1938 JAGUAR SS100 3½ LITRE ROADSTER  Chassis no. 39083 Engine no. M1059E

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Lot 7
1938 JAGUAR SS100 3½ LITRE ROADSTER

Sold for DKK 3,335,000 (US$ 503,090) inc. premium
1938 JAGUAR SS100 3½ LITRE ROADSTER

Chassis no. 39083
Engine no. M1059E

3,485 cc OHV Inline 6-cylinder Engine
Twin SU Carburettors
125 bhp at 4,500 rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Leaf Spring Suspension
4-Wheel Drum Brakes

*A quintessential pre-war English Sports Car
*One of only 116 cars with the large 3½ litre engine
*Expertly restored down to the last detail
*Excellent car for prominent tours and rallies
*Offered with copy of Jaguar Heritage Trust Certificate and Registry records and FIVA papers



THE SS100

Launched for 1936, the SS100 was the first real high-performance model produced by SS Cars Limited, powered by a new Weslake-developed overhead-valve engine in a shortened SS1 chassis. SS Cars felt that the introduction of the overhead valve unit justified the adoption of a new name for the series. As SS Cars boss William Lyons later recalled: "I immediately pounced on Jaguar as it had an exciting sound to me". In point of fact, "Jaguar" would be adopted as the marque name in 1943, "SS" having by then acquired a somewhat tarnished reputation.

"SS" originally stood for the Swallow Sidecar & Coachbuilding Company, which had been founded in Blackpool, England by William Walmsley. The company branched out into motor manufacture in 1926, its first major success being an attractive sports saloon on the Austin Seven chassis, where the design was the work of Walmsley's partner, one William Lyons. 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, the chassis of which was supplied exclusively to Swallow by Standard, who also provided the 6-cylinder side-valve engine and 4-speed gearbox. Although unspectacular in performance, 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.

By the time the SS90 sports car arrived in 1935, William Heynes had joined as Chief Engineer. Based on a shortened SS1 chassis, re-engineered by Heynes, the SS90 again demonstrated Lyons' consummate skill as a stylist, its long bonnet, smoothly flowing wings, cut-away doors and truncated tail making it every inch the epitome of the 1930s sports car. Although good for 90 mph, the SS90 was handicapped by the limitations of its side-valve engine, a deficiency that would soon be rectified by another of Lyons' new recruits, gas-flow consultant Harry Weslake. Launched in 1936 alongside the 2½ Litre saloon, the SS100 Jaguar sports car marked the company's first use of the "Jaguar" name. Beautifully styled in the manner of its SS90 predecessor, the newcomer employed a shorter, 102 inch wheelbase chassis and a revised version of the 2,663 cc Standard six which, equipped with Weslake's overhead-valve cylinder head and breathing through twin SU carburetors, now produced 104 bhp. In 1938, a 3½ Litre version producing 125 bhp was added to the range, the larger engine's extra power making the SS100 a genuine 100 mph car.

Although a fine touring car, the SS100 was marketed as suited primarily for competition work. Its first major success came early, if somewhat unexpectedly, when Tommy Wisdom, crewed by his wife, won the arduous International Alpine Trial in 1936, beating Bugatti and bringing the fledgling marque to the attention of the Continental public. This would be the first of many successful rallying forays, including class wins in the RAC events of 1937 and 1938, and the Alpine (outright) again in 1948. Around 198 2½ Litre and 116 of the later 3½ Litre cars had been made by the time SS100 production was prematurely ended by the outbreak of war.


THE MOTOR CAR OFFERED

According to the SS100 register published by the Classic Jaguar Foundation, chassis 39083 was finished by SS Cars on 11 August 11 1938. Two days later on 13 August 1938, the car was delivered new by Appleyard of Leeds to a certain W.A.G. Watson. The original colour was battleship grey, complemented by a silver interior. Its first registration was CWX333.

