"Japanese cars aren’t supposed to be beautiful are they? They’re meant to be functional and affordable, the sort of machines that have been designed and built by scientists and doctors rather than artists. 50 years ago there was a "
Jane from JHW Classics believes cars are made to be driven
“I do have a type….it’s rare and quirky….that’s it,” says Jane Weitzmann, owner and curator of JHW Classics.
She’s absolutely right, because there’s no other way of pigeon-holing the elegant owner of a vehicle collection that currently stands at about 40 cars. I say about, because I’m not entirely sure but ‘about 40’ sounds about right to me.
Jane’s company JHW Classics rent out their cars for film and television shoots, magazine shoots, weddings, funerals, school proms and probably bar mitzvahs as well. Jane has always been a collector of cars and it’s something that’s in her blood. Her father was a collector and she grew up with that unmistakable smell of oil, petrol and leather in her nostrils from a very early age. Her and her late husband also collected cars, so she knows no different and frankly wouldn’t have it any other way. These are not soulless museum pieces though, vacuum sealed and hidden away in a temperature controlled storage facility somewhere. Jane buys cars because she likes them, not because she feels they’ll necessarily make a good investment, although certain cars in her collection obviously tick both of those boxes. Essentially though, Jane will purchase a car because she wants to drive it and she wants to enjoy it and she sees absolutely no point in cars being owned and not used.
Amongst her eclectic collection is everything from a DeLorean to a 1964 E Type. From a Fiat Gamine painted in Noddy colours to an 8.2 litre Boss Hoss trike. From a 2 stroke Suzuki Jeep to a Jaguar XJ220. She really doesn’t have a type, beyond rare and quirky, as she’s more than happy to admit.
When it comes to rare, one of the undisputed stars the show is her beautiful Toyota 2000GT, which is apparently the only road registered car of its type in the UK, and the reason ultimately that this little film project came about. You see, Jane Weitzmann is an old friend of my father in law Renaud, and they met through their mutual love of cars, when both were members of the Scorpions owners club. Renaud had several Grinnall Scorpions including the one driven by Tiff Needell on Top Gear many moons ago, that Jane has recently bought from him to add to her collection.
Anyway, back to the story. My other half Nicole (yes, she genuinely is called Nicole with a father called Renaud, just like a TV advert from the 90s) and I were round at Jane’s getting some work done on a mark one MX5 that Papa owns, and while there with a brew in hand and enjoying a little tour around the garages, heard all about the history of the cars and the Toyota 2000GT in particular. I then went home that night and saw on twitter an Influx article all about the beautiful and super rare ‘Japanese E –Type’, just like the one I’d been sat in hours earlier. Little did I know that the photos that accompanied the Influx article were not just of a similar red 2000 GT, but Jane’s actual car. Although in fairness, with it being the only road registered car of its type in the UK the likelihood was it would be the same car.
Having spoken to the nice people at Influx about the bizarre coincidence of me being sat in said car hours earlier, I told them it belonged to Jane Weitzmann amongst many other curiosities in her garage, and the decision was then made a couple of weeks later to make a film about JHW Classics and this incredible collection.
When it comes to your own cars, like your own children, everyone has favourites even though it’s not socially acceptable to make these known. We decided to push Jane on this question though, and there are four that are really special and arguably the stand out stars of the show. There’s the beautiful and super rare Toyota 2000GT which takes centre stage in our short film. There’s the awesome grunt of the Ford GT, which you could listen to all day long…..and we did. There’s Jane’s Lamborghini Miura S which belonged to her late husband and before him to Bernie Ecclestone and Twiggy’s manager in the 60s, Justin De Villeneuve. A very special car indeed, with real pedigree and the one that Jane probably holds most dear to her heart. There’s also the Jaguar XJ220, which couldn’t be ignored, although sadly we had to on this occasion as it was away undergoing a major service and wasn’t available for us to film with.
The 3 we had to play with weren’t bad though, and we hope you enjoy our 5 mins of automotive beauty as we introduce you to a lady who is living the dream. Jane says she considers herself incredibly lucky to be able to indulge her passion for cars and make it her business. It’s something that we’d all do in a heartbeat given half a chance, although for now and without the finances to stretch to 4 new tyres never mind 40 beautiful cars, I’m quite happy making films about them.
Maybe we’ll go and film there again when the Jaguar XJ220 is back from its service? There are certainly far worse ways to spend a couple of days.
CLICK TO ENLARGE