Friday Matinee: Touring the Jaguar Factory in 1961 [Video]
For a company that got its start manufacturing motorcycle sidecars and aftermarket bodies for the ubiquitous-in-its-day Austin Seven, Jaguar has come a long way in its nearly 92 years of existence. Sure, it hasn’t been all wine and roses (as most owners of ‘70s and ‘80s Jags will be all too eager to tell you), but the British nameplate’s knack for combining striking styling with respectable performance and fairly advanced engineering has remained more-or-less constant.
Perhaps never was this knack more evident than it was in 1961, the year this promotional film was made. The company was still independent, and employing a fascinating mix of mid-20th century automation and centuries’-old hand-craftsmanship to create a range of charming sedans (and the sporty newcomer for ’61, the E-Type) out of the sprawling Browns Lane factory in Coventry, which stood proudly in a mostly residential part of town until it was razed in 2008, three years after the last new Jaguar purred out the door. But while Ms. Cyrus’ favorite instrument of demolition may have erased the edifice itself, the images, memories and, most importantly, the products of the old plant will live on for many, many years to come.