1940 Jaguar SS100 RoadsterSOLD
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Estimate: 125,000£-150,000£
Estimate: €182,000 - €218,000
Estimate: $250,000 - $300,000

AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Sold at a price of £156.450

From the Collection of Mr. Bernie Ecclestone

125bhp, 3,485cc overhead valve inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, beam front axle, live rear axle, and four-wheel mechanical brakes. Wheelbase: 104in. (2,642mm).

Jaguar Cars Ltd grew out of the pre-war, Coventry-based Swallow Sidecar Company (SS). Founded by William Lyons in the 1920s, the company produced attractive motorcycle sidecars and sporty car bodies for Austin, Standard, and the like. However, in an effort to increase business and become a fully-fledged car manufacturer, Lyons approached Standard Motor Car Co. about producing a modified chassis for his exclusive use. The resultant product was the SS 1, a very stylish, luxurious, and low car that, despite its lack of power, was very much a sales success with the public.

In 1934, when SS co-founder William Walmsley ended his 12-year partnership with Lyons, he left behind design concepts for an attractive two-seater sports car. Lyons saw merit in these sketches and brought them to fruition on a shortened SS 1 frame. Dubbed the SS Jaguar 90, the car certainly looked sporty and was relatively quick. It used a 2.5-litre Standard engine modified by Harry Weslake. Never satisfied, Lyons was looking for even more performance. Work therefore commenced on the SS 100 long before all 22 SS 90s were even completed. With slightly revised front wings, the design of the 1936 SS 100 was very similar to its predecessor. The distinction was primarily mechanical as the 100 received much bigger brakes, a revised suspension, and of course extensive engine work that reduced 0–60 times below 13 seconds.

The car’s one major revision came in 1938, when Lyons’s engineers bored and stroked the engine to 3,485cc. The overhead valve engine offered improved breathing and a stiffened crankcase to handle the additional stress. Output jumped to 125 horsepower with the sprint to 60 requiring less than 11 seconds. Most importantly for Lyons, the car was still competitively priced at less than £450. True to its advertisements, which read ‘primarily intended for competition work’, the Jaguar 100 was quite the racing success, competing in rallies and races in the UK and Grands Prix and hill climbs held by the Automobile Racing Club of America. In fact, Lyons even piloted the car himself at an exhibition race at Donington Park, winning outright!

The historical importance of the SS Jaguar 100 cannot be underestimated. As the connotation of the SS name changed in the light of World War II, the company’s name permanently changed to Jaguar and the 100 sports cars, few that they were, came to represent the ancestry of all the subsequent sporting

This particular SS Jaguar 100 started life as chassis EHP7, which was sent in July, 1940 to S. H. Newsomes of Coventry where it was one of only two such 100s fitted with Avon-built coachwork. Constructed as a two-seat drophead coupé with a fixed windscreen, its first known owner was one Anthony Woolastone of Stockport, Cheshire, in 1958, who eventually sold the car to Fred Brown of Portsmouth, Ohio, in 1967.

Thereafter, it was acquired by Jack Hilton of Carmel, California, before finally returning to England when it was purchased by David Barber of Diss, Norfolk. Barber, a Jaguar parts expert, restored the car, intending to enjoy it throughout his retirement but he died before logging any miles on it. In 1995, the car was purchased by Bernie Ecclestone and has remained in his collection ever since.

As presented, the SS 100 is fitted with a standard two-seat roadster body, which may have been fitted by David Barber as the original body presumably aged beyond repair. The white paint and replated chrome components remain in very good to excellent overall condition. The black canvas top is as-new, while the tyres on all five Dunlop wheels, including the rear-mounted spare, are generally in the same condition. In addition to the standard windscreen, a pair of Brooklands-style racing screens have been fitted as well as a driver’s side rear-view mirror. Naturally, the car features proper Lucas King of the Road P100 headlights, an original Jaguar tail light assembly, a pair of front-mounted horns, and Hartford friction shock absorbers.

Meanwhile, the red leather interior from the seats to the door panels is excellent, well stitched, and virtually devoid of flaws. The dash matches the car’s exterior and the correct gauges are either restored original pieces or excellent reproductions. All instrumentation and chrome trim is of the same outstanding calibre.

Showing evidence of minor road usage, the engine bay is in very good, restored condition; all wirings, fittings, and hardware, SU sidedraft carburettors included, are either correct for the period or original. The engine is a proper 3.5-litre unit, number M1086E, although it is understood not to be original to the chassis. Nonetheless, the car reportedly runs and drives perfectly.

As Jaguar’s racing successes continued to mount throughout the 20th century, the SS 100 was recognized as the forefather of this sporting pedigree. Although this particular example is beautifully restored and deserving of very careful maintenance, the occasional drive is certainly warranted, as it will reveal a character that is decidedly Jaguar and tremendously enjoyable.

Reference Number 13179

as of 9/14/2007

Car 1940 Jaguar SS100 Roadster
VIN 39115 
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