The Jaguar Sports Car

                                            1959 Lister-Jaguar Coupé                                                   During the Graham Hill Trophy Race at the Goodwood Members Meeting

                                        Follow Me on Facebook

                                            from Classic to Modern       

Jaguar On The Track

                                             1998 Jaguar XKR Sports                                                                                     This eye-catching Jag used a 370 bhp. 4 litre.                                                                supercharged V8, with a 155mph top and 0-60 in                                                              5.2 secs. Seen here during a 2015 Bahn-Stormer                                                                 Sunday at Goodwood. Snappy colour scheme

                                               1955 Jaguar XK150                                                                                      This beautiful example was seen during testing                                                                     for the 2015 Goodwood Revival Meeting.                                                                                          Love the aeroscreens

                                          1964 Jaguar E-Type Coupé                                                                      Lined up in front of a TVR and ready to go in                                                         the Brighton & Hove Club's 2015 Eagle Sprint                                                                                  at Goodwood 

                                                      Jaguar XJ220                                                                               This stylish 1992-94 racer was spotted during                                                               the 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed

                                             1963 Jaguar Mk2 Saloon                                                                         This immaculate classic was seen getting a                                                           "wash-and-brush-up" prior to its entry in the                                                                   2015 Goodwood Revival Meeting

                                                      Jaguar XJR-9                                                                                      This 1988 Silk Cut racer from the Tom                                                                   Walkinshaw Racing team was seen at the                                                                       2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed

                                                 1991 Jaguar XJR14                                                                             Powered by a normally aspirated 3.5 litre 650                                                        bhp Cosworth Ford V8, this racer finished third                                                       in the 1992 ISMA GT Championship in the US

                                       1989 Lister Jaguar XJ-S Le Mans

                                                     1977 Jaguar XJ12

                                           1954 Cooper-Jaguar T33

                                           1959 Lister-Jaguar Coupé

                                             1988 Jaguar XJR-9LM

                                                 1952 Jaguar C-Type                                                                  Seen at the Woodcote Trophy Race for pre 56 Sports cars

The Early Jaguar 

     The Jaguar sports car. The history of Jaguar cars began in 1922 when the Swallow Sidecar Company was created. Its initial aim was to produce motorcycle sidecars, and then move into passenger cars, such as the Austin 7 Swallow.

     In 1926, the company went into the production of up market coachwork bodies which were offered to the top car producers of the time.

     In 1931, the production facilities were transferred to Coventry, and the company now began to build complete cars. The first of these was the SS class of Jaguar cars, introduced at the London Motor Show of that year, and built until 1936. 

                                            1939 Mark 4 Drophead Coupe    Image

The Jaguar SS100

     In 1935, the company name was changed to Jaguar Cars, and the improved range of cars was called SS Jaguars. 

     The first real Jaguar sports car was the Jaguar SS100, built between 1936-1940. The "100" referred to the fact that it was capable of exceeding 100 mph, something almost unheard of at that time.

     The 3.5 litre variant produced a top speed of 101 mph, and a 0-60 mph time of 10.4 secs. Jaguar cars performance:

SS100 Technical Data                      1936                    1938
Engine: cc                                         2663                    3485
Cylinder, bhp                                    6, 70                   6, 100
Top Speed: mph                                  95                       100
Time to 60 mph: secs                        13.5                     10.4

                                                 1935 Jaguar SS90                                                                               This sports version of the SS Jaguar 2.5 litre                                                            saloon used a 68 bhp, 2.7 litre side valve-6,                                                          capable of 90 mph. It was succeeded by the                                                                      sportier OHV SS100 of 1936-40

                                                1937 Jaguar SS100                                                                          An outstanding example of this classic racer that                                                   took part in the Royal Automobile 1000 Mile Trial

                                                        Jaguar SS100        Image

                                                                                                                                                   Full Screen

The Jaguar XK120

     Following WW2, the twin overhead cam, straight 6-cylinder, Jaguar XK engine was created. In 1948, it was decided to add the new engine to a sports car.

     The XK120 Jaguar sports car, with the XK engine, was the talk of the 1948 London Motor Show. It was a two seater convertible, initially with aluminium panels, where the "120" referred to its top speed of 120 mph.

     In 1950, an all-steel version became the norm. A fixed head coupe variant appeared in 1951, plus a drop head coupe in 1953.

     It used a 3.4 litre XK engine, with an aluminium cylinder head, a compression ratio of 8:1, and two SU carburettors. A later SE** variant was fitted with a C-Type head with greatly improved performance.

