Saturday 11th November 1989
Jaguar entered a new era when the company became a subsidiary of the Ford Motor Company. In 1935, British car designer William Lyons introduced the SS Jaguar 100 as a new marque for his Swallow Sidecar Company. Swallow Sidecar had been manufacturing complete luxury cars for four years, but the SS Jaguar 100 was Lyons’ first true sports car. During World War II, Lyons dropped the Swallow Sidecar name, and the politically incorrect SS initials, and Jaguar Cars Ltd. was formally established. The first significant postwar Jaguar, the XK 120, was introduced in 1948 at the London Motor Show to great acclaim. Capable of speeds in excess of 120 mph, the XK 120 was the fastest production car in the world, and is considered by many to be one of the finest sports cars ever made. Over the next three decades, Jaguar became the epitome of speed coupled with elegance, and the company flourished as its racing division racked up countless trophies. The integrity of the Jaguar marque was recognised and maintained, and throughout the 1990s the company continued to produce distinguished automobiles such as the Jaguar XK8 and the luxurious Vanden Plas.