Suffolk Sportscars in liquidation following dispute with Jaguar Land Rover

Thanks for posting this Gunnar - shame this has to happen - Tex Terry, II - 1991 XJS V12 Classic Coupe, 1986 XJS V12 Coupe - sent 9/4/2020 2134hrs. EDT USA

A shame indeed… hate to see this happen. I assume they were produced as “replica” which should be non-infringing in my mind.
LLoyd

Society has discovered discrimination as the great social weapon by which one may kill men without any bloodshed.
Hannah Arendt

Just received an actual paper letter (rare nowadays…) from “Suffolk Classic Services” as a servicing company. They bought all the spares stock and intellectual property of the former company. Many of the same people working there. Doesn’t mention new replica cars.
I had bought about $2000 worth of parts from the old company to use in my restoration of my 1938 SS100 since Suffolk had tooled up many correct parts.
Website is suffolkclassicservices.com
Dave

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I have been writing about this since the rumours started early this year, and while it was sad for the customers I don’t think you should shed a tear for the company directors.

Suffolk have been in trouble for some years, basically over mis-selling their new cars. In days gone by we took the wreck of an old car and used the mechanics to build up whatever we wanted -a C-type, D-type, an XKSS or in this case an SS 100. In 1998 the government introduced the SVA, short for Special Vehicle Approval, and later changed this into a newer and more stringent law called the IVA, or Individual Vehicle Approval. All new replicas in the UK need to undertake this to be legally registered, but Suffolk had collected a number of old identities and were using these illegally to register their cars. I was contacted by one client who had purchased a new all-alloy C-type from them, and who sold it on a couple of years later. The new owner had the registration of his car withdrawn and it is now illegal on the road in the UK until it passes the IVA. It would seem that the DVLA got wind of the illegal dealing some time ago and have collected a list of Suffolk registrations and when a car is sold it os flagged and the DVLA asks for photos of the car. Now an SS100 does not look like a S3 XJ6, so straight away the new owner finds himself with an unusable car.

Earlier this year the complete stock in trade of Suffolk was transferred out of the company into the name of one of the directors. When the bankruptcy was announced, leaving behind debts of £850,000, the company closed down and reopened the next day in the same premises under the new name. This is the third time the main director has gone bankrupt by the way.

The Jaguar Land Rover issue is a red herring. JLR lost their case against INEOS who are building cars that to all intents and purposes are old-style Land Rovers, and JLR tried to stop them. I am not sure on the legal points here, but people are saying that this carries over to all replicas, so buying a Realm is fine. JLR had sent out “cease and desist” letters to many replica makers, Suffolk being one of these, but it had no bearing whatsoever on their bankruptcy.

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Yes Tony…and to rub salt in the wound the newly formed Suffolk are offering an IVA service at £6.2k to take any or their “factory” built cars and get them IVA and dvla registered…isnt that just very good of them…personaly i wouldnt let then fit a new set of plugs to one of my cars…Steve

I have fallen in to the trap of Suffolk Sportscars having been misled by them. There is every evidence of them having fraudulently been registering vehicles without compliance with DVLA requirements. I am now faced with trying to get my car through the IVA test and replacing or modifying a lot of parts from the build to comply. Seats, headlamps, door hinges dashboard… the list goes on. Having never done this before it is a minefield as what was sold is far from compliant. Any advice on this would be appreciated to avoid the £6.2k cost of paying SuffolkClassicCars to modify it.

My only suggestion–a strong one–is to take this conversation into a private group.

Right or wrong, openly discussing this puts JL in a precarious position.

@gunnar

Hi Robert…im in the UK…feel free to contact me via PM…im in a build group where quite a few have already passed IVA…The company in question no longer exists…the dvla registration authority im led to believe now have a list of all the unregistered cars and will looking into them on change of ownership …It is a fact that they sold unregistered car in the UK to purchasers who were being told they were road legal…I dont see that it could put JL in an awkward positio to discuss these issues and by doing so may actually prevent someone getting into the position that Robert now finds he,s in…currently in the UK there is a Suffolk SS100 being sold by a dealership stating that it is road legal and HPI cleared…but a quich check of its numberplate with the dvla clearly shows it isnt registered and actuall logged as an XJ6…hopefully discussions here may prevent someone purchasing it… £80k…but its up to the moderators. …Steve

Technical discussions are fine. We have a strict policy of not thrash talking anyone that might be , deserved or not, as we do not have the resources to fight legal battles inflicted by members.

The process of gaining IVA approval id interesting though.

Nick

For anyone owning or building a Suffolk C type or SS100 and wants information or help with IVA issues and UK registration there is an owners/builders facebook page/group that would be worth joining…https://www.facebook.com/groups/188819205373646/

The business entity which was guilty of malfeasance no longer exists, and therefore discussion of mopping up the mess would not place JL at risk since the firm has evaporated. The actions are on public record with the relevant administrative authorities.

The same people, premises and stock have risen, phoenix-like, from the ashes and could legally, if not morally, claim “Nothing to do with me Guv” were it not for the fact that they now advertise a service “We can fix what those scoundrels did for 6-7 grand.”

''Nothing to do with us" and “We can fix what they did” are borderline mutually-contradictory statements. It would IMO be a useful service to the Jag replica community in Europe (which includes North American sellers/buyers involved in that market) if this list could pool the knowledge of people like Steve in how to fix things without the original perps profiting.

But of course I’m neither an Admin nor a lawyer, so unlike a small number of the latter my opinion is worth what listers pay for it.

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Hi Peter…i always rate your opinions very highly indead…especially when you use the word “Scoundrels”…very Terry Thomas…love it…all the best…Steve

If you like researching scoundrels then if you want to go to the best of them in the classic car world read the judgement on Michael Tuke V Derek Hood, he of JD Classics fame. Sold the company for £38 million to investment bankers, was sued for £9 million by Michael Tuke and over £60 million by the bankers who had to fold the company, and declared himself bankrupt when sued for £ 1 million by the Revenue. Michael won his case yesterday being awarded £13 million plus interest in damages. now the hunt is on for what happened to the £38 million. You can read the judgement here:-

Ha! I supped with that particular devil and had too short a spoon!

Lived fairly close to JD and after a minor nudge in my 69 OTS I chose them to give a repair estimate, as agreed with the insco. Brian ‘Zealia’ Wilkinson followed me down as I left it with JD just before Christmas 2011

Brian and I went back a couple of weeks later to pick up the car and they would not give it to me unless I gave them a grand right there for doing the insurance quote, plus they would charge me storage for every day it had been there if I resisted.

The insurers were as shocked as I was and had never seen anything like it but said they’d reimburse me. Needless to say, I took it elsewhere.

My only other brush with the classic car trade was getting royally shafted on the no-sale auction of my Realm long nose. Unbeknown to me, a couple of the Coys management had been banned from being company directors but were still involved. Not surprisingly, Coys went ‘Tango Uniform’ yet again, owing people millions but at least I got out alive.