Owing to its impressive racing and motorsports heritage and also thanks to its long history of making outstanding luxury sedans and sports cars, British car marque Jaguar is one of the most recognizable car marques in the world. Jaguar exports its vehicles to 63 countries around the world and its headquarters are in Coventry, England. Jaguar is a luxury car brand of the Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC, which is owned by Tata Motors of India. Jaguar holds royal warrants from Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth II, meaning that it has been exclusively tasked with building custom luxury cars for them. The luxury carmaker also had the privilege of building a car for the British Prime Minister in 2010. This says a lot about how highly esteemed the Jaguar brand is in England.
Jaguar’s roots can be traced back to two gentlemen, William Lyons and William Walmsley. They founded the Swallow Sidecar Company in 1922 and started out building motorcycle sidecars. After a while, they added coachbuilding to their business services, and subsequently changed the name of their company to Swallow Coachbuilding Company in 1927. Their first coachbuilding project was to re-body an Austin 7, which was a popular economy car. The final product of this project was the Austin Seven Swallow, an open tourer that quickly gained popularity in the late 1920s. In 1934, Walmsley chose to leave the business and Lyons decided by form a brand new corporation to attract new shareholders. The new company was called the S.S. Cars Limited. Swallow Coachbuilding Limited got liquidated and all its assets were integrated into the new company. The Jaguar name was first used in 1935 on two models: the SS Jaguar sports saloon and the SS Jaguar 100 2-seat sports car. In 1945, during a company general meeting, the shareholders of S.S. Cars Limited agreed to change the company’s name to ‘Jaguar Cars Limited’ and to drop the SS initials for its cars; that’s how the Jaguar brand was born.
Jaguar Cars Limited established itself as an automaker of high pedigree when it produced the XK120 sports car in 1948. At the time, the XK120 was the fastest production car in the world. Owing to its significant success, Jaguar soon created a modified version of the XK120 for racing, and it went on secure wins at the Silverstone Circuit and at Le Mans. The XK120 also inspired the creation of the C-TYPE and D-TYPE race cars, both of which registered several wins at Le Mans. In total, Jaguar has registered wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans a record seven times.
As it excelled in racing and motorsports, Jaguar also continued to build outstanding executive cars like the Mark IV, Mark V, Mark VII, Mark VIII, Mark IX, Mark X, 420G, XJ6, XJ12, and many more. Today, Jaguar offers the F-Pace, E-Pace, I-Pace, F-Type, XE, XF, and XJ luxury cars. Prior to 2005, Jaguar cars were distinguished by an iconic hood ornament that was referred to as ‘The Leaper’. The Leaper was shaped like a long, lithe cat (or Jaguar) that is leaping forward, and as such, it represented ‘feline’ grace and athleticism. However, from 2005, Jaguar cars featured a different chrome embossed Jaguar-face emblem that is referred to as ‘The Grinner’. The Grinner has a full-frontal Jaguar face with bared teeth, and so it exudes more aggression and hints at the raw power that Jaguar cars are known to have.
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