1941 SS 100 Jaguar 2½-Litre Roadster
Documents: UK V5
- One of the last SS 100s built and delivered during March 1941 via Henly’s of London Fantastic continuous provenance from 1950
- Extensive history files, including a buff logbook, letters, and invoices
- Exhibited three times at the Henry Ford Museum
- All matching numbers, with its original 2.5-litre engine
The SS100 has remained a firm favourite amongst collectors and is undoubtedly one the defining British automobiles of the pre-war era. While the Jaguar name first appeared in 1935 with the SS90, greater fame was accrued by the short-chassis SS 100 Jaguar Roadster. The wheelbase was shortened to 104 inches, and as the name implies, 100 mph was on its horizon. With twin SU carburettors, it made 105 brake horsepower, and the four-speed gearbox had synchromesh on the top three gears. At 2,600 pounds, it had plenty of energy, and many owners chose to compete in them at Donington Park, Shelsley Walsh, and on the RAC Rally.
Only six SS100s were delivered during 1941, and these are believed to be the very last made; as noted on its JDHT Certificate, chassis number 49061 was despatched via Henly’s of London in March 1941 and registered later that year on 3 October 1941 with registration ‘GLB 300’, which it still carries today. The original owner is believed to be Captain George David Rollinson, who was the first registered keeper on its buff logbook from 24 April 1950. Later in 1950, it was sold to Reginald Rogerson Burton, who kept it for only 15 months, but clearly cherished his car as noted in correspondence with a later owner. He also provided period photos of his SS 100 in its original colours of black with brown leather. Burton sold chassis number 49061 to its next owner, Ronald D. Hadley, on 18 September 1951 and would keep it for another two years as recalled in characterful letters with Grahame Bull.
The SS100’s life took its most interesting turn in July 1953 when an American student, Carl Avery Bross, became its new owner and registered it at his residence, the Cavendish Hotel, on Jermyn Street. Bross would later be credited as one of the first Ferrari collectors in North America, mainly collecting important Grand Prix and sports cars during the 1960s. Bross had Jaguar carry out mechanical work and had the colours changed to white and red trim during his ownership. Following this work, Bross took his SS 100 with him back to Michigan. He almost immediately ended up selling 49061 to fund another purchase. Thereafter, Dr Russell Atchison became its first long-term owner, keeping his SS 100 for 34 years.
Chassis number 49061 would enjoy a very active life with Atchison, being used in SCCA time trails and road rallies. Most importantly, Atchison lent it to the Henry Ford Museum’s ‘Sports Cars in Review’ exhibition from 1955 to 1957, where it sat alongside D-types and other great competition cars of the time. Atchison kept his SS100 until 1989, when it was reimported back to the United Kingdom by Mr Shah of the Messenger Group, who had a considerable amount of sympathetic mechanical and cosmetic work carried out with specialists. The next custodian was marque enthusiast Grahame Bull, who went to extraordinary lengths to research and compile its three large history files, which contain a huge number of period documents and are a great credit to this SS 100. The current owner acquired chassis number 49061 in 2012 and has since spent several thousand pounds on maintenance whilst being driven gently; an RM Sotheby’s specialist has been driven in this SS 100 and can report that it performs extremely well.
The current mileage stands at 52,200 miles, which is believed to be genuine.
Presented in very fine condition and with all numbers matching, including its original 2½-litre engine, this very late SS 100 can be considered as one of the finest survivors of the marque. Ready today to be enjoyed by its next owner on rallies or roads, this SS 100 would greatly complement any collection.