• Aug 16, 2010
Jaguar 75th Anniversary at Pebble Beach – Click above for high-res image gallery

We've already shown you that Jaguar was honored at the 2010 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance with a dozen XK-SS roadsters showing up for the party, but there were other Jaguars on hand as well – lots and lots of remarkable Jags.

The history of Jaguar actually began almost 90 years ago when two young men hell-bent on motorcycle glory set up a small company to produce sidecars under the Swallow name in 1922. The younger of the two was William Lyons, who later became Sir William Lyons, mainly because Jaguar went on to bring Britain so much motoring glory. The sidecar business eventually turned into an automobile coachworks, with custom bodies on a bespoke Standard brand chassis that became know as the S.S.I. and S.S.II.

For the follow-up to those early S.S. models – Standard Swallow some think – Lyons had commissioned a new overhead-valve six-cylinder engine that was about 50 percent more powerful than the old side-valve engines they had been using. They put the new engine in a new chassis, enclosed it in the company's first four-door sedan body and Lyons personally chose what he thought was the most appropriate name from a list of choices given to him by his advertising people – Jaguar. On September 23, 1935, the company unveiled the SS Jaguar to London's assembled press. That car led to the short-wheelbase SS Jaguar 100 sports car that helped establish Jaguar's reputation for performance with its early racing success.

After World War II, the company decided to change its name to simply 'Jaguar,' dropping the newly infamous "S.S." label. The automaker also started focusing less on inexpensive sportscars for the homeland market, and more on luxurious models aimed at capturing rich American buyers. One way to do that was with new product and Lyons and his crew were cooking up a duesie – a new sportscar featuring a double overhead cam engine just like the race cars of the era. The goal was 160 horsepower from the engine's 3.4-liter capacity and a 120 mph top speed. That car was the iconic XK120 – "XK" for the engine and "120" for the car's top speed. That begat the XK140 and 150 and a whole slew of other legendary vehicles that bore the Jaguar name.

Some of the finest examples of Jaguar's pedigree were on hand at Pebble Beach on Sunday. Take a look in our high-res gallery below.

1935 S.S. 90
1935 S.S.I. Drophead Coupe
1938 Jaguar SS100 Roadster
1952 Jaguar C-type
1953 Jaguar XK120 SE Roadster
1955 Jaguar D-Type
1961 Jaguar E-Type Fixed Head Coupe
1966 Jaguar XJ13 Prototype



Photos Copyright ©2010 Drew Phillips / AOL


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 6 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      As a Jag owner, I'm so pleased to celebrate the anniversary of this wonderful marque.

      It's a pity the brand is now so gutted and the most recent designs so godawful.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Jake- Also being a Jag owner, I respectfully disagree. I believe Callum is taking the car's designs into the future in the right direction. With Tata's backing, I think he'll have even more freedom to break the mold.To me, the new XJ is very catlike in many ways and if you look at Lyon's designs, they all feature attributes of a cat.

        We love our Jag's. I'm just waiting for the uniformed to weigh in claiming all kinds of quality problems and issues that no longer exist.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I tend to agree with 16915V; I think Jaguar is back on a correct path. However to reach the greatness of what was displayed at Pebble Beach; a long road lays ahead. I gravitate towards the S.S. 90 and SS 100 designs. 70+ year old automobiles that still makes you smile and gets your heart racing; priceless.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The XJ13 is art. Anything else ever produced on four wheels is just a car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      1235135
      • 4 Years Ago
      No XJ220? That makes me a sad panda.