Before WWII, the company which became Jaguar was called Swallow Sidecars and it had diversified into making special bodies for cars, most notably for Austin Sevens. A Swallow body added about 15% to the cost of an Austin Seven, but was worth much more in street cred. In the 2018 movie, “Mary Poppins Returns” there is a standard Austin parked near the home of the Banks family but as the supercalifragilisticexpialidocious one flies off at the end, the Seven has a Swallow body. Gawd bless yew, Mary Poppins.
SS cars benefited from the styling genius of the founder, William Lyons, but were limited by bought-in chassis and engines. Many regarded them as All Show, No Go. Among their nicknames was “Wardour Street Bentley.” Wardour Street in London’s Soho district was home to theatre agents, movie companies, and the like. Lyons decided to make a car that would surpass any Bentley which at the time made sports saloons.
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