Jaguar Cars Legacy Starts with SS Jaguar 100

Jaguar Cars Legacy Starts with SS Jaguar 100

The SS Jaguar 100 was the last of 4 'SS' models produced by SS Cars Ltd in Coventry.  The Nazi connotation of the 'SS' resulted in the name 'Jaguar' being used on all cars as of 1936, with SS Cars Limited officially changing its name to Jaguar Cars Limited on the 23rd March 1945.

However, it is the sleek design and distinctive appearance that has made many classic car enthusiasts consider the SS Jaguar 100 as one of the most aesthetically pleasing cars of all-time.

The SS Jaguar 100 was released in 1936.  The '100' was included in the name to reflect the theoretical 100 mph maximum speed, whilst Jaguar was an adopted animal name, a popular trend when naming products in the thirties.  At the time they had no idea that the name 'Jaguar' would still be associated with classy luxury cars in 2017.  Indeed, the SS Jaguar 100 was the first car to feature the legendary leaping Jaguar mounted on the radiator cap.

The SS Jaguar 100 was low to the ground and with a long wheel base (2.64 m).  The 2663 cc engine (increased to 3485 in 1938) projected out in front of the driver like the snout of a wild beast.  It roared when the driver pressed on the accelerator.  The open two-seater design allowed the driver and passenger to feel the wind rush through their hair as the 2.5-litre SS Jaguar 100 accelerated from 0-60 mph in 13.5 seconds.

The Second World War meant that only a limited number were manufactured between 1936 and 1940; 198 with the 2.5-litre engine and 116 of the 3.5-litre version.  The rarity of the car means that those in good condition can fetch in excess of £300,000.  A little more than the price in 1937 when the 2.5-litre  model cost £395.

Since the 1960s, a number of companies have manufactured replicas.  Many of the photographs in this blog were taken on the Suffolk Sportscars stand at the 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed.  Suffolk Sportscars produce 8-12 replicas per year, with many being exported.

In the mid-1930s, most British car manufacturers used SMITHS speedometers, tachometers and gauges.  All the gauges on the original SS Jaguar 100 featured the SS insignia, but were manufactured by SMITHS. 

For more information on the range of gauges designed and manufactured for the classic Jaguar cars, please contact us on:

Phone:  +44 1639 732200

Email:  [email protected]

Via the Website

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Tags: Jaguar, Jaguar SS 100, SS Jaguar 100, Suffolk Sportscars

Categories: Case Histories

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