJs with interesting pasts, including a Bentley formerly owned by Elton John.

Mr Hull added: “I have got to know Jaguar Land Rover well in recent years and they have borrowed cars from the collection for events such as the Mille Miglia and supporting Jaguar in China. They are the perfect custodians to take the collection forward and I know it is in safe hands.”

Jaguar Land Rover report that the majority of the cars are in truly outstanding condition, with many having fascinating histories behind them.

The collection also features many other iconic and famous British cars and models.

Managing Director of Special Vehicle Operations, John Edwards, said: “We are delighted that Jaguar Land Rover has come to an agreement with James Hull to secure the future of this very significant collection of Jaguar and British cars.

“We share the same objective as James to keep this unique collection in British hands and we are delighted this agreement secures their custody for the future.”

This acquisition is part of an increased commitment by Jaguar Land Rover to protect and nurture the rich heritage possessed by both brands.

The cars in the collection will be used to support experiential marketing with customers and for global brand events.