According to the FIVA pass for the car, chassis 39083 belonged to Howard Kerr in Oklahoma in the United States from about 1940 until his death in 1965. Kerr was an Oklahoma governor and later senator, as well as a wealthy business man with interests in oil and gas and co-owner of Howell-Kerr Inc. During his tenure, chassis 39083 was displayed in Oklahoma City in Preservation Hall, which was home of the Howell-Kerr Collection. It seems that after the passing of Kerr, his son Robert sold off a number of cars, including the SS100, due to financial difficulties.

It is not known when the car came to Switzerland, but according to the history file in German which comes with the car, a certain Monsieur Duse in Switzerland owned chassis 39083 "for a very long time", having purchased it from a fellow Swiss who wished to remain anonymous. On 10 April 1979, Monsieur Duse sold the car to a dentist named Jean-Paul Imesh of Sjön, Switzerland. Imesh commissioned a restoration that was performed by Isidor Elsig in Mollens, Switzerland. Sometime after this restoration was completed, the car was damaged in a fire.

On 12 August 2000, chassis 39083 was acquired by Hans-Dieter Hensel of Meschede, Germany in a deal that was possibly brokered by a certain Monsieur Perego in Lausanne. At the time of Mr. Hensel's acquisition, the car was in deplorable condition, and it was evident that it had been in storage for an extended period of time. The engine was free, but in poor condition with several non-original ancillaries. It was ascertained that the body and interior had suffered some fire damage, while the rear wings, the bonnet, grille and headlights had also been damaged due to objects having fallen onto the car. The interior was incomplete and partially incorrect, while various unoriginal switches had been used to facilitate quick repairs over the years.

The car was completely disassembled and the body was removed from the chassis. Then followed a nut and bolt restoration of the engine, as well as all other mechanical parts on the chassis, including brakes, front and rear axles, drivetrain, suspension and cooling system. The chassis was sandblasted and painted, while the body was stripped to the bare metal, and repairs to the original sheet metal were performed with great care. Finally, the body was painted in a gunmetal grey with clearcoat. A new stainless steel exhaust and petrol tank were manufactured, and the car was rewired. The brightwork was re-chromed and the interior and tonneau cover were restored in accordance with original patterns by professionals in Coventry. All ancillaries, switches and lights were brought back to correct, original specification, using original items procured with substantial difficulty and equally substantial expense.

In the end, more than 1,300 hours were spent bringing this classic sports car back to life, at a cost of EUR 110,000. Two large folders accompany the car which include detailed bills of the restoration. By 2007, the car was in the possession of Jürgen Niedermeyer in Frankfurt, and then acquired by Henrik Frederiksen. It is difficult to imagine a British sports car that is more classic in every sense of that word than the SS100. The shape is iconic and instantly recognizable. It is a car that is perhaps the purest expression anywhere of wind-in-the-hair motoring with nary a creature comfort to spoil the fun. The wind, the noise, the smell of oil and leather – all combine with the rorty and powerful engine to blow away the cobwebs and provide a no-nonsense hands-on thrill that no closed car can ever deliver.


BILEN DER TILBYDES

Ifølge SS100 registret, som er udgivet af Classic Jaguar Foundation, blev chassis 39083 færdigbygget af SS Cars den 11. august 1938. To dage senere den 13. august blev bilen leveret af Appleyard i Leeds til den første ejer, en vis W.A.G. Watson. Bilen var lakeret i battleship grey, og interiøret var udført i sølvfarvet læder.

Det fremgår af bilens FIVA pas, at fra omkring 1940 tilhørte den en vis Howard Kerr i Okahoma i USA. Kerr var guvernør i Oklahoma og senere senator samt en velhavende forretningsmand indenfor olie og gas. Han beholdt bilen frem til sin død i 1965, hvorefter hans søn solgte bilen sammen med en del andre køretøjer fra Kerr samlingen.

