This Jaguar Factory Tour 1961 video is quite fascinating and made back in the days when Jaguar, which was founded in 1922 building Swallow Sidecars, was still a stand alone manufacturer before British Leyland got its mitts into it, and consequently the unions, who between them almost destroyed this famous car designer and manufacturer as reliability and quality control became secondary. Bill Lyons was getting on in years, didnt have a successor to take over the company, and in 1966 merged with BMC as it was known then becoming British Leyland. Amongst their brands were Rover, Landrover, Wolsely, Austin, Morris, Riley plus of course the famous Mini.
At one stage quality got so bad with Jaguar’s suppliers components they were told they would be billed all costs if their component failed more than once during a cars warranty period.
Even so most models became true classics in many countries especially those made up to the 1990’s.
People who owned Jaguars either loved them, or hated them.
Biggest problem with the later mostly laid with those who serviced them but didn’t fully understand the breed and how best to tune them. Consequently the car would never perform at its best and could be quite temperamental. I have had 3 Jaguars, a MkV, Series 1 JX6 and a Series 3 XJ6, both 4.2L. I did all my own servicing, tuning and repairs and I was always totally satisfied with the car’s performance and economy. I was lucky that a friend was well known locally as a Jag nut and I learnt several tricks from him.
The XJ6’s were both great handling cars and it was easy to maintain a comparatively high average speed on a trip without it being tiring, or feeling you were pushing the car to do it. The roads I mostly drove on werent super highways either but quite twisty and not very flat.
Ford made a successful bid for Jaguar in 1999, they were successful in re-establishing Jaguars reputation and continuing with a choice of models. In 2008 Ford claimed they never made a profit with Jaguar and sold it to Tata, an Indian company for $1.7Billion.
It is pleasing to see Jaguar is continuing on from the Ford ownership to live up to the reputation it established and enjoyed while its founder Bill Lyons controlled the company.
Enjoy the video and the largely done by hand machining and assembly methods.
Beneath this video are links to other Jaguar posts I have made.