The History of Jaguar
Jaguar was originally founded in 1922 under the name 'Swallow Sidecar Company' by two motorcycle enthusiasts, William Lyons and William Walmsley. Jaguar's popularity stemmed from their production of motorcycle side cars. Jaguar first appeared as the name for a sports saloon car in 1935, with a matching open two-seater sports vehicle called the SS Jaguar 100.
Lyons took over the company, buying out his partner, Walmsley, and worked towards a mantra of ‘value for money’. Throughout the 50s and 60s, Jaguar produced a series of successful sports cars in keeping with this mantra. This included the Jaguar XK120, XK140 and XK150 as well as the eye-catching Jaguar E-Type.
Lyons’ greatest success with Jaguar came after WWII with the creation of the twin-cam straight six engine. This led Jaguar designers to develop the Twin OHC unit, the subsequent engine of which became the mainstay power of Jaguar. This XK Engine, as it became known, was a less risky version of the Twin OHC, and more suitable for the production of saloon cars.
The XK Engine, in its various versions, went on to be used in the Jaguar XK 120, 140 and 150, as well as the Mk I, II and VII Saloons. It was also employed in the Jaguar E-Type.
Jaguar was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1984, forming part of the FTSE 100 Index, until it was later acquired by Ford in 1990. It was a deal that reflected the continuing consolidation of the world auto industry and its progression.
All of Jaguar’s engine advancements are in-part thanks to their motorsport and racing efforts. Developing cars such as the Jaguar C and D Types, Jaguar are one of the few car manufacturers to win Le Mans 24 hours race an impressive three times, proving the engineering integrity of Jaguar's products.
Following the acquisition from Tata Motors in 2008, Jaguar has become part of the British multinational automotive subsidiary - Jaguar Land Rover Limited. Jaguar has continued to build itself as a prestigious brand, manufacturing cars for both government and royal use. Holding royal warrants with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, Jaguar received an Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development for reducing its environmental impact in 2015.