     By 1954, when production of these Jaguar cars ended, 7,631 convertibles, 2,678 fixed head coupes, and 1,769 drop head coupes were built. Jaguar cars performance:

Technical Data                  1948-1954       1951-1954      1951-1954
Engine                                     3.4                   3.4SE                3.4 SE**
Engine: cc                              3442                  3442                 3442
Cylinder, bhp                       6, 160                6, 180                6, 210
Top Speed: mph                     125                    120                    125
Time to 60 mph: secs            10.0                    9.9                     7.9

                                                 1953 Jaguar XK120                                                                         This beautiful example was spotted at the 2015                                                                  Redhill Aviation Festival in Surrey

                                                    1954 Jaguar XK120             Image

                                                                                                                                                  Full Screen

The Jaguar C-Type

     In 1951, the C-Type Jaguar sports car was introduced. It was later designated the XK120C, where the "C" referred to competition. It was, in essence, a racing car.

     It incorporated an aerodynamically designed aluminium body built onto a lightweight tubular space frame chassis. The running gear was that from the XK120.

     Its tuned 3.4 litre XK engine had its compression ratio raised to 9:1, but it retained the two SU carburettors.

     The engine in later C-Types was fitted with high lift camshafts, and the two SU's were replaced by three twin-choke Webber carburettors.  In total, there were 53 C-Types built.

     It was built for racing and, in 1951 and 1953, won the Le Mans 24 hour race. Jaguar cars performance:     

Technical Data                      XK120             C-Type            C-Type
Production                         1948-1954           1951                1953
Engine: cc                              3442                 3442                 3442
Cylinder, bhp                        6, 160               6, 200               6, 200
Top Speed: mph                     125                    144                   144
Time to 60 mph: secs            10.0                    8.1                    6.5

                                                 1952 Jaguar C-Type              Image

                                                                                                                                                  Full Screen

The Jaguar D-Type

     In 1954, Jaguar Cars introduced the D-Type Jaguar sports car. Like the later versions of the C-Type, it used the 3.4 litre XK engine with three twin-choke Webber carburettors.

     The structural design, however, was well ahead of its time. It used a monocoque structure with aluminium body panels, and an aluminium tubing sub frame. This produced a low drag, aerodynamic profile.

     The D-Type Jaguar cars were designed for racing:

  • In 1954, a D-Type won the Sebring 12 hour race
  • It won the 1955 and 1956 Le Mans 24 hour race
  • In the 1957 Le Mans, D-Types took five of the top six places - this was the peak of its racing history                       

     Jaguar cars performance:  

Technical Data                            C-Type                    D-Type
Production                                    1953                   1954-1957
Engine: cc                                     3442                        3442
Cylinder, bhp                               6, 200                      6, 250
Top Speed: mph                             144                          174
Time to 60 mph: secs                     6.5                           4.7

                                                       Jaguar D-Type                Image

                                                                                                                                                   Full Screen

The Jaguar XKSS

     Introduced in 1957, the Super Sports, or XKSS Jaguar sports car was, in essence, a road going version of the D-Type. Powered by a 3.4 litre XK engine, it developed 260 bhp, had a top speed of 149 mph and a 0-60 mph time of 5.2 secs.

     Only 16 units were built, and one of them was owned by no less than Steve McQueen, who nicknamed his the "Green Rat".

                                                        Jaguar XKSS                   Image

                                                        Jaguar XKSS                   Image          

                                                                                                                                                   Full Screen

The Jaguar XK140

     In 1954, the XK120 was succeeded by the XK140 Jaguar sports car. There were minor styling changes on the new car. It was offered as a two seater convertible, a fixed head coupe, and a drop head coupe.

     The standard engine was the XK 3.4 litre, with the special equipment modification as used on the XK120. The power was increased to 190 bhp.

     The XK 3.4 litre engine, with the C-Type head (SE model), as used on the XK120, and developing 210 bhp, was offered as an optional extra. Jaguar cars performance:

Technical Data                     120                140, 3.4          140, 3.4SE
Production                     1948-1954         1954-1957       1954-1957
Output                               12,078                            8,884
Engine: cc                            3442                  3442                  3442
Cylinder, bhp                      6, 160                6, 190                6, 210
Top Speed: mph                    125                    120                   124
Time to 60 mph: secs          10.0                    8.4                     7.4

                                               1955 Jaguar XK140                                                                              This beautiful Coupe (I love the colour) was                                                              taking part in the 2014 Capel Classic Car                                                                              & Bike Show in Surrey

                                                        Jaguar XK140       Image

                                                                                                                                                   Full Screen

The Jaguar XK150

     In 1957, the XK140 was replaced by the XK150 Jaguar sports car. Like its predecessor, it was offered as a two seater convertible, a fixed head coupe and a drop head coupe.

