This year is the 90th anniversary of the Swallow Sidecar company, so the Jaguar Heritage Trust is hosting a circuitous Swallow to Jaguar 90th Anniversary driving tour from Coventry to Blackpool. The eight-day jaunt begins September 2, 2012 and is open to any of the marques under the historic Jaguar umbrella, including Swallow, SS, Lanchester, Daimler and Jaguar.
There's a press release after the jump with all the details. And for those who have wondered about the closure of the Jaguar Heritage center this September, we just spent two days in Coventry walking through the whole collection and we'll have a report with good news shortly.
The 4th September 1922 is a significant date in Jaguar history for two reasons. Firstly it was the coming of age of a visionary young gentleman called William Lyons. Secondly, it was the date on which he founded the Swallow Sidecar Company together with his partner William Walmsley. Financial backing was provided by their respective families and a £1,000 bank loan. First and second floor premises were found in Bloomfield Road, Blackpool and production commenced, laying the foundations for a business that would evolve into the Jaguar marque that we know and love today.
In the intervening ninety years, a fascinating metamorphosis has taken place. From humble beginnings producing aluminium bodied sidecars for motorcycles, the company has grown to become a manufacturer of class-leading luxury sports and saloon cars that are sold throughout the world. Along the way, the history books contain an astonishing list of iconic products, motorsport successes, design and technical innovations. From SS100 to E-type, Mark V to XJ, Mark ll to XF, Le Mans to Daytona, monocoque to disc brake – the list goes on and on. However, all these achievements have something in common: they were made possible by the vision and drive of one man – William Lyons.
To celebrate the 90th anniversary of the foundation of the Swallow Sidecar Company, Sir William Lyons' first business and the forerunner of today's Jaguar Cars Limited, a unique event is being organised by Jaguar Heritage. Building on the success of the E-type 50th Anniversary Tour from Coventry to Geneva that Jaguar Heritage organised in March 2011, this year's event will be UK based and will take place from September 2nd to 9th to encompass the exact 90th anniversary date.
Commencing in Coventry, the Tour will circle round through Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Yorkshire and the Lake District before culminating with two nights in Blackpool where a number of special events and activities are planned. Full details of the itinerary are below.
The Tour will accommodate 90 vehicles and is open to owners of Swallow, SS, Jaguar, Daimler or Lanchester cars of any age. If you would like to participate, please complete and return the official application form. Further information of what is included in the Tour package and the costs are below.
Swallow to Jaguar -90th Anniversary Tour Itinerary
In September 1922, a young William Lyons together with his partner William Walmsley set up the Swallow Sidecar Company in Blackpool, laying the foundations for the business that was later to become Jaguar Cars. To celebrate the 90th anniversary of this momentous event, Jaguar Heritage is inviting 90 owners of Swallow, SS, Jaguar, Daimler or Lanchester cars, past and present, to participate in this exciting tour.
Sunday 2nd September 2012
The event starts at the renowned Coombe Abbey Hotel with registration from 10.00am to 4.00pm. In the evening, coaches will be provided to transfer participants to a welcome reception and sumptuous dinner at St Mary's Guildhall in the ancient heart of Coventry. With the Undercroft dating from 1340 and the magnificent 15th century Great Hall with its unique tapestry and stained glass, the Guildhall will provide the perfect historical backdrop to start the Tour.
Monday 3rd September 2012
The cars will depart from Coombe Abbey and make the short journey to the Jaguar Land Rover corporate headquarters and engineering centre at Whitley, Coventry where they will do a circuit round the site. From there the Tour will proceed via Wappenbury Hall, the former home of Sir William Lyons, to the scheduled lunch stop. A short afternoon drive to Cambridge will follow, with cars arriving in time for some sightseeing. Accommodation will be at the Crowne Plaza hotel, with dinner and musical entertainment at St John's College providing an insight into university life at this ancient institution.
Tuesday 4th September 2012
The Tour will proceed at a relaxed pace through the Fens into Norfolk where participants can continue to mark HRH Queen Elizabeth's diamond jubilee by visiting the royal estate at Sandringham. Lunch will be provided during the visit and there will be guided tours of the Royal Stud established in 1886 and still actively breeding thoroughbreds today. The route will then head back towards Grantham for an overnight stop at the Belton Woods Resort, which has a luxury Spa and many other facilities to help drivers and passengers unwind. A light buffet dinner will also be provided.
