“The History”



The Jaguar story is one of “rags to riches”. It was for 50 years, the story of one man who created one of the world’s greatest automotive names, a company renowned for style, performance and quality (3, Jaguar History).
A young man by the name of William Lyons started a small company called Swallow Sidecars, which originated in the northern seaside town of Blackpool. Here, as a young motorcycle enthusiast, he met William Walmsley, who was building sidecars for motorcycles. The stylish sidecars caught the attention of young Lyons. He felt that there was great potential if the activity could be organized along business lines and the production increased to make the operation viable.
After several years the restless Lyons saw a better opportunity for his Swallow Sidecar Company. The company did special bodywork for a car called the Austin Seven, and in 1927 created a most stylish, two-seater for the little car. Soon, Swallow bodies followed for larger companies like Morris Cowley and Fiat (3, Jaguar History).
Lyons was not content with just building bodies for other car companies. In 1931 he came out with his own line of SS cars, the SS I and the SS II coupes. These cars caused a great sensation at the London Motor show. The body was sleek and low to the ground, and they were a good value for the price.
In 1935, William Lyons needed a unique name for his cars. He did not select Jaguar at first. Sunbeam Motor Co. was for sale and he made arrangements for the company to be bought and a new line of vehicles called Sunbeams were to be produced. Fortunately for us, the Rootes brothers, a rival car company, stole the name. Lyons advertising agency then provided a list of animal names suggesting a new image for the cars. Jaguar was selected and the name has stuck with them ever since.
During WWII the company planned a new engine that would establish the company as a world force. They chose an advanced overhead camshaft layout for their straight six engines; it would put out 160 bhp. Lyons then designed a body to match the greatness of the engine they had created. This was the birth of the XK 120. Just to prove to you how great the combo of the engine and body was, a standard XK 120 would clock 126mph, the fastest production car in the world.
As the 1950’s came around so did newer cars from the company that had made its name with the XK 120. In 1950 the MK VII Saloon was unveiled. It was a five-seater powered by the XK engine. It was designed with the U.S. market in mind, and some $30 million worth of orders were taken within months of its introduction. In 1954 the XK 120 was replaced with the XK 140, with a more powerful 190-bhp engine. In 1957 Jaguar came out with yet another fabulous car, the XK 150. Jaguar fitted disc brakes to the car and in 1958 a roadster version of the XK 150 was introduced for the U.S. with the luxury of wind up windows( WOW!!!!!!!!!!).
In the 60s Jaguar made its biggest leap yet, as far as sports car production is concerned, the introduction of the Jaguar XKE, a sensation. Putting out a fierce 265 bhp, the Jag leaped to a 6.9 second 0-60 mph time and a top speed of 150 mph. “ No other car on the market offers speed, handling and, above all, looks of the car at anywhere near the price: $5,620 (1, Highlights in the life of Jaguar). The car became an overnight hit. As the 70s rolled around Jaguar introduced a much larger V-12 engine to the XK E. Adding the V-12 to the car neither helped nor hurt.
In the 1980s Jaguar introduced the XJ 6. The car was approved by all. With the 3.6-liter engine the car put out 225 bhp. The cars’ looks not only turned heads, but so did the performance of the new Jaguar. It was not until 1991 that Jaguar introduced the dream car that became a reality, for those who could afford $1,000,000, that is. The XJ 220, was a car loved by all,