The Swallow Sidecar Company was founded in 1922 by two motorcycle enthusiasts, William Lyons and William Walmsley leading to SS Cars Ltd. In 1935 the SS Jaguar name first appeared on a 2.5-litre saloon, sports models of which were the SS 90 and SS 100.
Jaguar made its name by producing a series of eye-catching sports cars, such as the XK 120 of 1949, developed into XK 140 and XK 150, and the E Type of 1961. These were all successful and embodied Lyons' mantra of "value for money".
The core of Bill Lyons' success following WWII was the twin-cam straight six engine, a design conceived pre-war and at the Coventry plant. The subsequent engine (in various versions) was the mainstay powerplant of Jaguar, used in the XK 120, Mk VII Saloon, Mk I and II Saloons and XK 140 and 150.
Two of the proudest moments in Jaguar's long history in motor sport involved winning the Le Mans 24 hours race, firstly in 1951 and again in 1953. Victory at the 1955 Le Mans was overshadowed by it being the occasion of the worst motorsport accident in history. Later in the hands of the Scottish racing team Ecurie Ecosse two more wins were added in 1956 and 1957.
Combined with the trend-setting XK 120, XK 140, and XK 150 series of sports car. The company's post-War achievements are remarkable, considering both the shortages that drove Britain (the Ministry of Supply still allocated raw materials) and the state of metallurgical development of the era.
In 1957 Jaguar introduced the XK150, a replacement for the XK140. The XK140 had been a replacement for the XK120 which had started the XK series with its elegant styling and impressive 120 mph capabilities. At the time, the XK120 was the fastest production vehicle in the world. The XK150 had many similarities to its predecessors but it featured modern styling and improved mechanics. When the XK150 was introduced, it could be purchased in DropHead Coupe or FixedHead Coupe configuration. The Open Two Seater (OTS) Roadster version appeared a year later.
The base engine was a DOHC 3.4 liter straight-six that produced 180 horsepower. The 'S' model featured three SU HD8 carburetors and a modified cylinder head bringing the horsepower rating to 250. The XK120 suffered from poor steering, resolved by the adaptation of a rack-and-pinion unit on the XK140 & XK150. Other improvements in the XK-150 included roll-up door windows and door handles.
Engine: 3,442cc DOHC Inline 6
Horsepower: 250bhp at 5,500rpm
Transmission: 4-Speed Manual Close-Ratio
Weight: 2968 lbs.
Original Cost: $5,100.00 in 1958
Production: 1466 from 1957 to 1959
Color: British Racing Green
Awards: Over 80 awards, including many
Best In class and JNCA 100 Point
Status for over 10 years