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Jaguar was founded in 1922 by two motorcycle enthusiasts William Walmsley and William Lyons. Since the two founders were interested in motorcycles, the original name of Jaguar was Swallow Sidecar Company.
After manufacturing sidecars, the company made a smooth transition into manufacturing automobiles.
1926 led to the company changing its name to S.S. Cars Ltd. It wasn’t until World War II that S.S. Ltd. changed its name to Jaguar due to the previous name being related to Nazism.
The first vehicle developed by Jaguar was a two-seater sports saloon car presented at the London Motor Show during 1929.
The car: SS 1
Continuing to grow Jaguar’s name with the release of vehicles such as the SS 100 during the 30s and the Mark IV during the 40s, the company achieved a breakthrough in 1948 with the release of the Jaguar XK120.
XK120’s were the fastest serial cars manufactured in the world during the time of their release. By 1960, Jaguar cars were offered to American customers with the Jaguar XK150 as well as the XK150 Roadster proving quite desirable.
It wasn’t until the 1950s that Jaguar began increasing its involvement and drive toward winning motorsport events. 1951 was a pivotal year for Jaguar racing as the company achieved its goal of winning the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans race with the XK-120C model.
Not long after 1951, Jaguar once again reclaimed the Le Mans prize with the D-Type model in 1955.
Ford’s Failure With Jaguar
A common element seems to occur with most car companies that have lengthy histories:
At some point, the companies run into trouble.
In 1990, Ford bought Jaguar cars limited but never was able to unleash Jaguar’s potential during their ownership period. In 2008, Ford sold its Jaguar shares to the Indian auto company, Tata Motors.
Now owned by Jaguar-Land Rover, Jaguar has made a strong return with models such as the sporty F-Type.
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