Jaguar Enthusiasts Club

Grace, Space and Pace

The Company Expansion

The 1950s

The fifties, marked by the rapid development of the British automotive industry, bring the company not only worries, but also wild popularity. Throughout the decade, Jaguar cars have been on the podiums of famous race tracks, and victory in the most prestigious race of 24 hours "Le-mans" in 1951, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956 and 1957 allowed Jaguar to declare itself as one of the best car manufacturers peace. Over the years, the company has been developing and releasing 10 new models that are very popular both in Europe and the USA. Technologically, the company is ahead of its time, showing excellent results on all fronts.

Jaguar Mark VII

At the 1950 Earls Court Motor Show in London, the Mark VII sedan was introduced, which once again eclipsed everyone. Designed for the US market, this model was too bulky by European standards. It was a full five-seat car, but with the XK engine, it had a high speed. With the advertising slogan "Grace Space Pace", the car became a success all over the world and especially in the USA. The car delighted with its power, comfort, silence in the cabin, general sophistication, seats with genuine leather upholstery, a front panel with wood trim, and doors were upholstered on the inside. The Americans appreciated the Mark VII model, and a large number of orders worth about 30 million dollars were accepted. Demand was so great that a new plant was needed and the company moved to its present site at Brown's Lane, Coventry in 1951-1952.

Jaguar C-Type

A test drive of three Jaguar XK120 models at Le Mans in 1950 showed that the Jaguar had the makings of a successful racing car, provided it retained weight and improved aerodynamics. Subsequently, Haines and service manager Lofty England convinced Lyons that the car needed to be produced solely for the purpose of further participation in the competition. This is how the XK120C model, better known as the C-type, appeared. To save weight, a multi-tube delta frame designed by Bob Knight was chosen. The bodywork was developed by aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer, who joined the company from the aircraft industry. Many components were borrowed from the XK, including the engine. The engine, however, has been modified with larger dsgecryst valves, taller lift cams and larger SU carburetors.

24h Le Mans 1951-1953

Three Jaguar C-types were completed just in time to race at Le Mans in 1951. They were to be driven by Stirling Moss and "Jolly" Jack Feeman; Peter Walker and Peter Whitehead; and Leslie Johnson with Clemente Biondetti. Jaguar cars were considered a "dark horse" and the crowd watched Ferrari, Talbot and Cunningham. However, Moss overcame obstacles at high speed, breaking the distance record and overtaking rivals. The possibility of sensational prizes seemed real until the flange of the oil pipeline broke on Biondetti's car. A similar fate awaited Moss. But luck did not turn away from the third car, and Peter Walker and Peter Whitehead scored the Jagaur C-type models the first serious victory on the road - victory in the most prestigious Le-Mans 24 Hours race. In 1953 Jaguar engineers partnered with Dunlop to develop the new disc brakes that became Jaguar's secret weapon at Le Mans 1953. Most of Europe's top automakers and top Grand Prix drivers took part in this race. With a fail-safe braking system, the C-type could brake much later and gain speed. The result was a landslide victory, with the Jaguar C-type finishing first, second and fourth.

Jaguar C-Type at 24 Hours of Le Mans

Jaguar D-Type

The D-type was to pioneer with an almost completely monocoque design. A tubular front subframe was attached to this magnesium alloy "barrel", carrying the engine, steering and front suspension. A lot of this model with large fuel tanks was borrowed from aviation. Designed by Bill Haynes and Malcolm Sayer. The new D-type cars were brought to Le Mans in 1954, and high expectations were placed on them. Hamilton and Rolt fought in the Model D, but they were disappointed - after many hours of driving at the highest possible speed, during which the car worked flawlessly, after 24 hours the crew lost only one minute and forty-five seconds to the winning Ferrari. In 1955, the cars were modified and received a body with a long hood (Long Nouse) and engines with larger valves. At Le Mans, they competed primarily against the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR, which they were supposed to beat. Mike Hawthorne's Jaguar D-type had a slight lead over Juan Manuel Fangio's Mercedes when another Mercedes car was involved in the most catastrophic crash in motorsport history. The driver and over 80 spectators died and many were injured. Team Mercedes dropped out of the race. Jaguar decided to continue and the Jaguar D-type driven by Hawthorne and Ivor Bueb brought the victory. when another Mercedes car was involved in the most catastrophic crash in motorsport history. The driver and over 80 spectators died and many were injured. Team Mercedes dropped out of the race. Jaguar decided to continue and the Jaguar D-type driven by Hawthorne and Ivor Bueb brought the victory. when another Mercedes car was involved in the most catastrophic crash in motorsport history. The driver and over 80 spectators died and many were injured. Team Mercedes dropped out of the race. Jaguar decided to continue and the Jaguar D-type driven by Hawthorne and Ivor Bueb brought the win.

