1934 SS1 Jaguar 20hp Tourer Coachwork by SS Cars Ltd Registration no. KV 9641 Chassis no. 248110 Engine no. 211156
Forerunner of the marque 'Jaguar' from SS Cars Ltd of Coventry, the SS1 predated yet epitomised the later advertising slogan, 'Grace, Space, Pace.' 'SS' originally stood for the Swallow Sidecar & Coachbuilding Company, which had been founded in Blackpool, England by William Walmsley in 1922. The company branched out into motor manufacture in 1926, its first major success being an attractive sports saloon on the Austin Seven chassis. The design was the work of Walmsley's partner, William Lyons, whose future Jaguar creations would confirm his reputation as one of the British motor industry's most gifted stylists. Relocation to Coventry followed and the Swallow range expanded to include models on Morris Cowley, Wolseley Hornet and Standard Sixteen chassis.
Marque status arrived in October 1931 with the launch of the SS1, a close-coupled coupé. Based on that of the Standard Ensign 16hp, the SS1's low, under-slung chassis was designed by Lyons and supplied exclusively to Swallow by Standard, which also provided the 2.1/2.6-litre six-cylinder sidevalve engine and four-speed gearbox. Lyons' design for the body was startling: the SS1's excessively long bonnet, tiny passenger compartment and helmet-type front wings suggesting that it represented the ultimate in high performance. In so doing, the SS1 went some way towards establishing the pattern for future Jaguars, combining sporting good looks with a better-than-average specification and all at a bargain price. Indeed, so successful was Lyons' new venture that production of Swallow-bodied cars ceased altogether in 1933 and SS Cars Limited was formed, initially as a subsidiary of the Swallow sidecar-building business.
The SS1 body style was revised for 1933 and the engines up-rated with alloy cylinder heads and improved manifolding, advances that raised the top speed to 75mph. For 1934 the SS1 gained a new wide-track chassis and slightly enlarged Standard engines of 2,143cc and 2,664cc while the body - now available in four different configurations - underwent yet another restyle. In this, its final form, the SS1 remained in production until 1936, by which time 2,503 examples of this ultimate version had been made.
When this SS1 Tourer was discovered in Japan it was without any documentation. Upon acquisition, the present owner contacted the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust and, with the exceptional help of their SS archivist, Alan Crouch, the car has been authenticated as an SS1 20hp Tourer originally registered to an F L Pearson on 20th June 1934 in Nuneaton. Further research, via the Coventry Museum of History, who hold some of the pre-war Coventry Council road tax records were able to ascertain that the car was last registered in the UK in 1962 to a Mr Barber of Harrow in Middlesex.
Although recently imported from Japan, it was felt the car had spent some time in the USA. In any event, the car was in Japan in the 1980s, belonging to a Japanese gentleman, who bequeathed the car to a couple who owned a country club in the Kobe area. We understand the lady used to drive the SS1 around the estate, but never on the roads. Two years after the lady owner passed away, her son sold the car to the present owner, who is now offering it for sale.
Having seen only limited use in recent times and none at all over the last two years, the car will naturally require re-commissioning at least before returning to the road. The car has been running although it will benefit from tuning and servicing. A JDHT Heritage certificate has been issued showing that the car still retains its original engine, chassis and body. So we are able to present to you a matching numbers car that oozes so much originality and original features. Alan Crouch has personally inspected '248110' and located the relevant numbers. He commented on its exceptional solidity, with strong ash frame supporting the doors very well. The Jaguar Drivers club are assisting with the re-allocation of the original Warwickshire registration number KV 9641, not the often used 'SV' prefix as erroneously mentioned in the title in the printed catalogue, the paper work for which should be available by the date of the sale.