William Lyons and William Wamsley set up the Swallow Sidecar Company in 1922 in Blackpool, England. The six-man shop made motorcycle sidecars and by 1927 they began offering special sporting bodies on popular chassis for Austin, Fiat, Standard, and other small cars of the period. They moved to Coventry one year later, marketing their first car in 1931. That car was introduced to the public at the Olympia Motor Show in London in October 1931, instantly becoming a sensation. A Standard chassis and engine were used on the first SS1, and on this chassis was built a stunning coupe body with elongated bonnet and an extremely low-slung body. It was underpowered and Lyons immediately set about resolving the lack of power.
The name Jaguar debuted in 1935, coinciding when the first six-cylinder SS 90 was introduced on a shortened SS1 chassis. The roadster was a stunning looking vehicle with numeral 90 used to refer to the top speed. It was a smash hit, but speed merchants immediately wanted more horsepower, so 10 months later the SS 100 was introduced and remained in production to November of 1940. The initial version introduced in 1936 was powered by a 2.5-liter engine, upsized to 3.5-liters in 1938.
In 1936 the first SS 100 was produced. The SS 100 was the first true 100 mph sports car available to the public. In four years of production, the SS100 earned an exceptional reputation in winning road races, endurance contents and rallys. This car has a six-cylinder 3.8 liter engine generating 125 horsepower. The original selling price was $1,925.
The SS 100 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 car. Following World War II, due to the connotations then attached to the initials SS, the company was renamed Jaguar.
The chassis with a wheelbase of 8 feet 8 inches, was essentially a shortened version of the one designed for the 2.5-liter saloon, a car produced in much great numbers, and had first been seen in the SS 90 of 1935. Suspension was half elliptical springs all around with rigid axles.
The engine was a development of the old 2.5-liter Standard unit converted from side valve to overhead valve with anew cylinder head designed by William Heynes. The power output was increased from 70 to 100 horsepower. Twin SU carburetors were bolted directly to the cylinder head.
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-liter and 116 of the 3.5 liter models being made. Most stayed on the market but 49 were exported.
This rear-wheel-drive car is powered by a 212.7 cubic-inch, inline six-cylinder engine, fitted with twin SU carburetors, developing 125 horsepower and coupled to a four-speed manual gearbox. The 2,575-pound vehicle is capable of 101 mph and sold for $1,925.Also photographed at :