Wednesday, February 23, 2011

1955-1957 Jaguar 2.4 Litre

"Whatever Jaguar you choose . . . and the choice of Jaguar models is now wider and more varied than ever before . . . you can be sure that every model in the range has these things in common – outstanding performance, exceptional road-holding and the highest degree of safety . . . essential characteristics that have made Jaguar admired and desired throughout the world."

Much as the name Porsche stands for the German Sports Car, the name Jaguar is a synonym for the British Sports Car since decades. While Porsche became famous for its absolute minimalism and lightweight construction, Jaguar cars are known around the world for their unparalleled match of speed and style, mating stunning performance with luxurious elegance.

The roots of Jaguar trace back to 1922, when William Lions and his partner William Walsey founded the Swallow Sidecar Company. Soon, the two Williams entered the automotive business, and their first sports car, the SS I was presented in 1931. Swallow Sidecar, without doubt, wasn't a befitting name for one of the quickest british cars of that era, and therefore William Lions called one of his next creations "Jaguar SS 100" in 1935. This car achieved a sensational top speed of 160 km/h, and established Jaguar as a make of luxurious sporting automobiles. After World War II, the whole company was renamed into Jaguar Cars Ltd. because the term SS now was generally associated with the german military, which was not a favorable circumstance right after the war.

Jaguar should have a high time in the 50s. On the competitive side, Jaguar cars dominated the most famous racing events and the introduction of the Jaguar XK series, then the fastest production car in the world, made the name Jaguar well-known around the globe. To financially back up the racing investment and parallel to their representative big sedans, Jaguar worked on an "invention" that should become popular among Detroit's manufacturers as the "personal car" years later: the four-door sedan for the aspiring motorist. This compact luxurious sedan was presented in September 1955 as the Jaguar 2.4 Litre, and it shined with stunning handling and beautiful styling. While its unibody design and modern suspension made the car very agile for contemporary standards, the six-cylinder engine left room for improvement. Rated at 112 hp, it was far from being underpowered, but especially American drivers wished for more punch. Their desires sure should get satisfied with the introduction of the 210hp Jaguar 3.4 Litre in late 1957.

With these mid-range models, Jaguar could double it's production volume and became the biggest British exporter. Most Jaguars went to North America, and we are quite sure that there are some more Jaguars to be found in Cuba, too. We'll keep our eyes open...

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