Det vides ikke, hvornår bilen kom til Europa, men den havde et antal ejere i både Schweiz og Tyskland. En af dens schweiziske ejere fik bilen restaureret, men kort derefter blev bilen brandskadet. I år 2000 var bilen i dårlig stand og en ny tysk ejer gav 39083 en komplet restaurering, hvor alle komponenter og dele blev professionelt renoverede. Det tog mere en 1.300 mandetimer inden opgaven var færdig, og omkostningerne løb op i EUR 110.000.

Det er svært at forestille sig en engelsk sportsvogn, som i helt bogstavelig forstand er mere klassisk end en SS100. Bilens linjer er ikoniske og genkendelsesfaktoren er tårnhøj. En SS100 er nok det reneste udtryk for wind-in-the-hair motoring – duften af olie og læder kombineret med den kraftige motor leverer ganske enkelt en direkte og kontant oplevelse, som kun en rigtig klassisk engelsk sportsvogn kan.

EU Taxes paid
With Danish Registreringsattest
Contacts
1938 JAGUAR SS100 3½ LITRE ROADSTER  Chassis no. 39083 Engine no. M1059E
1938 JAGUAR SS100 3½ LITRE ROADSTER  Chassis no. 39083 Engine no. M1059E
1938 JAGUAR SS100 3½ LITRE ROADSTER  Chassis no. 39083 Engine no. M1059E
1938 JAGUAR SS100 3½ LITRE ROADSTER  Chassis no. 39083 Engine no. M1059E
1938 JAGUAR SS100 3½ LITRE ROADSTER  Chassis no. 39083 Engine no. M1059E
1938 JAGUAR SS100 3½ LITRE ROADSTER  Chassis no. 39083 Engine no. M1059E
1938 JAGUAR SS100 3½ LITRE ROADSTER  Chassis no. 39083 Engine no. M1059E
1938 JAGUAR SS100 3½ LITRE ROADSTER  Chassis no. 39083 Engine no. M1059E
1938 JAGUAR SS100 3½ LITRE ROADSTER  Chassis no. 39083 Engine no. M1059E
1938 JAGUAR SS100 3½ LITRE ROADSTER  Chassis no. 39083 Engine no. M1059E
1938 JAGUAR SS100 3½ LITRE ROADSTER  Chassis no. 39083 Engine no. M1059E
1938 JAGUAR SS100 3½ LITRE ROADSTER  Chassis no. 39083 Engine no. M1059E
1938 JAGUAR SS100 3½ LITRE ROADSTER  Chassis no. 39083 Engine no. M1059E
1938 JAGUAR SS100 3½ LITRE ROADSTER  Chassis no. 39083 Engine no. M1059E
1938 JAGUAR SS100 3½ LITRE ROADSTER  Chassis no. 39083 Engine no. M1059E
1938 JAGUAR SS100 3½ LITRE ROADSTER  Chassis no. 39083 Engine no. M1059E
1938 JAGUAR SS100 3½ LITRE ROADSTER  Chassis no. 39083 Engine no. M1059E
1938 JAGUAR SS100 3½ LITRE ROADSTER  Chassis no. 39083 Engine no. M1059E
1938 JAGUAR SS100 3½ LITRE ROADSTER  Chassis no. 39083 Engine no. M1059E
1938 JAGUAR SS100 3½ LITRE ROADSTER  Chassis no. 39083 Engine no. M1059E
1938 JAGUAR SS100 3½ LITRE ROADSTER  Chassis no. 39083 Engine no. M1059E
1938 JAGUAR SS100 3½ LITRE ROADSTER  Chassis no. 39083 Engine no. M1059E
1938 JAGUAR SS100 3½ LITRE ROADSTER  Chassis no. 39083 Engine no. M1059E
1938 JAGUAR SS100 3½ LITRE ROADSTER  Chassis no. 39083 Engine no. M1059E
1938 JAGUAR SS100 3½ LITRE ROADSTER  Chassis no. 39083 Engine no. M1059E
1938 JAGUAR SS100 3½ LITRE ROADSTER  Chassis no. 39083 Engine no. M1059E
1938 JAGUAR SS100 3½ LITRE ROADSTER  Chassis no. 39083 Engine no. M1059E
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