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Jaguar Founder Immortalised By University

Sir William Lyons, the founder of Jaguar Cars is to be immortalised in Coventry next month when a building is named after him.

The computing services centre at Coventry University, currently known as R block, will be dedicated to the memory of Sir William Lyons.

One of his daughters, Pat Quinn, will be present at the ceremony on 12 December. It is part of a programme of renaming university buildings after people who have made an impact on the city.

William Lyons was born in Blackpool in 1901. His early passion was motorbikes, and with a small loan from his father he was able to set up business with a partner making sidecars.

He then expanded into the coachbuilding business, convinced that a more prosperous future lay in building more attractive bodies for the cars becoming available to the motorists of the 1920s.

The growing company moved to Coventry in 1928.  SS Cars Ltd was incorporated in 1934 and William Lyons bought out his partner, who left the company.

The first SS Jaguar Saloon was produced in 1935. In 1945 the company adopted its present-day name, Jaguar Cars Ltd.  

Sir William, who was knighted in 1956 for his contribution to the British motor industry, dedicated his life to making his cars a success. A road at Cannon Park has also been named after him.

Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Goldstein commented:

"Sir William Lyons holds a very special place in the history of this City.

"His contributions will be long-lasting and have helped place Coventry on the global map.

"The university considers itself privileged to be able to name one of its key, high-tech buildings, after a man who is certainly one of the century's leaders."

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CWN / Education / Universities / Coventry University / 30 Nov 00
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