The launch of a motoring icon

The launch of a motoring icon

This Jaguar publicity photograph, which I bough at a car boot sale shows the Chairman of Jaguar Sir William Lyons standing along side the Jaguar E-Type at the press launch of the model in 1961. William Lyons and William Walmsley two motorcycle enthusiasts started in Blackpool the Swallow Sidecar Company in 1922 to build motorcycle sidecars. Later the company started building car bodies, and after the second World War changed its name to Jaguar Cars Ltd and moved to Coventry, the rest as they say is history.

In 1966, British Motor Corporation Ltd merged with the Jaguar Group who also owned Daimler and the new company was named British Motor Holdings. Sadly this would be the start of the slow death of the British car industry. Due to bad management, bad accounting, too many factories and badge engineering British Motor Holdings was on the brink of bankruptcy at the end of 1967 and turned to the Labour Government for help, who in 1968 persuaded Sir Donald Stokes the chairman of Leyland Motor Corporation to merge with British Motor Holdings in hope the merger would save the British car industry, all it did was prolong its death. Leyland Motor Corporation owned Rover and Triumph and turned them into profitable companies, but could not do the same with the British Motor Holdings. Before Sir William Lyons retired he overseen the design of the Jaguar XJ saloon launched in 1968.

Posted by ronmccullock on 2019-02-01 15:47:56

Tagged: , Jaguar E-Type , British Motor Corporation Ltd , Leyland Motor Corporation , William Lyons , William Walmsley , British Car , Sir Donald Stokes , Chairman , Rover , Triumph , Labour