On July 18, 1955, an entertainment icon was established when Walt Disney opened the gates to his unique vision of an amusement park for all ages—Disneyland. Some will remember that in those early days, visitors needed tickets to experience the various rides and attractions. The more subdued rides might call for an “A” or “B” ticket, but the most thrilling rides—the ones everyone wanted to experience—required the best and most valuable ticket—an “E” ticket. While Disneyland introduced the concept of the E-ticket to the general public, Jaguar was introducing its own version of a thrill ride for automotive enthusiasts.
The 1950s were halcyon days for Jaguar. With postwar demand for sports cars reaching record levels, Jaguar’s iconic XK120 two-seater quickly became a must-have amongst the American and European “sporty car” set. Alongside success in the showrooms, the decade also marked a period of near total domination by Jaguar in endurance racing, including 24 Hours of Le Mans victories in 1951, 1953, 1955, 1956 & 1957. Continued success on the track was becoming more difficult to achieve in the face of more technologically advanced competitors and the iconic XK range was beginning to look dated compared to products from Aston Martin, Ferrari, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche.
Become a Member & Get Ad-Free Access To This Article (& About 6,000+ More)
Access to the full article is limited to paid subscribers only. Our membership removes most ads, lets you enjoy unlimited access to all our premium content, and offers you awesome discounts on partner products. Enjoy our premium content.