Ninety four years ago, Sir William Lyons launched the stylish little car that eventually led to the later Jaguar range. It was the Austin Swallow, built by the Sir William Swallow Sidecar and Coach building Company in Blackpool, priced at £185.00 complete with detachable hard-top. It was described as a “miniature convertible saloon-coupe”, which would seem to cover just about everything.
Based on the chassis of the Austin Seven, the British “people’s car” of its day, it was followed by similar stylish variations based on Morris, Fiat, Standard, Swift, and Wolseley running gear. They led to the Standard-engined pre-war “SS” models and subsequently to the Coventry built Jaguar.
The Austin Swallow, shown in the header, was owned by Sophia Elizabeth Winnington-Ingram and was photographed outside the garage of the Lassington Rectory.