Ole Sommer, the former importer of Jaguar cars in Denmark and a leading collector of classic Jaguars, has died at the age of 87 after a short illness.
OBITUARY OLE SOMMER – 6 MARCH 1931-24 JULY 2018
Ole was born into the motor trade. His father, Erik, ran a Ford, Jaguar and Jowett dealership in Copenhagen, and when he was tragically killed in an accident, Ole took over running the company at the age of 21, while completing his studies for an engineering degree. He had already spent two years as a volunteer pupil with Jaguar and Jowett in England, and was very proud to have got a Certificate of Competence as a toolmaker. Ole’s father’s first classic car – a 1937 SS Jaguar 100 that “Lofty” England had found for him in England for £475 – became the start of an impressive collection that he and Ole built up over the years, including many classic Jaguars such as a C-type and a D-type, but also Volvos, Jowetts, and other cars that Ole found interesting. As the business expanded, in 1965, the Sommer company moved to new premises on the outskirts of Copenhagen, at Nærum, which were opened by Sir William Lyons. Sadly, when British Leyland reorganised its import businesses after 1968, Ole lost the Jaguar franchise; he and his father had sold 1,265 cars between 1946 and 1970.
It was also at Nærum that Ole built a museum to house the growing collection of classic cars, which now numbers more than 70 and is home to the Danish Veteran Car Club.
Among other achievements, Ole organised the first three Copenhagen Classic Car Cup race meetings, in 1996, 1998, and 2000. Ole Sommer was highly regarded for his business ethics, and it was famously claimed that he would not sign a contract of more than one sheet of A4 paper. He considered himself fortunate to have the support of a first-class team; he valued his staff, and was rewarded by their loyalty in return. He became a respected and much-loved elder statesman and authority in the world of classic Jaguars.
Ole is survived by Swiss-born Bea, whom he married in 1960, their three sons and one daughter, and eleven grandchildren. Anders Ditlev Clausager.