SS 100 Jaguar 2½-Litre Roadster

The name “Jaguar” was first applied to SS cars back in 1936, and the car it was used on was a saloon. Sir William Lyons described that first “Jaguar” mascot as looking like “A cat shot off a fence” so the mascot was redesigned and with Sir William’s approval fitted to the new 1937 SS 90 sports car which was a shortened and sporterized version of the saloon with the “shot cat” mascot.

Car registration number CKV250 was the first recorded SS car to wear the "leaping Jaguar" mascot.  It is seen here in 1937 outside the SS Cars factory which would become Jaguar Cars after the Second World War in 1945. (Picture courtesy Wikipedia).

Car registration number CKV250 was the first recorded SS car to wear the “leaping Jaguar” mascot. It is seen here in 1937 outside the SS Cars factory which would become Jaguar Cars after the Second World War in 1945. (Picture courtesy Wikipedia).

The 1937 SS 90 was a very pretty car but its 2.5 liter engine did not impress the motoring writers of the time one of whom described it as “All show and no go”. The engine was a modified 2.5 liter from a rather sedate Standard saloon car which was extensively modified for SS Cars by William Heynes and Harry Weslake who transformed it from a sedate side-valve into a high performance overhead valve churning out 100bhp to power a car that weighed 2600lb. The SS 90 was gorgeous to look at and with that leaping pussy cat on the top of the radiator it looked ready to be a world beater. But looks can be deceptive. That being said the SS 90 with its 100bhp engine was capable of 95mph with the windscreen folded down and it could accelerate from standing to 60mph in 13½ seconds. So it was capable of quite respectable performance, it was certainly quick enough to get you in trouble with Mr. Plod.

The 2½ liter engine was the only available option in 1937 but in 1938 a 3½ liter engine was made available. The 2½ liter continued in production however and is installed in this 1941 SS100.

The 2½ liter engine was the only available option in 1937 but in 1938 a 3½ liter engine was made available. The 2½ liter continued in production however and is installed in this 1941 SS100.

In response to the criticisms of the motoring press and to satisfy the demand for a car with competition performance the following year in 1938 SS Cars upped the ante with a 3½ liter engine and re-named the car the SS 100 to indicate it could do 100mph. The 3½ liter engine produced 125bhp and was indeed able to propel the car to 101mph and accelerate from standing to 60mph in 10.4 seconds.

Regardless of which engine was fitted this is the view most motorists would get of the SS 90 and SS 100.

Regardless of which engine was fitted this is the view most motorists would get of the SS 90 and SS 100.

SS Cars made 198 2½ liter and 116 3½ liter examples of this drop dead gorgeous thirties sports car. The fact that these are amongst the most beautiful sports cars to emerge from the thirties attests to Sir William Lyons impeccable sense of of aesthetics that would later give us the Jaguar E Type.

The 2½ liter engine looks impressive under the hood. The twin SU carburettors are bolted directly to the specially designed William Heynes and Harry Weslake cylinder head. The exhaust manifold shows attention to tuning and gas flow.

The 2½ liter engine looks impressive under the hood. The twin SU carburettors are bolted directly to the specially designed William Heynes and Harry Weslake cylinder head. The exhaust manifold shows attention to tuning and gas flow.

The white SS 100 in our pictures was amongst the last ever made and it was delivered in March of 1941 through a London dealer named Henly’s. As a collector’s car this SS 100 has a continuous record dating back to 1950 and comes with an extensive documented history including a buff logbook, letters and invoices and instruction book.

The car comes with instruction book and extensive documentation including registration book and early service record.

The car comes with instruction book and extensive documentation including registration book and early service record.

This car is so original that it has been exhibited at the Henry Ford Museum three times. Its condition as seen in the photographs is excellent.

With World War II already raging this car was no doubt made using parts that were still available in the factory. It does not have the "leaping jaguar" radiator cap mascot.

With World War II already raging this car was no doubt made using parts that were still available in the factory. It does not have the “leaping jaguar” radiator cap mascot.

This SS 100 was built and delivered in 1941, the year Hitler’s forces including his Waffen SS launched Operation Barbarossa (the invasion of the Soviet Union) and later that year on 7th December the United States would be brought into the war by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour and also the simultaneous attacks on Hong Kong, the Philippines, Malaya and Thailand. So this was a car built and delivered in a momentous year of world history. The somewhat anti-social activities of Hitler’s SS during the war would necessitate SS Cars changing their name to Jaguar Cars in 1945.

The interior of the car is classic Jaguar, classic thirties and looks to be a very exciting place to be.

The interior of the car is classic Jaguar, classic thirties and looks to be a very exciting place to be.

The white with red interior 1941 Jaguar SS 100 is coming up for sale by RM Sotheby’s at their Paris auction to be held on 8th February 2017.

You will find the sale page for this car if you click here.

This is a rare opportunity to acquire one of the last of the rare SS 100 ever made.

The SS 100 remains one of the most beautiful cars ever made.

The SS 100 remains one of the most beautiful cars ever made.

(All pictures courtesy RM Sotheby’s except where otherwise marked).

Comments are closed.

Privacy Policy - Terms of Service - Contact Us