Open Roads, June | Lot 124
1938 SS 100 Jaguar 2½-Litre Roadster
CHF250,000 - CHF300,000
| Walchwil, Switzerland
23 - 30 June 2021
- One of 198 of the 2½-Litre powered SS 100s
- Beautifully presented in black over tan interior
- Replacement SS 100 Jaguar engine installed as part of older restoration
- Offered with Jaguar Daimer Heritage Trust Certificate
Nomenclature plays a big part in the life of any car, and the SS 100 Jaguar has a claim as one of the most intricate. Foremost, the ‘SS’ part of the name – perceived by some in the modern day to be the model, rather than the marque – links to a former period of the vehicle manufacturer, Jaguar Cars. An early iteration of the company, Swallow Sidecar, evolved into SS Cars Ltd. before assuming life as the Big Cat. New SS models in the 1930s were given the Jaguar name, later to be transposed as the main nameplate of the manufacturer in the 1940s. The final piece of the puzzle, the ‘100’, pertains to the ambitions of SS to reach 100 mph with this model.
The SS 100 Jaguar followed closely in the footsteps of the preceding SS 90, slotting in as the sporty model from the marque and offered in roadster format. Among the most aesthetically pleasing sports cars of its era, the short-chassis SS 100 Jaguar also carries weight as one of the rarest. Only 198 of the 2½-Litre version ever left the Coventry factory, alongside 116 of its 3½-Litre sister model.
This Swiss-registered 1938 SS 100 Jaguar 2½-litre Roadster, documented by an accompanying Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust certificate, was built on 28 June 1938. The car was originally finished in Gunmetal over a Red interior. It was dispatched from the factory on 19 July 1938 and distributed through Henlys of London.
The SS 100 benefitted from a restoration carried out in London upon the sale of the car to a customer in Switzerland in the 1990s. The work has held up nicely with this example refinished in black over tan with a black convertible top. It rides on Dunlop Gold Seal tires mounted on chrome knock-off wire wheels, including a rear-mounted spare. Exterior features include a fold-down windshield with driver and passenger sideview mirrors, and for the more sporting drives individual Brooklands-style driver and passenger wind deflectors.
The example is powered by a replacement SS 100 Jaguar 2 ½-litre engine that bears the serial number shown on the re-stamped idenfication plate. The engine is fed by twin SU carburetors. The interior features a Bluemel’s Brooklands steering wheel, an engine turned dash housing a full suite of Smiths instrumentation, and tan leather trimmed seats. With the top down, a black top boot keeps the sleek lines of the car, while a black tonneau cover can be applied to protect the interior from the elements. Included in the sale is a file of service history and workshop receipts from 1991 to now, in addition to correspondence from the Swiss and USA branches of the Classic Jaguar Association.
One of 198 2½-Litre powered SS 100s, this example finished in its lovely color combination, would be a fine car to peruse the countryside.