1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066

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Lot 111
1937 Jaguar SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer
Registration no. CKF 888 Chassis no. 18066

Sold for £ 264,500 (US$ 291,998) inc. premium
1937 Jaguar SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer
Registration no. CKF 888
Chassis no. 18066
• One of only 314 SS 100 models made
• Originally a 2½-Litre car
• Present ownership since 1990
• Carefully stored for the last 25 years

Footnotes

  • Launched for 1936, the SS100 was the first real high-performance model produced by SS Cars Limited and used a new Weslake-developed overhead-valve engine in a shortened SS1 chassis. The introduction of the OHV unit was considered to justify the adoption of a new name for the series, SS Cars boss William 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).

    '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, the design being 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 six-cylinder sidevalve engine and four-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 90mph, the SS90 was handicapped by the limitations of its sidevalve 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"-wheelbase chassis and a revised version of the 2,663cc Standard six which, equipped with Weslake's overhead-valve cylinder head and breathing through twin SU carburettors, now produced 104bhp.

    Although a fine touring car, the SS 100 was marketed as 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 SS 100 production was prematurely ended by the outbreak of war.

    Originally a 2½-Litre model, chassis number '18066' is one of only 314 SS 100s built. The car was supplied new in 1937 to Henlys, Jaguar's main distributor in London, for use as a demonstrator and show car (see Jaguar Heritage Trust Certificate and letter on file from the Jaguar Enthusiasts Club, dated 27th March 1990).

    'CKF 888' was purchased by the vendor's deceased husband at auction in February 1990 (bill of sale on file). It appears to have been imported into the UK earlier in 1990 (there is a photocopy C&E 386 form in the document file) while a plaque on the dashboard appears to relate to a previous owner: Dwight F Brooks of Pasadena, California.

    After acquisition, the late owner retrieved the original registration and appears to have had significant work carried out on both the bodywork and mechanicals, as evidenced by various invoices in the history file. Some of these invoices refer to parts for a 1947 3½-litre engine (the 'S' number prefix of the car's engine identifies it as such). Photographs in the history file show the car with the body removed, and also parts of the running gear. Following the work's completion, the car was used on an occasional basis for shows and rallies

    This car, along with others from the same vendor, has been standing for up to 25 years and like the others, was running and usable when laid-up. The vendor's husband died in 1996, and his collection of cars remained mostly unused from that time. They were all stored in a purpose-built, heated and dehumidified building, which the deceased gentleman had commissioned solely for the purpose of storing his cars. Having been standing for that period of time, they will require careful re-commissioning and safety checks prior to use by a new owner.

    Accompanying documentation includes a current V5C; two expired MoT certificates; miscellaneous papers; and the aforementioned copy C&E 386, invoices, and JEC letter. There is also a copy spare parts list and copy instruction book with the car, which is presently on SORN. It should be noted that the V5C erroneously records the engine number as '5529'.

    The SS100 was one of the fastest and best-handling sports cars of its day, as its competition record both before and after the war bears witness to. Representing a rare opportunity to acquire an example of the model that can be said to have started the Jaguar legend, '18066' is eligible for a wide variety of the most prestigious historic motor sports events.
Contacts
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
1937  Jaguar  SS 100 3½-Litre Sports Tourer  Chassis no. 18066
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