The History of the Jaguar

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The History of the Jaguar

Synonymous with superior automotive performance and luxury, Jaguar is a globally popular car brand. Although Jaguar had humble beginnings manufacturing motorcycle components, it diversified its offerings to include sports cars, saloon cars, and luxury sedans. A focus on developing performance engines has resulted in a number of victories for Jaguar-produced cars in prestigious international racing competitions, raising the brand's profile in the esteem of worldwide car enthusiasts.

Automobile fans are often interested in both antique and modern Jaguar models. To find Jaguar cars, buyers can look for local car dealerships, auction houses, and private sellers who may have Jaguar models available for sale. Conversely, buyers who would like to see a wide selection of Jaguar models can visit websites like eBay Motors, which carries an array of Jaguar cars from different eras. Before shopping for a Jaguar, buyers should learn the history of the car's development to understand why it has maintained such a high standing amongst car aficionados throughout its long history.

The Beginnings of Jaguar

In 1922, engineers William Lyons and William Walmsley co-founded the Swallow Sidecar Company, which would eventually become the Jaguar Motor Company, in Blackpool, England. The friends experienced success producing one-wheeled sidecars attached to refurbished motorcycles, and within a few years, created the SS1 automobile. The vehicle was equipped with a six cylinder side valve standard engine and could reach speeds of 121 kilometres per hour (km/h), far outpacing most cars available at the time.


The Swallow Sidecar Company changed its name to SS Cars Ltd in 1933 and, the following year, Walmsley left the company. The first Jaguar model was sold in 1935 and received its name due to its reputation as a sleek and powerful vehicle. The SS Jaguar would be offered in two models, the SS 90 and the SS 100.

Capabilities of the SS 90 and SS 100 Jaguar Models

The SS 90 model, created in 1935, contained a Bendix braking system, Dural connecting rods, and twin carburetors. The chassis was 2.64 m and shorter than the one used in Lyon's previous creation, the SS1. Buyers admired the vehicle's elegant design but were less impressed with the car's performance speed.

The SS 100 model built between 1936 and 1940, however, had a power output of 70 kilowatts (kW) and was an improvement compared to the SS 90 model. The vehicle's Girling braking system, twin carburetors, and top speed of 153 km/h drew attention from automobile fans, prompting Autocar magazine to run performance tests and assess the automobile's capabilities. Buyers were disappointed that Jaguar only manufactured less than 350 models of the SS 100.


During the early 1940s, SS Cars Ltd. focused on producing sidecars for the military to aid the war effort. Lyons changed his company's name to Jaguar after World War II ended and introduced the XK120 roadster in 1948. Buyers appreciated the massive engine output of 160 brake horsepower (BHP) and the first model was given to Hollywood actor, Clark Gable, in an effort to publicise the company's growing prestige. The vehicle's top speed was 193 km/h, making it the fastest standard production vehicle in the world at the time.


Jaguar's popularity in motorsport enhanced the company's brand. The Jaguar C-Type, also known as the Jaguar XK120C, was targeted toward racers and was introduced in 1951. Its 3.4-litre twin-cam straight-6 engine produced 134 kW and was equipped with triple twin-choke Weber carburetors. The model was lightweight and contained a body made of aluminium, though it lacked features like door handles, inside carpets, and weather equipment. Tuned to 153 kW, the Jaguar C-Type won the Le Mans race twice throughout the early 1950s.

The Jaguar Modern Era

Starting with the Jaguar XJ6 sedan, the company extended its customer base to include families and luxury car drivers. Previous Jaguar models had been purchased primarily by racers and a few wealthy patrons. The 1960s, however, saw a shift to offer Jaguar vehicles to a worldwide market, which included middle class buyers.


The Jaguar E-Type was introduced in 1961 and became one of the most famous sports cars in the world shortly after its release. More than half of the 70,000 vehicles produced were shipped and bought by car fans in the United States. The Jaguar E1A model had an independent rear suspension and featured the XK model's engine that had been in use since the 1950s. It was never released to the public and was used instead for factory testings. The E2A model was introduced as a race car and had a 3-litre version of the XK engine. Constructed from a steel chassis, it featured a Lucas fuel injection system and an aluminium body.

Jaguar E-Type Series 1 and 2 Models

The Jaguar E-Type Series 1 model was released in 1961 for the foreign market and collectors consider it rare and highly prized. Early editions of this model required a tool to open the external bonnet latches. The vehicle used the triple SU carbureted 3.8-litre six-cylinder XK6 engine from an earlier XK150S model and had a flat floor design. In 1964, the 3.8-litre engine was increased to 4.2 litres, dramatically increasing the power available on Jaguar E-Type Series cars.

The E-Type Series 2 model was introduced in 1969 and featured cooling aided by twin electric fans, open headlights without glass covers, large front indicators, and tail lights below the bumpers. Factory options included air conditioning and power steering.


The 1970s saw the continued development of the Jaguar E-Type Series. The E-Type Series 3 model was introduced in 1971 and included a 5.3-litre 12-cylinder engine. The vehicle had standard power steering and brakes. The short wheelbase FHC body style was discontinued and the V12 was available only as a convertible and 2+2 coupe. The convertible used the longer-wheelbase 2+2 floorplan.

