On September 4, 1922, in Blackpool, England, two young motorcycle enthusiasts, William Lyons and William Walmsley, set up the Swallow Sidecar Company to produce sidecars for motorcycles. The company continued to make sidecars until the advent of WWII. The company's first car, the SS1, was based on a Standard six-cylinder engine and a modified Standard chassis. It was introduced to the public at a London exhibition in 1931. The smaller SS2 had a four-cylinder engine.
During WWII, production shifted to the war effort, of course. After the war, the company's name was changed to Jaguar Cars Ltd. and production resumed. The first Jaguars were produced with the option of left-side driving controls.In the mid-fifties Jaguar had reached a point in its history of selling only luxury and sports vehicles. The company also sold a great deal of its production in foreign markets.
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.