25 years ago, the appreciation of the most fundamental aspect of an automobile—its road performance—was, like an interest in Babe Ruth, very much a part of our national attitude.
But as the automobile became more and more part of our standard "household equipment," the pleasures of driving "just for the fun of it" were almost forgotten in America. In England and on the Continent, however, the concept and development of cars that were designed not merely to be ridden in but to be stimulating and rewarding to drive continued to flourish. It is these cars, for so long known only to a few enthusiasts, that have created in the United States the ever-broadening "sports car" revival of today.
Just What is a Sports Car?
A true "sports car" is generally regarded as a car that can be driven effectively either in competition or on the highway. Specifically the sports car is more and more falling into three categories—the all-out competition car—the dual-purpose car and the sports-touring car. It is in these last two categories that the Jaguars illustrated belong.*
October 7, 1956
The ownership of a sports car is a ticket of admission to a large and companionable fellowship. And, while relatively few sports car owners ever take part in competition events, many share a sense of participation beyond mere spectatorship in the skill of the competition driver and the performance of his car. In a very natural way—through observation, conversation, and personal experience with his own car—the sports car owner comes to practise good driving as a conscious art. To make this art as practical and pleasant as possible is the objective of all sports car design. How well Jaguar has achieved this objective is revealed in a quotation from a respected automotive publication: "The Jaguar...is in fact one of the easiest and safest automobiles to drive being built today...has been and remains the standard of the world in the sports car category."
The performance flexibility of the Jaguar is amazing. A consistent winner in competition, incomparable on the highways, completely docile in traffic, it is responsive to the style and demands of every kind of driving.
Jaguar steering is sure and light; together with superb suspension, it gives the Jaguar driver complete control of his car on every kind of surface, curve and corner. Jaguar brakes are designed to match in stopping power the speed of which the car is capable. The driver of a Jaguar travels in the comfort of knowing as fact, not fiction, that his car is master of the road—capable of giving him performance up to—and far beyond—his every need.
The Five Jaguar Models
The Jaguar line includes the famous XK-140 Sports Roadster, with concealable all-weather top...the luxurious XK-140 convertible with fully lined top...and what has been referred to as a "jewel box on a sports car chassis," the impeccable XK-140 hardtop coupe.
In sedans, Jaguar offers the new & ¬´Two-Point-Four¬ª. This sports-touring car brings to the comfort of a four-door, five-passenger family sedan the exciting performance of a true sports car. Finally there is the ultimate in four-door sedan luxury and elegance...the new Mark VIII (available soon, but unfortunately not at the time this advertisement was prepared. Shown is the Mark VII). While the sports car purist will prefer the practical pleasures of the famous Jaguar four-speed manual shift, automatic transmission is available on all Jaguars with the exception of the XK-140 sports roadster and delivers truly remarkable performance by any standards. Each of these cars is made in the enduring traditions of British craftsmanship, from the heavyweight steel of the bodies to the hand-fitted glove leather upholstery within. Yet Jaguar prices remain well within the range of the medium-priced domestic car.
Buying a Jaguar
To best appreciate Jaguar performance, we urge you to drive a Jaguar, heeding this word from the editors of Road & Track: "The buyer who tests a prospective new car by taking a demonstration run around the block is an unwise buyer, and in the case of Jaguar its true riding qualities are best demonstrated by making an extended test over all types of roads."
Jaguar dealers are located throughout the U.S.A. and Canada. Through them you will receive expert Jaguar service from factory-trained personnel (a complete factory inventory of parts is maintained in the U. S. A.). For the location of your nearest Jaguar dealer or further details, write Jaguar Cars North American Corporation, 32 East 57th St., New York 22, N. Y., Dept. B.
*Of course, Jaguar also makes a competition car—the "D" type. Recent winner of the 1956 Le Mans 24-hour Grand Prix of Endurance, this car is virtually a "proving ground" for innovations of safety and performance. From its predecessor, the "C" type Jaguar, came the basic engineering characteristics of the "XK" models shown here.
JAGUARS AND THEIR OWNERS, FROM THE BOTTOM:
Specialist in motion—Senior Airline Pilot Capt. G. lives Relativity, feels earth-bound in a lesser car. His pride in his Jaguar XK-140 Sports Roadster is compounded of the engineering excellence he respects and the responsiveness he has come to demand of a vehicle in motion.
Responsible professional—Dr. D's mileage, mostly on country roads, averages 5,000 a month. He drives a Jaguar for the same reasons that determine his choice of a suture or a surgical instrument...unfailing performance. His XK-140 Hardtop Coupe gives him the same sense of security his presence brings to a patient.
Adroit PA—As Purchasing Agent for a going...and growing...suburban family, Mrs R. found the Jaguar offered heavier body metal, sure-footed roadability and a price that Invited comparison. Her choice, a Jaguar & ¬´Two-Point-Four¬ª reflects her eye for value, her concern for the safety of precious passengers.
Natural fans—Perhaps the J's are "the Jaguar type." (He's an art director.) All their possessions reflect an eclectic choice, a quiet preference for steel vs. chrome. Actually, their pride in driving well makes their Jaguar XK-140 Convertible almost a necessity.
Senior Sybarites—For the Banking L's, the Jaguar Mark VII's faultless balance in motion, its custom air, are a continuing source of comfort and pleasure. Their Jaguar is a symptom—of a lively, youthful approach to gracious living.