Jaguar XK140

In 1954, the Jaguar XK120 models were replaced by the updated Jaguar XK140, which was equipped with a more powerful 190 hp engine. With. The new cars visually resembled their predecessors, differing only in external details. The solid roof models featured an extended roofline and, like the soft top coupe, received two additional small rear seats suitable for both children and adults on short trips, which in turn made the XK140 more practical for families. In addition, the car could be ordered with a C-type cylinder head, which increased its power to 210 hp. with., as well as the car was offered with three types of transmission: a four-speed manual, a manual with overdrive in top gear and a three-speed automatic with a torque converter. The steering became rack and pinion, which increased the accuracy and information content of control. The price of roadsters, which were almost all made for export, was £ 1,700. The XK140 models retained the popularity of the XK 120, but very few of them were raced.

Jaguar Mark 1

In the early 1950s, automakers began to abandon the production of passenger cars on a separate chassis and began designing and building cars with a monocoque body. This idea was very liked by William Lyons, because. by abandoning the heavy chassis, new ideas in car design could be applied, as well as lighter and sportier Saloon models. Therefore, a new compact four-door model was chosen as a test pen, aimed at young and sporty customers with their families. Initially, the car was called Jaguar 2.4 Liter and later Jaguar 3.4 Liter, however, in October 1959, after the release of the new Jaguar MK2 model, it was renamed Jaguar MK1. The 2.4-liter Jaguar Mk1 was the company's first small Saloon since the Jaguar 1.5 and Jaguar 2 were discontinued in 1949.

Jaguar Mk VIII / Mk IX

In October 1956, the successor to the Mk VII, the Jaguar Mk VIII, was introduced. Externally, the car benefited from the fact that the windshield became one-piece, the grille was changed and the rear light was enlarged, in addition, the decorative shields in the rear wheel arches were eliminated, and the interior trim became more luxurious than that of the Jaguar Mk VII. As for the mechanics, the car received a new cylinder head, which was dubbed the B-type and which, contrary to logic, followed the C-type! The new head had a modified valve angle and allowed the engine to develop 210 horsepower. s.. After two years of serial production, the Jaguar Mk VIII was replaced by the Jaguar Mk IX. The car was presented at the Moto Show in 1958. The main difference from the Jaguar Mk VIII is the new 3.8-liter engine with 220 hp.

Fire at the Browns Lane Factory

In 1956, Jaguar was doing just fine, the Jaguar C-type and D-type had won the Le-man 24 Hours since 1951, in 1956 the Jaguar D-type again came first in Le-man, and the Jaguar Mk sedan VII won the Monte Carlo Rally. The Jaguar Mk 1 was the sportiest sedan in the world, and the executive Mk VIII reached almost the pinnacle of luxury by 1950s standards. Jaguar XK 140 was considered a real supercar. Everything changed on the night of February 12, 1957, when a fire broke out at the Jaguar factory in Browns Lane. The next day, the company logo was on the front pages of almost all British newspapers. It is still not entirely clear what caused the fire. The media only wrote that the fire broke out in the utility compartment, after which it quickly spread to the production conveyor and warehouse. Firefighters arrived at the scene in a matter of minutes, but they could not do anything - there were tons of motor oil, a huge amount of car tires and other combustible material at the plant. It is difficult to imagine a more suitable place for a fire. The body elements of future cars were stored in a warehouse in the form of sheet aluminum and they were all destroyed. Three million pounds of damage in 1957 could have been financial ruin. In the development of its first monocoque sedan - Jaguar Mk 1 - the company has invested Three million pounds of damage in 1957 could have been financial ruin. In the development of its first monocoque sedan - Jaguar Mk 1 - the company has invested Three million pounds of damage in 1957 could have been financial ruin. In the development of its first monocoque sedan - Jaguar Mk 1 - the company has invested three times less. The next morning the workers gathered at the conflagration. They were pulling charred and wrecked cars from under the collapsed roof - the clearing work became a large-scale operation. Despite the fact that used car dealers nearly melted down the commutator by offering to buy up the charred remains, Jaguar scrapped everything by not letting damaged parts reach the market. Two weeks after the fire, contrary to all expectations, the plant began to produce cars again. True, for a long time the plant worked only at a third of its capacity, producing cars for local dealers in order to somehow recoup losses. The Browns Lane fire is believed to be the largest and most "costly" in the history of auto plant fires.

