VotW – A History of Jaguar Cars

Strange how time gets away from us. I thought we had featured Jaguar Cars recently in our Video of the Week (VotW) series, but on looking back that proved not to be the case. I had to go way back into 2015 to find such a video. How could this be? So let us reconcile that now with a video with is a short history of Jaguar Cars. Of course nothing less that a full television series could possibly do the span of years of Jaguar justice, but this video does present a good overview of the highlights.

As most good British car buffs know, Jaguar as we know it was originally founded as the Swallow Sidecar Company in 1922. They originally made motorcycle sidecars before developing bodies for passenger cars. Under the ownership of Swallow Sidecar (S.S.) gave way to S. S. Cars Limited the business extended to complete cars. The name S. S. Cars was changed to “Jaguar” in 1945 more than slightly due to the rise of the SS in Germany.

In 1966 Jaguar merged with the British Motor Corporation, although it was more like a takeover than a merger, with 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.

History of Jaguar CarsJaguar was split off from British Leyland and became a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index until it was acquired by Ford in 1990. Ford sold Jaguar and Land Rover to Tata motors of India in 2008.

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 manufactured in Jaguar’s Castle Bromwich assembly plant in Birmingham with some manufacturing expected to take place in the Solihull plant.

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.

Michael Carnell
Editor at Just British

Michael Carnell is the editor and founder of the Just British Online Motoring Magazine. As a lifelong British car enthusiast, he has owned or driven British cars of all ages from Austins and MGs to Jaguars and Triumphs. He currently owns a 1966 Vanden Plas Princess 1100 and a 1977 MGB. But there is always room for more - no matter what his wife says.


  1. Seeing the Emblem of the Jaguar brought back memories of one I installed on the hood of one of my ’40 Ford Coupes back in ’54-’57.

    Beautiful sleek creature! An appropriate figure for the car.

    Thanks for the article!


Comments are closed.