Sir William Lyons founded the company as manufacturer of sidecars for motorcycles in 1922. The original name of the company was Swallow Sidecar Company. After the Second World War the company name was eventually changed to Jaguar. Jaguar, who had also ventured into the car manufacturing sector, then merged with the British Motor Corporation. In 1984, the year they were listed on the London Stock Exchange, Jaguar became part of the FTSE100 Index until their acquisition by Ford in 1989.
Jaguar's first commercial success after the Second World War was the presentation of a range of appealing sports cars. Despite their high price tags, they were considered as value for money as they came with many of luxury features. Jaguar made a name for themselves by the construction of powerful engines that were built into street cars and Grand Prix winning racing cars. In the 1950s the house managed to win the 24 hours race in Le Mans, France, for four times.