Jaguar XK150

In early 1958, a version of the XK150 roadster appeared in response to requests from the US market. The Jaguar XK150 became larger, the fenders were integrated into the body, the car acquired a wider hood, a windshield of a complex shape appeared, the interior offered much more comfort to passengers and had a more luxurious interior trim. The walnut-trimmed instrument panel has been replaced with a leather-trimmed instrument panel. But the main change is the introduction of disc brakes on all wheels, a technical innovation that has brought the Jaguar brand many sporting victories. . The release of the XK150 roadster coincided with the introduction of the "S" version of the engine with a new cylinder head designed by Harry Weslake. It became known as the "straight through head" and, along with three SU carburetors, boosted power significantly to 250 hp. With. With this engine, the XK150 could reach 133 mph and 60 mph from a stationary position in just 8.0 seconds. This version was called Jaguar XK150 3.4S and had an orange painted cylinder head. In the UK the car cost £1940.

Jaguar Mk 2

In 1959 attention turned to smaller saloons, and by the end of the year the Jaguar Mark 2 was introduced, a significant improvement over its predecessor, the Jaguar MK1. The car looked fresher and airier, helped by a completely redesigned bodywork above the waistline. The glazing area was increased by 18%, which significantly improved visibility, especially to the rear. Thin A-pillars made it possible to install a wider windshield, and the rear window increased in size and began to go onto the sidewalls of the body. The doorways and side windows of the doors were framed with thinner chrome frames. The shape of the grille was changed, side, rear and fog lights were replaced. The model was equipped with a 2.4-liter, 120 hp. with., 3.4-liter capacity of 210 liters. With. and 3, 8 liter engine with 220 hp. s.. The fast little Jaguar has become highly sought after and there is even a line of buyers behind it. The cost of the car in the basic configuration was £ 1344.

Acquisition of Daimler

On May 26, 1960, Jaguar expanded with Sir William Lyons' acquisition of Daimler. The name Daimler was adapted in Britain by the entrepreneur Frederick Simms, who had been manufacturing and selling Daimler outboard motors in London since 1893, having bought a license from the German company of the same name. In 1896, Simms opened the country's first car manufacturing facility in Coventry, and from the beginning of the 20th century, Daimler became known as the "royal" brand, the British crown preferred Daimler. Daimler cars, unlike Jaguars with their sporty character, have always lived up to the word "luxury". In 1931, Lanchester, which was distinguished by its originality in technical solutions and excellent design, was attached to Daimler, but since 1956 Lanchester passenger cars were no longer produced. Daimler model range, shaped by Lord Dokker was recognized as interesting, especially the luxurious coupes created together with the Hooper coachbuilder. But these extremely impractical and extremely expensive machines had a hard time finding demand. Accordingly, the volume of output was so small that significant profits were out of the question. One of Daimler's best designs was the SP250, a small fiberglass sports car. It had an attractive design and an Edward Turner-built, excellent 2.5-liter V8 engine, but the car did not use the best chassis, the same as on the inexpensive Triumph TR. Nevertheless, this car left its name in the annals of sports victories: Duncan Blake won the North American championship among stock cars in it in 1961. Therefore, the release of the Daimler SP250 lasted only until 1964. In the production program, they decided to keep the big parade Daimler Majestic Major with a 4.5-liter V8 engine, so as not to leave the “crowned heads” without transport. By the 70s, Daimler cars had practically lost their individuality. The only exception was the Daimler DS420, produced in 1968-1992. Other products of Daimler Motor Company Ltd. was a Jaguar in extended configuration with the company logo.

Jaguar Models of this era
Jaguar History