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Jaguar - Grace, Space, Pace.

By Jarah Weinreich

The National Automobile Museum of Tasmania's feature floor has been transformed once again, to host a sensational display of iconic Jaguar motorcars. Jaguar: Grace, Space, Pace runs through until September 22nd, and features a diverse and unique selection of motorcars from one of Britain's most beloved manufacturers.

Sir William Lyons founded the Swallow Sidecar Company in 1922 with his business partner and fellow motorcycle enthusiast William Walmsley. Gradually, SS moved away from the motorcycle sector and into the niche car market, and in 1927 Lyons and Walmsley introduced striking coachwork to the humble Austin Seven platform. The move towards automotive manufacture culminated with the unveiling of the first SS sports car in 1931.

Following the Second World War, the name was changed to Jaguar Cars Limited. An example of Jaguar's early prowess is represented in the superb 1937 SS100 Jaguar, the instantly recognisable and much sought-after pre-war sports car.

The Jaguar XK120 was the company's post-war dream machine. Originally built as a one-off to showcase Jaguar's all-new straight six engine, the streamlined shape sent shockwaves through the automotive world upon its unveiling in 1948, and was soon put into production. The XK120 featured in our display originally ran in the 1953 Australian Grand Prix, and retains Borani wheels and lowered suspension.

Only fifty-three examples of Jaguar's C-Type sports racing car were built between 1951 and 1953. It retained much of the XK120's running gear within a futuristic body. Our display features an alloy-bodied 1953 C-Type replica with all period suspension and a 3.8 litre engine producing over 300 hp.

Like all previous Jaguar sporting products, the E-Type took the world by storm upon its unveiling in 1961. Powered by Jaguar's XK straight six, the streamlined shape was designed using the science of aerodynamics. The E-Type Coupe on display was subject to a full restoration after over twenty years in storage.

No Jaguar display would be complete without an array of the company's much-loved saloon cars. A magnificent 1949 Mk. V is displayed alongside an original 1958 Mk. IX. The Jaguar Mk. IX was the last of the company's traditional large luxury saloons before the new shape was phased in for the 1960s.

An exceptional Jaguar 3.4 Saloon is a valuable addition to the display. The 3.4 Saloon was launched in 1955, and represented Jaguar's entry into the compact sports saloon market. Production of the 3.4 ceased in 1959, and its successor was the iconic Mk. II. An original Jaguar Mk. II is featured in the display.

An immaculate 1977 Jaguar XJS is also presented in the display. By 1970, the E-Type was nine years old and although it remained popular, it was becoming very clear that Jaguar required a replacement. The XJS was launched in 1975, and immediately established itself as a Jaguar for a new era. A luxury high-speed grand tourer, the XJS combined the very best Jaguar qualities, and production continued until 1996.

For Jaguar enthusiasts, and anyone with an interest in fine craftsmanship, Jaguar: Grace, Space, Pace is a unique opportunity to view a remarkable collection of fabulous motorcars.

For further information contact Phil Costello (03) 63 348888.