Wednesday 5th September 2012
After a relaxing breakfast, the cars will meander north through the Lincolnshire countryside before crossing over the amazing Humber Bridge with its 4,600 ft main span and 500 ft towers. The Tour will then head through Humberside into North Yorkshire for a lunch stop before proceeding to the 18th century Fairfield Manor Hotel on the edge of York for the night. Guests will be taken by open top bus into York city centre for an evening sight seeing tour prior to dining at the National Railway Museum surrounded by icons from the age of steam!
Thursday 6th September 2012
This day's route will take in some of the most beautiful countryside on the Tour, passing through the purple heather clad hills of the North Yorkshire Moors and then crossing through the Dales and over the Pennines into the Lake District. Participants will enjoy a lunch stop in one of the attractive villages along the way as they head towards the Windermere Hotel for the overnight stop. The evening activities will take place on the picturesque lake itself, with a boat cruise and
dinner on board.
Friday 7th September 2012
From the lakes and mountains, the cars will head south via an exciting secret location (ear defenders may be required) where lunch will be provided before heading into Blackpool for the culmination of the Tour. Accommodation for the final two nights will be in the famous Imperial Hotel, venue for many political party conferences and a favourite of Sir William Lyons for hosting Jaguar events. Dinner will take place at the Blackpool Central Bowling and Social Club which is on the site of the original Swallow Sidecar Company factory in Bloomfield Road, and an evening of traditional seaside entertainment is planned!
Saturday 8th September 2012
The final day of the Tour will be based in and around Blackpool. Participants will have the opportunity to visit the other sites that have a historical link with the Swallow business in its early years and will be able to drive in convoy along the sea front on the exact route used in the past for Blackpool Speed Trials. The climax of the Tour in the evening will be a Champagne Reception and Gala Dinner at the Imperial Hotel with celebrity guests.
Sunday 9th September 2012
Following a leisurely breakfast, participants will be free to depart for the return journey home.
Swallow to Jaguar -90th Anniversary Tour
Price per car (2 people): £2,900
Price per car (1 person): £2,300
What is included:
- 7 nights bed and breakfast accommodation (single, double or twin rooms) in luxury hotels
Note: a supplement will apply if two people sharing a car require single rooms. (1)
- Dinner on 7 nights (Sept 2nd – St Mary's Guildhall Coventry, Sept 3rd – St John's College Cambridge, Sept 4th – Belton Woods Resort (light buffet with cash bar), Sept 5th – National Railway Museum York, Sept 6th – Boat Cruise Lake Windermere, Sept 7th – Bowling and Social Club Blackpool, Sept 8th – Blackpool Imperial Hotel Gala Dinner).
- Table wines for all dinners except Sept 4th
- Lunch on 5 days (Sept 3rd – Sept 7th).
- Entrance charges for Sandringham Estate/Stud, National Railway Museum and any other attractions that are included in the official route.
- Route book, commemorative plaque and car decals (3 per car).
- Souvenir Jaguar jacket (for driver and passenger).
- All coach transfers to/from evening functions remote from hotels.
- Secure car parking in Cambridge city centre (September 3rd).
- Open top bus sight seeing tour of York (September 5th)
- Windermere Lake cruise on September 6th .
- The services of a full technical support team.
- The services of a professional team at all the venues to assist with check-in/out, parking, luggage handling, concierge services and general support.
- Transportation of luggage (optional) between overnight stops.
What is not included:
- Humber Bridge and any other toll charges.
- Vehicle insurance and medical insurance.
- Incidental hotel expenses and bar bills.
- Lunch on September 7th .
- Attractions other than those included in the official route.
- All expenses incurred outside the core Tour dates (September 2nd – September 9th am)
- Any speeding or other fines incurred during the trip.
(1) Single occupancy supplement – please contact Jaguar Heritage for details.
Jaguar Heritage will make every endeavour to deliver the Tour programme as outlined above and on the Itinerary. However, we reserve the right to make changes to the Itinerary and activities if necessitated by circumstances beyond our control.
Jaguar Heritage is the trading name of the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust, registered in England No. 1709907 and registered charity No. 286863, and JDHT Limited, registered in England No. 2631524, both with registered office address at Browns Lane, Allesley, Coventry, CV5 9DR.