Classic Cars: History of the Jaguar
The Jaguar brand wasn’t always the automobile legend we know it as today. It was actually a motorcycle sidecar manufacturer originally, and was founded under a different name, the Swallow Sidecar Company, in 1922. Co-founded by 21-year-old Billy Lyons and neighbor William Walmsley in Blackppol, Jaguar’s legacy has always been about style.
The Jaguar name was made relevant by the production of a series of eye-catching sports cars, such as the XK 120 of 1949, which was developed into the XK 140 and XK 150, and the E Type of 1961. These were all successful vehicles and were prime examples of Lyon’s motto of “value for money”.
The sales slogan for the Jaguar vehicles, which acquired the “Jaguar” name in 1935, was “Grace, Space, Pace”. The exact text of this slogan varied, but always included these three words, as this was what embodied a Jaguar vehicle. After WWII, Jaguar certainly made a name for itself as a producer of stylish, high-performance vehicles.
Although Jaguars were always about style, it wasn’t until the mid-1950’s that they were introduced as luxury vehicles. By then, jaguar cars were recognizable for their distinct styling cues, such as a chrome grill and the leaping jaguar emblem. Through the 50’s and 60’s, Jaguar luxury cars grew larger with each redesign, topping out at more than 200 inches in length by 1970.
The Jaguar brand has quite a distinct history, and is still going strong today. Currently, Jaguar produces 4 distinct models; the XK high-performance coupe and convertible, the XJ luxury model, the mid-size “executive” XF, and the X-Type which is among the upper tier of all luxury cars available today.
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