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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Vehicle Manufacturer

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Official Site: Jaguar.com
Wikipedia: Jaguar Cars

Jaguar Heritage Challenge
Jaguar Parts and Jaguar Auto Parts

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A British manufacturer of sports cars and luxury cars based in Whitley, Coventry, United Kingdom. Currently part of Jaguar Land Rover. Founded in 1934 as S.S. Cars Limited, the first model was introduced in 1935 as a 1936 model, and the company name was changed to Jaguar on 23 March 1945 to avoid association with the Nazi SS.

Vehicle names used by Jaguar throughout its history include:  2.4-litre, 3.4-litre, 3.8-litre, 420, C-X17, C-X75, D-type, E-Type, F-Pace, F-Type, Mark 1, Mark 2, Mark VII, S-Type, Sovereign, SS100, X-Type, XE, XF, XF-S, XFR, XFR-S, XJ, XJ6, XJ8, XJ12, XJL, XJS, XK, XK 120, XK 140, XK-E, XKR, and XKR-S.

Advertising slogans include: Grace, Space, Pace

Quotes: "Money may not buy happiness, but I' d rather cry in a Jaguar than on a bus." — Francoise Sagan


The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Jaguar Cars page on 13 June 2017, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Jaguar is the luxury vehicle brand of Jaguar Land Rover, a British multinational car manufacturer with its headquarters in Whitley, Coventry, England, owned by the Indian company Tata Motors since 2008.

Jaguar's business was founded as the Swallow Sidecar Company in 1922, originally making motorcycle sidecars before developing bodies for passenger cars. Under the ownership of S. S. Cars Limited the business extended to complete cars made in association with Standard Motor Co, many bearing Jaguar as a model name. The company's name was changed from S. S. Cars to Jaguar Cars in 1945. A merger with the British Motor Corporation followed in 1966, the resulting enlarged company now being renamed as British Motor Holdings (BMH), which in 1968 merged with Leyland Motor Corporation and became British Leyland, itself to be nationalised in 1975.

Jaguar was de-merged from British Leyland and was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1984, becoming a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index until it was acquired by Ford in 1990. Jaguar has, in recent years, manufactured cars for the British Prime Minister, the most recent delivery being an XJ in May 2010. The company also holds royal warrants from Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles.

Jaguar cars today are designed in Jaguar Land Rover's engineering centres at the Whitley plant in Coventry and at their Gaydon site in Warwickshire, and are assembled in their plants at Castle Bromwich and Solihull.

In September 2013 Jaguar Land Rover announced plans to open a 100 million GBP (160 million USD) research and development centre in the University of Warwick, Coventry to create a new generation of vehicle technologies. The carmaker said around 1,000 academics and engineers would work there and that construction would start in 2014.

Birth of the cars

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 in order to buy the Swallow business (but not the company which was liquidated) Lyons formed S.S. Cars Limited finding new capital by issuing shares to the public.

Jaguar first appeared in September 1935 as a model name on an SS 2½-litre sports saloon. A matching open two seater sports model with a 3½-litre engine was named SS Jaguar 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 made its name by producing a series of successful eye-catching sports cars, the Jaguar XK120 (1948–54), Jaguar XK140 (1954–57), Jaguar XK150 (1957–61), and Jaguar E-Type (1961-75), all embodying Lyons' mantra of "value for money". The sports cars were successful in international motorsport, a path followed in the 1950s to prove the engineering integrity of the company's products.

Reference Desk

The Crittenden Automotive Library's "Reference Desk" is a collection of materials that cannot be shared due to copyright restrictions. Information from these resources, however, can be shared. Go to the Reference Desk page for more information.

1980 BookJaguar: The history of a great British car by Andrew Whyte; Patrick Stephens, Cambridge
1982 BookGreat Marques: Jaguar by Chris Harvey, foreword by Stirling Moss; Octopus Books Limited
1994 BookJaguar: Tale of the Cat by Jay Schleifer; Crestwood House


DateMedia or Collection Name & DetailsFiles
26 March 2008Indian Company Buys Luxury Brands Jaguar, Land Rover
Anjana Pasricha for Voice of America News

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Jaguar Factory at Castle Bromwich in Birmingham Photo by Mark Hillary
The factory at Castle Bromwich in Birmingham that makes the legendary Jaguar cars...
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Spec Series: Jaguar Heritage Challenge

Jaguars have been involved in sports car racing for decades.  They have been involved in several firsts, including the first NASCAR Grand National win for a foreign car in 1954 and winning the first 4 Australian Touring Car Championships (the series that would eventually become V8 Supercars Australia) from 1960 to 1963.

Championships Won in Jaguars

1960Australian Touring Car ChampionshipDavid McKay3.4
1961Australian Touring Car ChampionshipBill Pitt3.4
1962Australian Touring Car ChampionshipBob Jane3.4
1963Australian Touring Car ChampionshipBob Jane3.4

Article Index

10 April 2006Using Your Senses to Find Out What May Be Wrong With Your JaguarMichelle Crimson
12 August 2006Is Jaguar Going To Junkyard Heaven?Michelle Crimson
18 August 2006Russian Billionaire To Be The Jaguar Brand's Savior?Michelle Crimson
24 August 2006Jaguar's New Level of Pricing, Packages and PerformanceMichelle Crimson
13 June 2007Ford estudia poner a la venta las divisiones de Jaguar y Rover por plan de reestructuración interna Wikinoticias
14 June 2007Jaguar, Land Rover To Be Put On The Trading BlockAnthony Fontanelle
24 July 2007Ford Opens Doors For Jaguar, Land Rover BidsAnthony Fontanelle
23 August 2007Jaguar May Soon Be SoldAnthony Fontanelle
26 February 2008Jaguar, Land Rover SoldAnthony Fontanelle
26 March 2008Indian Company Buys Luxury Brands Jaguar, Land Rover Anjana Pasricha, VOA News
14 April 2009Jaguar: A HistoryRonnie Tanner
12 November 2010Jaguar Motor Cars as An Early Pioneer In Auto StyingTerry S. Vostor
23 August 2012Jaguar dealers provide the most satisfaction Matt Hubbard, Speedmonkey
10 July 2013Orjagmatron at Goodwood Festival of Speed! Matt Hubbard, Speedmonkey
21 August 2013Jaguar SUV - The good, the bad and the ugly renders Matt Hubbard, Speedmonkey
26 August 2013Could this FWD hatchback save Jaguar from the merciless EU? Matt Hubbard, Speedmonkey
26 August 2013Dream Cars: Rover MasalaBill Crittenden
14 September 2013How To Run An Event - JLR Style Geoff Maxted, DriveWrite Automotive
30 October 2013A New Jaguar Based Range Rover? Geoff Maxted, DriveWrite Automotive
28 November 2013Jaguar Hangs F-Type Coupe On Front Wall Of Castle Bromwich Factory Matt Hubbard, Speedmonkey
29 November 2013Jaguar vs Toyota Twitter Battle - Beauties and Beasts Matt Hubbard, Speedmonkey
20 January 2014Sky's The Limit For Jaguar Geoff Maxted, DriveWrite Automotive
3 December 2014Classic Jaguar, do you modify or keep stock? Joseph Scott
17 February 2015Details emerge about Jaguar’s new Heritage Race Series Joseph Scott
1 September 2017Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential NoncomplianceFederal Register: NHTSA (Jeffrey M. Giuseppe)

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