Single family ownership since 1941 1936 SS Jaguar 2½-Litre Sports Saloon Registration no. RC 4599 Chassis no. 11469 Engine no. to be advised
In 1936 the new Weslake-developed overhead-valve 2,663cc power unit appeared in two new models offered by William Lyons' SS Cars Ltd: the 2½-Litre saloon and SS100 sports car. The introduction of the ohv engine was considered to justify the adoption of a new name for the series, Lyons later recalling, 'I immediately pounced on Jaguar as it had an exciting sound to me.' ('Jaguar' would be adopted as the marque name in 1943, 'SS' having by then acquired a somewhat tarnished reputation.) With 104bhp on tap from the twin-carburettor 'six', the newcomers' performance at last matched the style that had already become a company hallmark, and like all Jaguars since, the duo offered better-than-average specification at a bargain price.
An excellent example of this fabulous pre-war sports saloon, 'RC 4599' was first owned by one Benjamin Kieling and next (from 1941) by Air Commodore Bryan Nicholas, CBE, who had raced and rallied works-supported MGs in the 1930s. The SS was in constant use throughout WW2 when Air Commodore Nicholas was serving with Bomber Command, and in the early 1980s was restored for him by marque specialists Leaping Cats. Following its completion in 1983, the car was driven by Leaping Cats' proprietor, Graig Hinton in that year's 'Great American Race' from California to Indiana but was forced to retire after suffering a coolant leak (magazine article and press release on file). The original engine was replaced after the event.
Given by Air Commodore Nicholas to his son Rory, a Hong Kong resident, the SS continued to be maintained in the UK by the Nicholas family. Further refurbishment was carried out in 1992/1993 and again in 2004, and the car will have been re-commissioned by time of sale. Apart from some minor imperfections and wear, the body, paintwork and interior are said to be 'very good'. Following Rory Nicholas' death, 'RC 4599' is offered for sale by the family and comes to market for the first time in over 70 years. The accompanying history file contains the aforementioned magazine article and press release, (copy) SS register entry, a quantity of restoration invoices and Swansea V5 registration document.