Monterey 2010: Jaguar’s 75th birthday party at Pebble Beach

Filed under: Motorsports, Classics, Jaguar, Misc. Auto Shows

Jaguar 75th Anniversary at Pebble Beach

Jaguar 75th Anniversary at Pebble Beach – Click above for high-res image gallery

We’ve already shown you that Jaguar was honored at the 2010 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance with a dozen XK-SS roadsters showing up for the party, but there were other Jaguars on hand as well – lots and lots of remarkable Jags.

The history of Jaguar actually began almost 90 years ago when two young men hell-bent on motorcycle glory set up a small company to produce sidecars under the Swallow name in 1922. The younger of the two was William Lyons, who later became Sir William Lyons, mainly because Jaguar went on to bring Britain so much motoring glory. The sidecar business eventually turned into an automobile coachworks, with custom bodies on a bespoke Standard brand chassis that became know as the S.S.I. and S.S.II.

For the follow-up to those early S.S. models – Standard Swallow some think – Lyons had commissioned a new overhead-valve six-cylinder engine that was about 50 percent more powerful than the old side-valve engines they had been using. They put the new engine in a new chassis, enclosed it in the company’s first four-door sedan body and Lyons personally chose what he thought was the most appropriate name from a list of choices given to him by his advertising people – Jaguar. On September 23, 1935, the company unveiled the SS Jaguar to London’s assembled press. That car led to the short-wheelbase SS Jaguar 100 sports car that helped establish Jaguar’s reputation for performance with its early racing success.

After World War II, the company decided to change its name to simply ‘Jaguar,’ dropping the newly infamous “S.S.” label. The automaker also started focusing less on inexpensive sportscars for the homeland market, and more on luxurious models aimed at capturing rich American buyers. One way to do that was with new product and Lyons and his crew were cooking up a duesie – a new sportscar featuring a double overhead cam engine just like the race cars of the era. The goal was 160 horsepower from the engine’s 3.4-liter capacity and a 120 mph top speed. That car was the iconic XK120 – “XK” for the engine and “120” for the car’s top speed. That begat the XK140 and 150 and a whole slew of other legendary vehicles that bore the Jaguar name.

Some of the finest examples of Jaguar’s pedigree were on hand at Pebble Beach on Sunday. Take a look in our high-res gallery below.

1935 S.S. 90
1935 S.S.I. Drophead Coupe
1938 Jaguar SS100 Roadster
1952 Jaguar C-type
1953 Jaguar XK120 SE Roadster
1955 Jaguar D-Type
1961 Jaguar E-Type Fixed Head Coupe
1966 Jaguar XJ13 Prototype

Gallery: Jaguar 75th Anniversary at Pebble Beach

1955 Jaguar D-type1955 Jaguar D-type1955 Jaguar D-type1955 Jaguar D-type1955 Jaguar D-type

Photos Copyright (C)2010 Drew Phillips / AOL

Monterey 2010: Jaguar’s 75th birthday party at Pebble Beach originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 16 Aug 2010 18:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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