Early Days

From 1922 to 1934

The pre-Jaguar era of sidecars and Swallow bodied vehicles, covering the period from 1922 through to 1934.

The Swallow Sidecar Company was formed in 1922 by partners William Walmsley and William Lyons, a partnership that continued until 1934 when William Lyons bought Walmsley out.

The business was established to produce sidecars for motorcycles and although several conventional designs were produced, their most famous was the Zepelin, an example of which is still owned by the Jaguar Heritage Trust. The success of this prompted William Lyons to consider building specialist bodies for existing motor cars and after purchasing an Austin Seven chassis in 1926, a prototype open two-seater body was constructed and named the Swallow. The business was renamed The Swallow Sidecar & Coachbuilding Company. From this original prototype a contract was agreed with the Henly’s garage to produce this model along with a saloon version.

Although the sidecars remained an important part of the overall business until the mid-1930s, the Austin Swallows were very popular and led to the supply of bodies on other makes of motor car, like Morris, Wolseley, Swift and Standard, the latter being of particular importance to the future of the brand.

Due to increased demand the business was moved in Coventry in 1928, the heart of the British motor industry, to gain important access to the necessary facilities for expansion. Due to the introduction of an entirely new brand of car produced by Swallow, the bodies produced on other makes of car were phased out by 1934, although sidecar production continued until the immediate post second world war period.

Although the sidecars are not covered by the Club, the early Swallow vehicles are looked after by the Pushrod Forum within the Club.

Model Summary

Model Type:

Early Days

Production Dates:

1922 - 1934

Early Days Events

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The Jaguar Enthusiast' Club visit Hull in September.  For the first time, alongside a car show, we have a series of seminars on a range of topics including parts advice from SNG Barratt, oils from Millers Oils plus Jaguar memorabil...

The Jaguar Enthusiast' Club visit Hull in September.  For the first time, alongside a car show, we have a series of seminars on a r...

Mark Russell And Mark Gordon Cg

A day of classic racing at one of the best circuits in the UK. Join hundreds of car clubs and displays as well as get up close to racing legends.

A day of classic racing at one of the best circuits in the UK. Join hundreds of car clubs and displays as well as get up close to racing legends.

Club News

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Silverstone Classic 2017 was a real Jaguar experience this year. Over 400 Jaguars turned out to display on the Copse Banking area, a record number of XJ220's on track and the Jaguar Challenge made its first appearance at the event....

Silverstone Classic 2017 was a real Jaguar experience this year. Over 400 Jaguars turned out to display on the Copse Banking area, a record number ...

Cadwell Park Adam Powderham Pursues The Mid Field Pack

This 2.2 mile Parkland circuit is wonderful when dry but in the wet, with a grid full of Jaguars? A totally different story. Arriving on Friday for free practice, it was pouring & extremely slippery.

This 2.2 mile Parkland circuit is wonderful when dry but in the wet, with a grid full of Jaguars? A totally different story. Arriving on Friday for free practice, it was pouring & extremely slippery.

Austin Swallow Sports
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