     A quick way to distinguish between the two Jaguar cars, XK140 and XK150, was that the latter used a one-piece windscreen, whilst the former used a split screen. Both the suspension and chassis were as per the XK140, and the steering was rack and pinion.

     The basic engine was the XK140 unit, with the C-Type head, which developed 190 bhp. However, more common was the 3.4 SE unit, with C-Type head and larger exhaust valves, which produced 210 bhp.

     In 1958, the 3.4 "S" engine appeared, and developed 250 bhp. 

     In 1960, the 3.4 litre engine was bored out to 3.8 litres, and produced 220 bhp. In the 3.8"S" form, it developed 265 bhp. 

     When production of the XK150 ended in 1960, 2,265 convertibles, 4,445 fixed head coupes, and 2,672 drop head coupes of these fabulous Jaguar cars had been built. A comparison of Jaguar cars:

Technical Data               Engine       Capacity      BHP      Speed      0-60
1957-1960                       3.4             3442         190        130         7.6
1957-1960                      3.4SE          3442          210       130         7.7
1958-1960                       3.4S           3442          250       132         7.8
1959-1960                      3.8SE          3781          220       134         7.4
1959-1960                       3.8S           3781          265       135         7.0          

                                                 1960 Jaguar XK150                                                                                 A great shot of this very smart classic which had a                                                          rather unfortunate number plate. Was seen here prior                                                             to entry in the 2015 Shere Hill Climb in Surrey

                                                       Jaguar XK150         Image

                                                                                                                                                      Full Screen

The Jaguar Kougar

                                                1968 Jaguar Kougar                                                                                  This UK built Jaguar-based racer used a 3.8 litre,                                                              S6, with 3 carbs that produced 230 bhp. It could                                                                 out perform almost all Jags of the 50's and 60's.                                                                   With only 150 built, its worth £50-60,000.                                                                   Seen here at a local Show where it stood out. Nice

The Jaguar E-Type

The Series 1 E-Type

     In 1961, the enigmatic E-Type Jaguar sports car was launched.

     The Series 1 E-Type was powered by a 3.8 litre, triple SU carburetted engine used in the XK150S.

     In 1964, the 3.8 litre engine was increased to 4.2 litres. The power and top speed from both these Jaguar cars was the same, although torque was increased.

     Up to 1967, the Series 1 was easily recognised by its glass-covered headlights.

     It was offered as a two seater convertible, or a fixed head coupe. A 2+2 version of the fixed head coupe was available in 1966.

     There was a transition series of Jaguar cars built from 1967-1968, between the Series 1 and Series 2 E-Types. This was referred to as the Series 1.5.

     By 1968, 15,498 Series 1 3.8, 16,195 Series 1 4.2, and 6,726 Series 1.5 Jaguar cars were built.      

                                                 Jaguar E-Type Series 1          Image

                                                                                                                                                   Full Screen

The Series 2 E-Type

     In 1969, the Series 2 E-Type Jaguar sports car was introduced. It was easily distinguished from the Series 1 by the open headlights, and wrap-around rear bumper.

     Once again, it was offered as a two seater convertible, a fixed head coupe, and a 2+2 variant.

     It was powered by the XK 4.2 litre engine fitted with three SU carburettors.

     By 1971, 4,855 fixed head coupes, 8,628 convertibles, and 5,326 2+2 variants of these Jaguar cars were built.

                                                 Jaguar E-Type Series 2         Image

                                                                                                                                                   Full Screen

The Series 3 E-Type

     In 1971, the Series 3 E-Type Jaguar sports car launched. It was offered as a two seater convertible, and a 2+2 version, but the fixed head coupe variant was discontinued.

     The Series 3 was powered by a new 5.3 litre, V-12 cylinder, double overhead cam, XK engine. 

     It was easily identifiable by the distinctive front grille and fishtail exhaust.     

     By 1974, 7,990 convertibles, and 7,297 2+2's of the Series 3 had been built.

     I feel that the Series 3 car was the most beautiful of all the E-Types produced by Jaguar Cars. However, many regard it as a gentleman's sports car having lost much of the raw appeal of the Series 1.

