Frank's Classic Cars
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THE JAGUAR Not just an interest or infatuation
among classic car enthusiasts, Jaguars are an obsession, a passion to
study, own, or, as Frank does, rebuild an old "junked" Jaguar
from scratch. Here is the basic history of this automotive jewel.
Arguably, one can state that the origin of what has come to be The
on September 4th, 1922, in the UK, Blackpool, England.
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Two young, adventurous motorcycle enthusiast brothdfs, Lyons and William Walmsley, set up shop as the Swallow Sidecar Company, making sidecars for motorcycles. Swallow continued to make sidecars until the WWII era.
Came 1926, the burgeoning automotive company built the small Austin VII, a sporty car for "the common people." Lyons and Walmsley changed their company name to Swallow Coachbuilding. They relocated to a larger plant to make custom bodies for Morris, Fiat, Wolseley, Swift, and Standard vehicles.
Swallow's first fully manufactured car, the SS1, had a six-cylinder engine and a modified chassis. The physical design was a long, low vehicle with a short passenger compartment, wire wheels, and a luggage boot with a spare tire at the rear. Its expensive looks belied its excellent monetary value. The SS1 debuted at a London exhibition in 1931, along with another smaller version, SS2, which had a four-cylinder engine
In 1933 the name of the company was again changed, this time to SS Cars Ltd. with Lyons becoming managing director. He bought his partner, William Walsley, out in 1936. A year later, in 1934, Harry Weslake, reputed as one of the industry's top engine design experts, joined Lyon's company. Weslake's cylinder head with an overhead valve arrangement proved to be robust and a good performer.
The name Jaguar was born in 1935. William Heynes joined the company as it's chief engineer. The fledgling automaker turned out limousines, convertibles, and sports cars fitted with 1.5-litre, 2.5-litre, and 3.5-litre engines. The most notable vehicle of the period was the 3.5-litre SS 100 model. This was the fastest and most famous pre-war Jaguar, with speeds of 100 mph and acceleration from rest to 60 mph in about 10.5 seconds. The engine had a compression ratio of 17.5:1. Racing successes in the Marne Grand Prix of Reims, the Villa Real International event, the Alpine Rally, The Monte Carlo Rally, and the most popularized RAC Rally Jaguar.
Lyons developed a new sports car in 1948, the XK 120, inspired by BMW's 328, In 1948, Earls Court Motor Show presented the new Jaguar XK 120 Roadster, with a promoted speed capability of 120 mph, and improved road hugging and a smoother ride.
In 1951 The XK 120 Fixed Head Coupe made it's premiere with a veneer dashboard. Then in 1953, the XK 120 Drophead Coupe was introduced with convertible hood. This car substantially placed Jaguar on the automotive map. The later XK 140 featured rack-and-pinion steering, oversized bumpers, solid cast grill, with a copious 190 hp. Jaguar's XK 150, with only slight cosmetic changes, came the next year.
Jaguar's popularity declined by the 1960's because the cars were having less and less appeal as American made cars were "flashier" and more modern looking to a new generation who were rocking and rolling, cruising and "being cool."
In 1960, Daimler Cars were bought by the Jaguar company, which wanted to make automotive fare that appealed to younger buyers. Came 1966 Sir William Lyons stepped down as Managing Director of the Jaguar Group, but he remained Chairman and Chief Executive. Grice and England became joint managing directors. On July 11, 1966, Jaguar Cars Ltd. and the British Motor Corporation Ltd. announced a merger.
Yet another merger with Leyland formed in 1968, evolving the largest British car complex. In 1972 Sir William Lyons retired, 50 years after forming Swallow Sidecar Company on his 21st birthday. His retirement was followed by a period of confusion and confusing changes at Jaguar. Whole departments, such as sales and service, disappeared into BL power. The Ryder report, partially published in 1975, made it clear that Jaguar would not continue as an entity. Leyland Cars was formed and the brand new Jaguar XJ-S was thrown in with BL's other Earls Courts motor show offerings. There was no single head man at Jaguar and the winter of 1979-1980 saw Percy Plant as nominal chairman of Jaguar. Plant was mainly known for his skill at closing factories.
Morale among workers dropped to a low point in April of 1980 when a strike over grading and pay provoked Sir Michael Edwarde's ultimatum "return to work or lose your jobs."Jaguar retained a full-time chief executive, John Egan in April of 1980. He came from parts directorship of Massey Ferguson Construction and Machinery Division. He was 40 years old, the "new blood" Jaguar so desperately needed. Egan was quoted as saying, "One cannot have better ground to build on." He bestowed optimism and a breath of new life for Jaguar that was soon reflected in production and morale. By 1985 it was clear that Jaguar was stable once more.
Sir William Lyons died in 1985.
THE DELOREAN The DeLorean Motor Company was founded by John DeLorean and established in 1975. The DeLorean Motor Company was located in "Motor City," Detroit, Michigan. John DeLorean perceived exotic sports car design, with almost a science fiction ambience. He created a concept vehicle which was named "The DMC." Most sports car designs of the time were compact. John DeLorean was very tall, so his interest was a car that taller people would be comfortable in.. Delorean's design plans for the DMC included a roomier interior and better steering wheel positioning.
Production of the first vehicle was scheduled to begin in 1970. However, problems mounted and manufacture was delayed the summer of 1981. While car buyers were responsive to the DeLoreans, wover 9,000 sold between 1981 and 1983, John DeLorean was unable to raise adequate funds to keep the manufacturing plant operating. In 1982, plans to shut down DeLoreans were announced. DeLorean auto history is widely discussed among classic car enthusiasts. De Lorean cars have become a collector's special . Many original DeLorean owners keep and maintain the cars.. Many auto techs rebuild DeLoreans as they do Jaguars and other classics/
THE PORSCHE The initial Porsche premiered in 1948. a two-seat car with a 1.1 liter centricengine, 40 HP. The f356-2 Porsche cars were hand built in Austria. These cars almost resembled the former classic 356. They are are today rare and priceless to collectors .
In late 1949 the Reutter company in Germany were given consignment to build body works for an adjusted model of the 356. This became the classic 356. With a 1.1 liter engine, 40 HP. The design had aerodynamics for a speed of 140 mph. At that time Ferry Porsche thought that it was impossible to sell more than 500 cars, a more than pleasant mistake. On March 15, 1954 car no 5.000 left the factory. In 1953 the famous Porsche label badge is seen for the first time. In April 1965 the last Porsche 356 leaves the assembly line after 17 years of production. All in all 81.003 Porsche 356 were built together in various Carrera versions.
1959 saw the beginning of the development of a new Porsche. On September 12, 1963, a new generation Porsche designed by "Butzi" Porsche, a prototype called 901 was introduced. It became available to buyers . In late fall of 1964. The French car producer Peugeot filed infringement of the name 901 because the combination of three was patented by them. Porsche changed the model number to 911 and marketed the car worldwide.
The Porsche 911 premiered in1963. It and the "356" became one of the biggest selling sports cars it's class
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