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Jaguar History

Updated on November 20, 2011

Jaguar History Chronology

  • 1922- William Lyons and William Walmsley, set up the Swallow Sidecar Company (SS) to manufacture sidecars for motorcycles in Blackpool, England.
  • 1926- The Swallow Sidecar Company built the Austin Seven and changed the company name to Swallow Sidecar and Coachbuilding Co. Manufacturing bodies for Morris, Wolseley, Fiat, Swift, and Standard.
  • 1931- The company's own first car, the SS1 was based on a Standard six-cylinder engine and a modified Standard chassis.
  • 1933- The company name was changed to SS Cars Ltd and William Lyons became managing director.
  • 1934- Harry Weslake, one of the industry's top engine experts joined the company.
  • 1936- For the first time the name Jaguar was used on a re-designed high performance model, the SS Jaguar 100. William Heynes joined the company as chief engineer.
  • 1937- Production shifted to the war effort at the beginning of WWII.

  • 1945- Car production restarted and the Jaguar name was given to the entire company and the SS was ditched due to lack of status from World War II. The Jaguar Mark IV was introduced.

Jaguar E Type (XKE)
Jaguar E Type (XKE)
SS 90
SS 90
SS 90
SS 90
1939 Jaguar SS100
1939 Jaguar SS100
Jaguar C-Type
Jaguar C-Type
Jaguar D-Type
Jaguar D-Type
Jaguar Mk1
Jaguar Mk1
Jaguar Mk2
Jaguar Mk2
Jaguar XJ220
Jaguar XJ220
  • 1946- The first Jaguars were produced with the option of left-hand steering wheel.
  • 1948- Jaguar introduced this year the fastest car ever, the XK 120 Roadster with a claimed top speed of 120 mph (195 km/h), the Jaguar Mark V was also introduced.
  • 1950- The Jaguar VII was introduced.
  • 1951- Jaguar C-Type was built specifically for competition.
  • 1953- XK 120 Drophead Coupe was introduced with a fully-trimmed convertible hood. The XK 120 proved to be a super competition car. In
  • 1954- The XK 140 introduced with 190 hp. The XK 140 had little room behind the seat. On the racing tracks Jaguar unveiled its higher performance competition car, the D-Type.
  • 1955- The Jaguar MK I was introduced at the International Motor Show.
  • 1957- The Jaguar XK 150 when introduced to the public had a low applause because the XK design was looking slightly old-fashioned.
  • 1960- Jaguar bought Daimler from BSA (Birmingham Small Arms Company) and unveiled the Jaguar Mark II.
  • 1961- The mythic E-type was introduced to the public in the Geneva Motor Show, Switzerland. The Mark X was also unveiled this year. On the racing tracks the E-Type lightweight started to be seen.
  • 1966- Jaguar Cars Ltd and the British Motor Corporation Ltd announced they would fuse. The 420G was presented.
  • 1968- The merger with Leyland formed the largest British car complex, the British Leyland Motor Company.
  • 1969- The Jaguar XJ6 was introduced.
  • 1972- Sir William Lyons retired, 50 years after forming the Swallow Sidecar Company. The XJ12 was presented.
  • 1975- Financial difficulties at Jaguar and the publication of the Ryder Report led to nationalization and turmoil within the company and workers going on strike. After this Jaguar became part of British Leyland group. The XJS designed by Lyons and Sayer was introduced.

  • 1980- John Egan became Jaguar's new full-time chief executive in April.
  • 1984- The government privatized Jaguar as a separate company.
  • 1985- Jaguar was stable once again and with workers positively driven.
  • 1989- Ford starts to make offers to US and UK Jaguar shareholders to buy their shares.
  • 1990- Jaguar's listing was removed from the London Stock Exchange.
  • 1992- The Jaguar XJ220 was introduced with a world record top speed of 350km/h for a production car.
  • 1996- The Jaguar XK8 was presented.
  • 1997- The Jaguar XKR was introduced.
  • 1999- Jaguar became part of FordĀ“s new group. The S-Type was unveiled.
  • 2001- The Jaguar X-Type was unveiled.
  • 2006- The XK was introduced
  • 2008- Ford announced to sell its Jaguar operations to Tata Motors of India. The XF model was introduced.
  • 2009- The XFR was introduced with a recorded top speed of 363km/h.

75 Years of Jaguar History


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    • nelson soares profile image

      nelson soares 7 years ago from Sunny Algarve

      Thanks electricsky.There were cars in Europe at that time but then they were called horseless carriages.Renault was one of the first.

    • electricsky profile image

      electricsky 7 years ago from North Georgia

      Beautiful old cars. I did not know Ford ever owned Jaguar. I knew they owned Lincoln continental to be competitive with cadillacs. I just read an article on presidential cars were cadillacs in the 1950s. I am surprised they didn't use Jaguar autos in the parades as they just look better.

      Were there cars in Europe before 1910?