Technical Data                      Series 1               Series 2              Series 3
Production                        1961-1968           1969-1971         1971-1974
Output                                  38,419                   18,809               15,287
Engine: cc                               3781                     4235                   5343
Cylinder, bhp                        6, 265                    6, 265                12, 272
Top Speed: mph                      153                        151                     148
Time to 60 mph: secs              6.7                         7.0                       6.4

                                              Jaguar E-Type Series 3             Image

                                                                                                                                                  Full Screen

The Lightweight E-Type

     In 1962, Jaguar decided to set about building a lightweight version of their successful E-Type sports car for use on the track as an endurance racer. It was designated the Lightweight E-Type, and a total of twelve units were built by 1963.

     The monocoque aluminium body was powered by a modified 3.8 litre XK engine which produced 344 bhp, and propelled the Lightweight to a top speed of 170 mph, with a 0-60 mph time of 3.9 secs.

     One of them took fifth place in the 1962 Le Mans race.

                                          Jaguar Lightweight E-Type                                                                            Evolved from the Low Drag Coupe, this 1963-64,                                                             300 bhp, 3.8 litre, S6 racer produced a successful                                                                     track record in the hands of the privateer.                                                                           Generated lots of admiration at the show

                                       Competition Lightweight E-Type   Image

The XJ220

     Introduced in 1992, the XJ220 Jaguar sports car was designed as a modern version of the successful C-Type and D-Type Le Mans racers.

     The production version was fitted with a 3.5 litre, twin turbocharged engine, and linked to two inter-coolers and a five speed gearbox. 

     It developed 540 bhp and 475 ft/lbs of torque, which gave it a top speed of 213 mph, and a 0-60 mph time of 3.6 secs. 

     Priced at £470,000, by 1994, only 275 units of this sports car were built due in part to the recession of the 1990's.

                                                        Jaguar XJ220                 Image

The Jaguar XJR-15

     Launched in 1990, the XJR-15 Jaguar sports car was a road-going version of the XJR-9 racer. This mid-engined car was powered by a 6 litre, V12 XK engine which developed 450 bhp and 420 ft/lbs of torque.

     This produced a top speed of 191 mph, and 0-60 mph in 3.9 secs. Priced at $960,000, when production ended in 1992, only 53 units had been built.

     In 1991, the Jaguar International Challenge was set up specifically for the XJR-15 sports car, with three events a year, and prize money of $1 million.     

                                                       Jaguar XJR-15                 Image

The Jaguar XJ13

     In 1966, the XJ13 Jaguar sports car was introduced as a mid-engined sports racer aimed at entry at Le Mans.

     Powered by a 5 litre, V12 engine, which developed 502 bhp, and 386 ft/lbs of torque, it produced a top speed of 178 mph, with a 0-60 mph time of 3.3 secs.

     As luck would have it, later that year, regulations for entry at Le Mans were changed such that the maximum engine capacity allowed had been reduced to 3 litres.

     Only a single prototype was ever built and in 1971, as part of a promotional film heralding the launch of the Series 3 E-Type sports car, the sole XJ13 was almost destroyed when a rear tyre blew out. However, thankfully, it was subsequently rebuilt to all its former glory.

                                                            Jaguar XJ13                Image

The Jaguar C-X75

     In 2010, Jaguar cars launched the C-X75, a two seater concept sports car, based on hybrid-electric technology. The styling bore a striking similarity on the beautiful XJ13.

     Two miniature gas turbines charged a lithium-ion battery which was the motive power for four electric motors which each drove one of the wheels.

     This produced a total output of 778 bhp and developed a phenomenal 1180 ft/lbs of torque. This generated a top speed of 205 mph and 0-62 mph in 3.2 secs, and with a range of up to 600 miles.

     Unfortunately, in 2012, this magnificent sports car project was cancelled with only five prototypes having been built.

                                                       Jaguar C-X75                 Image


                                                 see All My Reviews

› Jaguar Sports Car

                    Got any stories about Your Favourite Jaguar Sports Car? 

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

                                                      Top of the Page


Jaguar History

Jaguar SS100

Lister Jaguar

Jaguar XJR-9LM

Jaguar XK120

Jaguar C-Type

Jaguar D-Type

Jaguar XKSS

Jaguar XK140

Jaguar XK150

Jaguar E-Type Series 1

Jaguar E-Type Series 2

Jaguar E-Type Series 3

Jaguar Lightweight E-Type

Jaguar XJ220

Jaguar XJR-15

Jaguar XJ13

Jaguar C-X75















Aston Martin


Corvette Stingray

Classic Sports Cars

Alfa Romeo