Buyers can easily identify the Series 3 model by its large cross-slatted front grille and flared wheel arches as well as its badge on the rear that proclaims it to be a V12. Cars for the U.S. market differed from those produced for other national markets and were fitted with large projecting rubber bumper over-riders to meet local collision regulations. Conversely, models produced for the European markets contained bumper over-riders that were considerably smaller. American Series 3 models also have side indicator repeats on the front wings.


Although it was introduced in 1975, the Jaguar XJ-S model reached its peak in popularity in the 1980s. Its name was later changed to the Jaguar XJS and the first model had a V12 petrol engine, which was uncommon and usually associated with Italian sports cars, such as the Ferrari and Lamborghini. The Jaguar XJ-S model could accelerate to 97 km/h in 7.6 seconds and its top speed was 230 km/h. Buyers were originally able to choose either a manual or an automatic transmission, but the manual transmission option was soon discontinued. In 1981, the XJS received a new high-efficiency engine for better fuel economy. This modification increased the vehicle's power to 220 kW.

The XJ-SC model, a new cabriolet, was released in 1983. This model had a 3.6-litre engine, fixed cant rails above the doors, and a non-removable centre targa-type structure. It was followed by the XJR-S model, which was later re-engineered and renamed as the model XJS.


The 1990s saw the continued effort on the part of Jaguar to offer cars to a more diverse customer base with the introduction of the Jaguar XK models. The Jaguar XK8, a grand touring car, was available in convertible or coupe body styles and featured a 4.0-litre Jaguar AJ-V8 engine. The XKR model was introduced in 1998 and featured a supercharged version of the same engine. Both the XK8 and XKR models had a maximum speed of 250.1 km/h.

The Jaguar S-Type, a mid-size executive car, was introduced in 1998. The 2003 model was given a six-speed, automatic ZF 6HP26 transmission and a revised 3.0-litre V6 engine, which increased the car's power to 175 kW.

Sale of Jaguar to the Ford Motor Company

In 1999, Ford Motor Company bought Jaguar and added the Jaguar name to Ford's growing Premier Automotive Group. As part of Ford's diversified line of car brands, Jaguar experienced continuing expansion of its offerings and its global customer base.


In 2001, the Jaguar X-Type model was unveiled to the public. The compact executive car was in production from 2001 to 2009 and was a four-door saloon car. The 2003 model offered front-wheel drive and introduced Jaguar's four-cylinder diesel engine.

The Jaguar XF model, introduced in 2007, is an executive car. The 4.2-litre supercharged engine, available in 2008, was later replaced by a 5.0-litre supercharged engine rated at 346 kW. It also features Jaguar's proprietary Adaptive Dynamics and Active Differential Control, which improves the Jaguar XF's handling and performance.


The Jaguar C-X16 was introduced at the 2011 Frankfurt motor show and demonstrated Jaguar's commitment to adapting its vehicles to increasing consumer demands for eco-friendly car models. The hybrid electric sports car features a 3-litre V6 engine and an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission.

How to Buy a Jaguar on eBay

eBay Motors helps prospective buyers interested in purchasing a Jaguar view a wide range of available models. To help buyers make critical purchasing decisions, eBay provides detailed product descriptions listing essentials like a car's mileage, engine specifications, and transmission details. This facilitates in making purchasing decisions so buyers can be certain to choose the exact Jaguar model they want.

Finding Jaguar models on eBay is made easy through eBay's efficient search options. By typing applicable descriptions like "2010 Jaguar" into eBay's search field, buyers can browse a focused list of options. Since test driving a car is a wise choice, buyers can use eBay's search filters to locate Jaguar models within their local area. Buyers can see if a test drive is available by contacting eBay sellers directly. Product listings also provide buyers with an overall explanation of eBay sellers' payment policies and feedback rating score, which helps buyers gauge the level of customer service and product quality a seller has provided in the past. Since purchasing a Jaguar is a long-term investment, buyers should check to see if a seller offers warranties on their vehicles before initialising a purchase on eBay.


Jaguar has a long tradition of designing and manufacturing high performance cars that feature ground-breaking advancements in automotive technology. Although Jaguar began in 1922 as a partnership between two friends who made motorcycle sidecars, the company's commitment to technological development soon allowed it to expand into the car manufacturing marketplace. By the 1930s, the Jaguar name was used to refer to the company's sleekly-designed and performance-driven cars. Jaguar's focus on increased engine capacity eventually led to wins in the 1950s at Le Mans.

The modern era for Jaguar began in the 1960s when the company sought to make its car models accessible for middle class buyers. This effort included a new focus on developing more luxury sedans and saloon cars that still retained Jaguar's established commitment to optimal engine performance. Throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, Jaguar released some of its most successful car models, like the E-Type and S-Type Series. Buyers interested in purchasing Jaguars can access eBay Motors to find a variety of antique and contemporary Jaguars that include the company's iconic styling and performance options as well as modern options like environmentally-friendly engines. By using eBay Motors, buyers can access a wide range of Jaguar models that would be difficult to see through other shopping means.

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