Jaguar sports car, a true British antique race car



There is nothing as exquisite and breathtaking as a jaguar sports car. These cars have been there ever since time immemorial and they have distinguished themselves as the top manufacturers of sports cars. It's rich history began way back in 1922 when sir William Lyons and William Walmsley decided to build sidecars for motorcycles and they named the company Swallow Sidecar. In 1926, the company began to make automobiles for Austin Seven, Morris, Standard, Fiat, Swift, and Cowley.

In 1927, Lyons decided to build a more stylish body for the Austin chassis and the Austin-7 was introduced. At the London Motor Show of 1931, the SS class was launched, costing less than ?350. The "Sidecar" part of the company's title was dropped and the company begun production of complete automobiles named the SS Model I and SS Model II. These cars were built until 1936.

The Jaguar name was given to the entire company in 1945 when the "SS" name was dropped due to its association with Germany's SS military organisation much publicised and in Britain greatly reviled during and following World War II.

jaguar logo

Jaguar made its name by producing a series of extremely eye-catching sports cars such as

xk 120

The xk120 is a jaguar sports car that's like no other and very remarkable. It was manufactured between 1948 and 1954. The XK120 was launched in roadster form at the 1948 London Motor Show as a testbed and show car for the new Jaguar XK engine.

It caused a sensation, which persuaded Jaguar founder and design boss William Lyons to put it into production. The "120" in its name referred to its 120 mph (193 km/h) top speed (faster with the windscreen removed), which made the XK120 the world's fastest standard production car at the time of its launch.

jaguar xk 120

Jaguar XK 140

This jaguar sports car was built between 1954 and 1957. It was the successor to Jaguar's highly successful XK120. Upgrades included better brakes, rack and pinion steering, increased suspension travel and modern tube type shock absorbers instead of the older lever arm design.

The XK140 was introduced in late 1954 and sold as a 1955 model. The primary visual change was the more substantial front and rear bumpers, with large overriders. Another new feature was modern flashing turn signals, operated by a separate switch on the dash. The twin amber lights positioned above the front bumper helped to distinguish the XK140 – until XK120 owners started installing the same equipment.

The interior was improved for taller drivers with an addition of 3 inches (76 mm) of legroom, as a result of relocating the engine, firewall and dash forward. The new arrangement left no room for the XK120 battery compartment, and the single battery was now located low down inside the wing on the inlet side, making it almost impossible to replace.

The XK140 continued to feature the famous Jaguar XK engine with the Special Equipment modifications from the XK120 as standard, increasing the specified power by 10 bhp to 190 bhp (142 kW) gross at 5500 rpm. The special C-Type cylinder head was also carried through from the XK120 catalogue as an option, specified at 210 bhp (157 kW) gross at 5750 rpm.

In 1956 the XK140 became the first Jaguar sports car to be offered with an automatic transmission. As with the XK120, wire wheels and dual exhausts were options, although most cars imported into the United States had wire wheels. Cars with disc wheels continued to be offered with fender skirts (spats) closing the rear wheel arch.

jaguar xk 140

The XK140 was available in three body styles. The OTS (Open Two Seater) roadster had a light canvas top assembly that when lowered fitted behind the seats and thus completely disappeared inside the body. The interior of the OTS was trimmed in leather and leatherette, including the dash. Like the XK120 Roadster, the XK140 OTS had removable canvas and plastic side curtains on light alloy doors, and either a long or short tonneau cover to keep the cockpit dry with the top down.

As well as real wind-up windows, the DHC (Drop Head Coupe) had a permanently mounted padded soft top that when lowered sat above and outside the body of the car. it also had a fixed windscreen (unlike the removable windscreen of the OTS). The DHC had a very elegant walnut-veneered dash and door cappings, as did the FHC (Fixed Head Coupe). As a gesture to practicality, a jump seat was added to both coupe models. The FHC's windscreen was mounted further forward, giving it considerably more interior space than the DHC.

XK 150

jaguar xk 150

The XK150 is a Jaguar sports car produced by Jaguar between 1957 and 1961. It replaced the XK140.

It varied slightly from the XK120 and XK140. A one-piece windscreen replaced the split screen, and the wing line no longer dropped as much over the doors. The bonnet was widened, opened down to the wings, and on the roadster the bulkhead was moved back 4 inches (102 mm) to make the bonnet longer. The car was available at various times in Red, Pearl Grey, White, Indigo Blue, Claret, Cotswold Blue, Black, Mist Grey, Sherwood Green, Carmen Red, British racing Green, Cornish grey and Imperial Maroon.

In the interior, the XK140's walnut dashboard was replaced by one trimmed in leather. On the early Drop Head Coupés, an aluminium centre dash panel with an X pattern engraving was fitted which looked similar to the early 3.8 E-type. It was discontinued after June 1958. Thinner doors gave more interior space. jaguar xk 150 The standard engine, the same as fitted to the XK140, was the 3.4 litre DOHC Jaguar straight-6 rated at 180 SAE bhp at 5750 rpm. Initially it was available in Fixed Head Coupé (FHC) and Drop Head Coupé (DHC) versions. The Open Two Seater roadster (OTS) was not launched until 1958. Token rear seats were fitted in the coupés.Production ended in October 1960, and totaled 2265 Roadsters, 4445 Fixed Head Coupés and 2672 Drop Head Coupés.

In 1961, the Jaguar E-Type was launched and became an instant classic. This jaguar sports car had a combination of good looks, high performance, and competitive pricing established the marque as an icon of 1960s motoring. A great success for Jaguar, more than 70,000 E-Types were sold during its lifespan.

jaguar E-type

The e-type was produced in three distinct versions which are now generally referred to as "Series 1", "Series 2" and "Series 3". The E-Type was initially designed and shown to the public as a grand tourer in two-seater coupé form (FHC or Fixed Head Coupé) and as convertible (OTS or Open Two Seater). The 2+2 version with a lengthened wheelbase was released several years later.

All E-Types featured independent coil spring rear suspension with torsion bar front ends, and four wheel disc brakes, in-board at the rear, all were power-assisted. Jaguar was one of the first auto manufacturers to equip cars with disc brakes as standard from the XK150 in 1958.

The 4.2 Series 1 is generally considered the best jaguar sports car.


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