From the posh streets of London’s Notting Hill to the restaurants in Fort Washington, PA, the iconic silver leaping feline that used to grace the hood of every Jaguar, and the roaring fierce wildcat face on the grille symbolize a history of power and beauty, grace and ambition. While the Jaguar emblem on hoods and style accessories is iconic the world over, what is its history?
The Swallow Sidecar Company was founded as a manufacturer for motorcycle sidecars in 1922 in England. A dozen years later they changed their name and became auto-maker SS Cars Limited. They produced the SS Jaguar a year later in 1935, with a badge of text that said “Jaguar” surrounded by a bird’s wings and tail. Ten years later the company was renamed Jaguar Cars Limited.
That same year they debuted the iconic silver Leaping Jaguar logo as a hood ornament, which remained mostly unchanged for over 50 years. The roaring jaguar face emblem appeared on occasion, usually on the grille. Seat belt and other safety laws in the late 1960s led to a shift in car design away from flashy exterior details like hood ornaments to a more safety-minded, aerodynamic streamlined style that’s now the norm in Mainline.
In 2005 the European Union passed legislation for pedestrian safety that placed restrictions on hood ornaments. They had to be collapsible to protect pedestrians in case of an accident. Jaguar, like many car companies, opted to eliminate hood ornaments instead of investing in a costly re-design.
Newer Jaguars in Doylestown and Fort Washington still feature the jumping jaguar, although he’s now in flatter form as badges on the driver’s side and rear of the car, on the wheels, and sometimes on the grille. He was redesigned in 2012 in silver, metallic gray, and black. The roaring cat is often on the grille.
Change is inevitable, but what hasn’t changed is Jaguar’s commitment to elegant performance, and Jaguar Willow Grove’s tradition of excellent customer service. Learn more about Jaguar’s current models from us, or schedule a test drive so you can feel the power behind the wheel of one of the most storied and legendary cars in the world.
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