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The History of the Jaguar Sports Car

By February 5, 2015 No Comments

Jaguar is one of the most respected names in British motoring. With a rich heritage and a collection of vehicles that are synonymous with prestige, performance and class, Jaguars have been the vehicles of choice for many well-heeled individuals for generations.

What is lesser known is the racing pedigree of Jaguar. With wins in the Le Mans, a Formula One team between the years of 2000 – 2004, not to mention a presence in a wealth of completing racing championships across the world, Jaguar has certainly proved their racing stripes. It is this pedigree that has driven the car manufacturer to build some of the most unforgettable sports cars the world has ever seen.

The history of the jaguar sports car begins all the way back in 1922 when William Lyons established the Swallow Sidecar Company in Blackpool. Swallow built sidecars for the popular motorbikes of the time.

By 1926 the company broadened its horizons by manufacturing luxurious coachwork bodies for popular car manufacturers, Austin, Morris and Standard. In 1931 all manufacturing production was moved to Coventry. The business began producing entire vehicles. The first Jaguar SS was rolled off the production line and introduced in 1936. The following year three SS Jaguars were entered in the RAC Rally. The SS100 won the event.

The early 1940’s saw Jaguar roll out its straight six XK engine. The vehicle was developed despite WW2 raging on. In 1945 the company was reamed Jaguar Cars Limited, completely separating itself from its SS roots.

Fast forward to the 1960’s, Jaguar developed, perhaps the company’s most iconic car – the E-Type. Revered by collectors to this very day, the E-Type has been described as the most beautiful car ever built. By the close of the car’s production in 1975 74,000 Jaguars had been sold. Today, the 4.2 litre Series 1 is regarded as the crown jewel.

Over the next few decades the racing pedigree of Jaguar was confirmed. Entering the Le Mans and World Sports Car Championship this seven litre powerhouse won six of the eleven races during the 1988 championship and the Le Mans for the first time since 1957.

In 1992 Jaguar developed the fastest production car of the year – the XJ220. Fitted with a 3.5 litre twin turbo V6 engine the car was capable of speeds of 213mph. Only 275 were ever produced, and today the vehicle is revered as one of the finest examples of power and performance achieved by and car manufacturer.

Jaguar has both a rich racing pedigree and a history of producing some of the most awe-inspiring cars we’ve ever been treated to. The impact of Jaguar on performance motoring is vast.

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