Jaguar XJS


This book is part of a series dedicated to the legendary cars of the Jaguar brand. It contains hundreds of original photographs of the XK, E-Type and XJ-S sports coupes from the company’s advertising brochures published from the 1950s to the early 2000s. The images are accompanied by dozens of technical and historical facts about these machines. The book will certainly be a great gift to all current, former and future Jaguar coupe owners, as well as to anyone who is not indifferent to classic company models.



Jaguar XJS

The British company Jaguar celebrated
its 100th anniversary in
2022. The brand’s cars have always
been distinguished by their innovative
construction and elegant design.

For example, the Jaguar E-type is rightfully
considered one of the most beautiful
cars in the world and holds a worthy
place in the permanent exhibition of the
New York Museum of Modern Art.

Jaguar owes its appearance to a happy
meeting in 1922 between two young
British gentlemen, William Lyons and
William Walmsley. Both were big motorcycle
enthusiasts, which predetermined
the way they would develop a
business together.

Founded in September
1922, the Swallow Sidecar Company
began by producing elegant wooden-
frame motorcycle sidecars. The
streamlined shape of the sidecars resembled
the body of a swallow, hence
the company name of Swallow.

Soon the companions decided to try the automotive
field and signed an agreement
with Austin to manufacture bodies for
a model popular at that time, the Austin
7. In 1927, two new models appeared in
the world, with open and closed bodies.

Despite the fact that the Swallow Sidecar
body options were more expensive
than the standard Austin 7, their pleasing
design quickly attracted not only
new buyers to the company’s products,
but also new companies: Fiat, Standard,
Swift, and Wolseley.

To meet the growing demand, the company moved
to Coventry, a major industrial center
with well-developed infrastructure.
The next important step for the company’s
development was signing an agreement
to produce a larger model, the
Standard-Swallow sedan.

In 1931, collaboration
with Standard was marked by the
appearance of the SS1 and SS2 models.
The new products gave a powerful impetus
to strengthen the brand’s image.

In 1934, William Walmsley left the company,
which allowed Lyons to intensify
his promising projects and ideas in automotive
design. A short time later, William
Haynes and Harry Weslake joined
the team.

The first was responsible for
developing a new chassis, the second
for creating a modern engine, and Lyons
was able to concentrate on the body design.
The result of this trio’s work was
the SS Jaguar 2.5.

The strength and
grace of the jaguar could not be better
characterized by the beauty and technical
characteristics of the new vehicle.

An automobile with the figure of a leaping
jaguar on the hood was presented
to the public on September 21, 1935, in
London. The car had a 2.7-liter 6-cylinder
engine with 102 hp.

Two versions of
the 4-seat body were prepared for the
new car, a sedan and a cabriolet. Later,
the range was expanded with the stylish
2-seat roadster SS Jaguar 100, which
quickly gained fame on the racetrack.

That’s where the history of the company’s
legendary sports cars began. In
1938, the roadster received a new 3.5-liter
125-hp engine, allowing the car to
reach a speed of 160 km/h, which was
an excellent indicator for its time.

During World War II, the factory in
Coventry switched to war production.
Despite the destruction caused by
German bombing, the company was
able to quickly rebuild production facilities
after the end of the war.

At a meeting in March 1945, the shareholders
decided to rename the company
Jaguar Cars Limited. From then on,
the cars were not called SS Jaguar,
but simply Jaguar. In autumn, production
resumed of sedans with 1.8-liter
4-cylinder engines from Standard, as
well as 2.7- and 3.5-liter versions with
6-cylinder engines of its own design.

At the same time, the company was
working on new models, which made
their debut at the London auto show
in autumn 1948. The company exhibited
the Jaguar Mark V with sedan
and convertible bodies, but the real
commotion was caused by the stylish
XK120 roadster, which started a line
of several generations of the British
brand’s sports cars.

Read the continuation of this story in the book.

Other books about history of Jaguar:

Jaguar XJ