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

Dhf

Fans of historic motorsport of all eras have a treat in store over the May Bank Holiday weekend when race cars from the 1920s to the 1990s take to the track for the Donington Historic Festival (Friday 28th, Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th April)....

Fans of historic motorsport of all eras have a treat in store over the May Bank Holiday weekend when race cars from the 1920s to the 1990s take to ...

Jec Windsor Text Image

In aid of the Prince Philip Trust Fund, we’re bringing the Jaguar community to Windsor in May 2017 for one of the largest ever displays of Jaguars, Daimlers and SS cars - and you can join us.

In aid of the Prince Philip Trust Fund, we’re bringing the Jaguar community to Windsor in May 2017 for one of the largest ever displays of Jaguars, Daimlers and SS cars - and you can join us.

Club News

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. Few drivers went out to reacquaint themselves a...

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...

Austin Swallow Sports
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