Of course William Lyons could not have foreseen that the name of his company would have such a negative connotation. In 1922 he founded the Swallow Sidecar Company with William Walmsley. The company initially built sidecars for motorcycles and from 1927 also started working on car bodies. In 1935 Lyons went on alone and the company name was changed to SS Cars. Lyons’ company was initially based in Blackpool, in the North West of England. The company later moved to more centrally located Coventry.
You soon associate the name SS Cars with the Second World War. In Germany, the Schutz Staffel (SS), the black-clad personal bodyguard of Adolf Hitler, was founded in 1925. When Lyons also called his company SS, the reputation of that other SS outside of Germany was not so infamous. In March 1945, two months before the end of World War II in Europe, things were different. SS Cars was renamed Jaguar.
The Jaguar name debuted in 1935
The name Jaguar did not come out of nowhere, as early as 1935 SS had provided a number of cars with this model name. The SS Jaguar 2 1/2 Liter was the first to receive this name. It was one of the fanciest saloons available before the war. It had a graceful design with a low roofline. The name Jaguar suited the car: a powerful, fast and agile predator.
The 2 1/2 Liter still had the SS logo, with a hexagon for the heart and the wings and tail of an eagle. In the eyes of 2021, this is also an extremely unfortunate choice. The eagle is still the symbol of Germany.
Two Jaguar logos were introduced
Shareholders agreed in 1945 that the new company name should no longer cause confusion, which is why the English word Jaguar was chosen. The predator matched the sporting ambitions of the brand, which made fame after the war with famous sports cars such as the Jaguar XK 120, the Jaguar D-Type and later the Jaguar E-Type.
Two logos were introduced: a jumping Jaguar (leaping Jaguar) and a round logo with a frontal image of the head of a roaring jaguar (roaring Jaguar). Initially, both appeared on the grille of Jaguar models (the leaping Jaguar as a beautiful sculpture), but the jumping version disappeared over the years. This was the result of stricter security rules and the grabbing hands of thieves and vandals. The Mercedes star is often struck by the same tragic fate.
The growling jaguar logo still adorns the hood of new models against a red background. You can still see the jumping Jaguar on the back of the models, but embedded in an emblem and no longer as a sculpture. The jumping jaguar is dominant in communications (website, press releases) of the British brand.
Source: Autowereld.com by www.autowereld.com.
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