Jaguar Perfromance & Tuning
The Swallow Sidecar Company was founded in 1922 by two motorcycle enthusiasts, William Lyons and William Walmsley. In 1934 Walmsley elected to sell-out and Lyons formed S. S. Cars Limited funding the replacement of Walmsley's investment by issuing shares to the public. The SS Jaguar name first appeared in September 1935 on a 2.5-litre saloon sports models of which were the SS 90 and SS 100.
On 23 March 1945 the S. S. Cars shareholders in general meeting agreed to change the company's name to Jaguar Cars Limited. Said Chairman William Lyons "Unlike S. S. the name Jaguar is distinctive and cannot be connected or confused with any similar foreign name."
Though five years of pent-up demand ensured plenty of buyers production was hampered by shortage of materials, particularly steel, issued to manufacturers until the 1950s by a central planning authority under strict government control. Jaguar sold Motor Panels, a pressed steel body manufacturing company bought in the late 1930s, to steel and components manufacturer Rubery Owen,[ and Jaguar bought from John Black's Standard Motor Company the plant where Standard built Jaguar's six-cylinder engines
From this time Jaguar was entirely dependent for their bodies on external suppliers, in particular then independent Pressed Steel and in 1966 that carried them into BMC, BMH and British Leyland.
Jaguar's sales slogan for years was "Grace, Space, Pace", a mantra epitomised by the record sales achieved by the MK VII, IX, Mks I and II saloons and later the XJ6. During the time this slogan was used, but the exact text varied.
The core of Bill Lyons' success following WWII was the twin-cam straight six engine, conceived pre-war and realised while engineers at the Coventry plant were dividing their time between fire-watching and designing the new power plant.
It had a hemispherical cross-flow cylinder head with valves inclined from the vertical; originally at 30 degrees (inlet) and 45 degrees (exhaust) and later standardised to 45 degrees for both inlet and exhaust.
The main designer, William "Bill" Heynes, assisted by Walter "Wally" Hassan, was determined to develop the Twin OHC unit. Bill Lyons agreed over misgivings from Hassan. It was risky to take what had previously been considered a racing or low-volume and cantankerous engine needing constant fettling and apply it to reasonable volume production saloon cars.
The subsequent engine (in various versions) was the mainstay powerplant of Jaguar, used in the XK 120, Mk VII Saloon, Mk I and II Saloons and XK 140 and 150. It was also employed in the E Type, itself a development from the race winning and Le Mans conquering C and D Type Sports Racing cars refined as the short-lived XKSS, a road-legal D-Type.
Few engine types have demonstrated such ubiquity and longevity: Jaguar used the Twin OHC XK Engine, as it came to be known, in the Jaguar XJ6 saloon from 1969 through 1992, and employed in a J60 variant as the power plant in such diverse vehicles as the British Army's Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) family of vehicles, as well as the Fox armoured reconnaissance vehicle, the Ferret Scout Car, and the Stonefield four-wheel-drive all-terrain lorry. Properly maintained, the standard production XK Engine would achieve 200,000 miles of useful life.
Two of the proudest moments in Jaguar's long history in motor sport involved winning the Le Mans 24 hours race, firstly in 1951 and again in 1953. Victory at the 1955 Le Mans was overshadowed by it being the occasion ofthe worst motorsport accident in history. Later in the hands of the Scottish racing team Ecurie Ecosse two more wins were added in 1956 and 1957.
In spite of such a performance orientation, it was always Lyons' intention to build the business by producing world-class sporting saloons in larger numbers than the sports car market could support. Jaguar secured financial stability and a reputation for excellence with a series of elegantly styled luxury saloons that included the 3 litre and 3½ litre cars, the Mark VII, VIII, and IX, the compact Mark I and 2, and the XJ6 and XJ12.
All were deemed very good values, with comfortable rides, good handling, high performance, and great style.
Combined with the trend-setting XK 120, XK 140, and XK 150 series of sports car, and nonpareil E-Type, Jaguar's elan as a prestige motorcar manufacturer had few rivals. The company's post-War achievements are remarkable, considering both the shortages that drove Britain (the Ministry of Supply still allocated raw materials) and the state of metallurgical development of the era.
In 1950, Jaguar agreed to lease from the Ministry of Supply the Daimler Shadow 2 factory in Browns Lane, Allesley, Coventry, which at the time was being used by The Daimler Company Limited and moved to the new site from Foleshill over the next 12 months. Jaguar purchased Daimler — not to be confused with Daimler-Benz or Daimler AG—in 1960 from BSA. From the late 1960s, Jaguar used the Daimler marque as a brand name for their most luxurious saloons.