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CATEGORIES (articles) > Cars we emulate > Jaguar > Jaguar SS100

Jaguar SS100

Jaguar SS100
Jaguar SS 100 Sport
Manufacturer: SS Cars Ltd
Production: 1936–1940
Predecessor: SS 90
Successor: Jaguar XK120
Class: Sports car
Body style: Roadster

The SS100 was a British 2 seat sports car built between 1936 and 1940 by SS Cars Ltd of Coventry, England. The last one is thought to have been delivered in 1941. In 1936 the name Jaguar was given to a new saloon car and from then on to all the cars. Following the war, due to the connotations then attached to the initials SS, the company was renamed Jaguar.

Jaguar SS 100 Saloon
Jaguar SS 100 Saloon

The chassis with a wheelbase of 8 feet 8 inches was essentially a shortened version of the one designed for the 2.5 litre saloon, a car produced in much greater numbers, and had first been seen in the SS90 of 1935. Suspension was on half elliptical springs all round with rigid axles. The engine was a development of the old 2.5 litre Standard unit. By this time it had been converted from side valve to overhead valve with a new cylinder head designed by William Heynes and Harry Weslake the power output had increased from 70 bhp to 100 bhp. Twin SU carburettors were fitted bolted directly to the cylinder head. In 1938 the engine was further enlarged to 3.5 litres and the power increased to 125 bhp. The four speed gearbox had synchromesh on the top 3 ratios. Brakes were by Girling. The complete car weighed just over 23 cwt (2600 pounds, 1150kg).

On test by The Autocar in 1937 the 2.5 litre (20 RAC hp rating) car was found, with the windscreen lowered, to have a maximum speed of 95 mph and a 0 to 60 mph time of 13.5 seconds. With the 3.5 litre (25 RAC hp rating) the top speed reached the magic 100 mph with a best of 101 mph over the quarter mile and the 0 - 60 mph coming down to 10.4 seconds.

In 1937 the 2.5 litre car cost GBP395 and in 1938 the 3.5 litre GBP445. The coupé, of which only one was made, was listed at GBP595. A few examples were supplied as chassis only to external coachbuilders.

Widely considered to be one of the most aesthetically pleasing Jaguar cars it is also one of the rarest with only 198 of the 2.5 litre and 116 of the 3.5 litre models being made. Most stayed on the home market but 49 were exported. Cars in good condition are reckoned to fetch in the region of GBP100,000 but auction sales are so infrequent the car is impossible to price accurately.

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