The name Jaguar first came to prominence just before WWII when a new luxury sporting saloon from a small British manufacturer was unveiled at the Mayfair Hotel in London. However, the man behind the name had long had a vision that he would build an enterprise which would achieve worldwide recognition. That man was William Lyons who started out making sidecars in Blackpool in the 1920s. By 1939 he had already established a specialist business that made exciting sporting motor cars. After the war he was to take the world by storm with a stunning series of sports cars from the XK 120 of 1948 to the E-Type in 1961. In between came the Le Mans-winning C-and D-Types, which were unlike anything that Italy or Germany could produce, and which cemented Jaguar’s worldwide image as a manufacturer of successful sports cars.
Lyons had an in-built sense of what the public wanted before anyone else did. We have noted the XK 120 and E-Type, but he also produced some remarkable saloons like the ground-breaking Mark VII, the iconic Mark II and the XJ6, which was dubbed ‘the best car in the world’ when it arrived in 1968. Sir William set a high standard for his products; they had to be exciting, functional and above all good-looking. Jaguar never produced an ugly car and, as we mark the 75th anniversary of the name ‘Jaguar’, we can be proud of the latest generation Jaguars that continue to innovate, inspire and kindle passion with their style, technology and beauty. Sir William Lyons would be pleased to know that his beloved Jaguar is in safe and capable hands.
Author: Francois Prins