For anyone familiar with the brand of Jaguar, you will know that the company did not always make the premium luxury cars they do today.
The Swallow Sidecar Company was founded in 1922, by William Walmsley and William Lyons in Blackpool, Lancashire. In its early years of operation, the company began to diversify by producing coachwork for what was the modern motor car. They furthered their expertise in building complete cars in association with the Standard Motor Co, bearing the name Jaguar. It wasn’t until 1945 that the prestigious name of Jaguar Cars was established.
Jaguar remained a British company right up until 1990, when American car giant Ford took ownership. The company was later sold to Indian multinational Tata Motors in 2008. Regardless of this, the Jaguar brand continues to be renowned for producing luxury vehicles of utmost quality and performance.
So how did the Jaguar get its roar?
Back in September 1935, the Swallow Sidecar company were one of the first car manufacturers to launch a sports car to the general public, the SS 2.5 litre saloon. Sporting sleek curves, a low-slung riding position and a powerful 2.5 litre engine; naturally, the name Jaguar was born. By 1945, the name Jaguar had become company-wide.
Throughout the company’s history, Jaguar have established themselves as creating icons, not just cars.
The London Motor Show in 1948 saw the rise in the recognition of Jaguar for sophistication and motoring excellence, as they launched the XK120. This prototype drew in mass attention, as it not only displayed the company’s expertise in building sleek motor cars, but also showcased the launch of the Jaguar XK engine. Surprisingly, this engine was in production from 1949 all the way until 1992. With the launch of the XK120, the iconic ribbed oval grill appeared, which would remain for decades to come.
Over time, Jaguar became successful in Motorsports, with two of the most significant wins at Le Mans in 1951 and 1953. It was never plain sailing, as they were a part of motor history at the same race in 1955, when over 180 spectators were injured and 83 lost their lives.
It wasn’t until the 1960s when Jaguar’s icons become more renowned, with the legendary E-type premiering at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show. The jaw-dropping, curvaceous body line and 3.8 litre straight six-cylinder engine had every motor fans’ heart racing at first sight.
In the present day, Jaguar’s focus on design, performance and luxury is prominent in all the vehicles they still produce. It is no surprise that Jaguar cars are used by the British Prime Minister, and holds royal warrants from Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles; a true mark of quality and perfection.
If you own a prestige Jaguar you will require a specialist car insurance which protects both your vehicle, and your time. At Chubb, we understand that protecting your piece of motor history is paramount to you, and we aim to provide car insurance which is suitable for all of your needs.
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The facts contained within this article were derived from the following sources: