Austin 7

The story behind the...

Austin 7 Swallow

William Lyons co-founded the Swallow Sidecar Company in September 1922 in Blackpool and commenced production of distinctive Motorcycle sidecars.

In May 1927, the company announced its Austin 7 Swallow which was initially a pretty open two-seater, soon followed by an equally attractive saloon. Austin eventually approved the Swallow bodied cars and Henlys of London placed an order for 500 of them.

As a result, Swallow outgrew their cramped Blackpool premises and in 1928 Lyons moved the whole business to Coventry which was fast becoming a major centre of car manufacturing. Six years later Lyons bought out his partner, renaming the business S.S. Cars. In 1945 S.S. had unfortunate connotations with wartime atrocities so the company changed its name to Jaguar… and a legend was born. A legend that started with a little car from Longbridge.