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SS Cars History

1938 SS Cars SS 100

Chassis number : 39010

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Sold for $451,000 at 2014 RM Auctions - Amelia Island.
Sold for $583,000 at 2015 RM Sotheby's : Monterey.
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.

This SS100 Roadster was purchased by Malcolm S. Pray Jr. in 1998. It is a 3½-Litre model, although the present 3½-Litre engine was installed at a later day. The engine is equipped with a performance-oriented, bronze-coated cylinder head, which is believed to have been installed by the factory only on cars intended for competition use. The car was originally finished in black with red leather upholstery before being delivered to its first owner, a Mr. J. M. Archer, in Scotland.

This car was the poster car for the 1999 Greenwich Concours d'Elegance, and it was Best in Class at Meadow Brook in 1999, Bridgehampton in 2004, and Cranbrook in 2005.

The body has been refinished in British Racing Green with biscuit-toned seats. There are Lucas headlamps, fender lights, dual fog lights, and both a folding windscreen and Brooklands racing windscreens.

Sold for $451,000 at 2014 RM Auctions - Amelia Island.
Sold for $583,000 at 2015 RM Sotheby's : Monterey.
The 3.5L SS100 was produced by the Swallow Sidecar 'SS' company. 117 were built between 1937 and 1939. Production ceased as WWII broke out. After the war, SS Cars changed their name to Jaguar, and production of SS models never resumed. The larger 3.5-liter engine, unlike the previous 2.5-liter version, comfortably achieved the namesake 100mph, hence SS100.

This car is rare because it is fitted with a pre-war competition cylinder head and block modified by John Heath of HWM Jaguar fame. Pre-war, the car competed in RAC rallies at Blackpool and Edinburgh. Post-war, it saw action at Brands Hatch and Brighton. The car was considered the fastest SS100 in the United Kingdom. The car has undergone an extensive restoration completed in 2018. It is finished in suede green a precursor to British Racing Green.

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2015 RM Sotheby's : Monterey

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $550,000-USD $750,000 
Sale Price :
USD $583,000

2014 RM Auctions - Amelia Island

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $300,000-USD $400,000 
Sale Price :
USD $451,000

1938 SS Cars SS 100 Auction Sales

Recent Sales of the SS Cars SS 100

(Data based on Model Year 1938 sales)
1938 SS 100 Jaguar 3½-Litre Roadster
Chassis#: 39032
Sold for USD$415,000
  2021 RM Sothebys : Arizona
1938 SS Cars SS 100 image  1938 SS Cars SS 100 image  
1938 SS 100 Jaguar 3½-Litre Roadster
Chassis#: 39048
Sold for USD$474,500
  2018 RM Sothebys : Monterey
1938 SS Cars SS 100 image  1938 SS Cars SS 100 image  
1938 SS 100 Jaguar Roadster
Chassis#: 49049
Sold for USD$572,000
  2016 RM Sotheby's : Monterey
1938 SS Cars SS 100 image  1938 SS Cars SS 100 image  
1938 Jaguar SS100 3½-Litre Roadster
Chassis#: 39064
Sold for USD$462,375
  2016 Bonhams : The Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale
 
1938 SS 100 Jaguar 3½-Litre Roadster
Chassis#: 39010
Sold for USD$583,000
  2015 RM Sotheby's : Monterey
1938 SS Cars SS 100 image  1938 SS Cars SS 100 image  
1938 Jaguar SS100 2½ Liter Roadster
Chassis#: 49049
Sold for USD$231,000
  2015 Bonhams : Greenwich Concours
1938 SS Cars SS 100 image  1938 SS Cars SS 100 image  
1938 SS 100 Jaguar 3½-Litre Roadster
Chassis#: 39032
Sold for USD$852,500
  2014 RM Auctions at Monterey
1938 SS Cars SS 100 image  1938 SS Cars SS 100 image  
1938 SS 100 Jaguar 3½-Litre Roadster
Chassis#: 39010
Sold for USD$451,000
  2014 RM Auctions - Amelia Island
1938 SS Cars SS 100 image  1938 SS Cars SS 100 image  
1938 SS 100 Jaguar 3½-Litre Roadster
Chassis#: 39039
Sold for USD$852,500
  2014 RM Auctions - Automobiles of Arizona
1938 SS Cars SS 100 image  1938 SS Cars SS 100 image  
1938 SS 100 Jaguar 2½-Litre Roadster
Chassis#: 49028
Sold for USD$396,142
  2013 RM Auction - London
 
1938 SS100 Jaguar 3½-Litre Roadster
Chassis#: 39065
Sold for USD$402,737
  2012 Bonhams - Collectors' Motor cars and Automobilia
 
1938 Jaguar SS 100 3.5-Litre Roadster
Chassis#: 39032
Sold for USD$423,752
  2011 RM Auctions - London
1938 SS Cars SS 100 image  1938 SS Cars SS 100 image  
1938 Jaguar SS100 3.5-Liter Roadster
Chassis#: 39048
Sold for USD$687,500
  2011 RM Auctions at Monterey
1938 SS Cars SS 100 image  1938 SS Cars SS 100 image  
1938 Jaguar SS Coupe
Chassis#: 30182X
Sold for USD$385,000
  2010 RM Auctions - Sports & Classics of Monterey
1938 SS Cars SS 100 image  1938 SS Cars SS 100 image  
1938 Jaguar SS100 3.5 Roadster
Chassis#: 39058
Sold for USD$242,000
  2010 RM Auctions - Sports & Classics of Monterey
 
1938 Jaguar SS100 3.5 Litre
Sold for USD$368,500
  2010 Gooding and Company - Pebble Beach Auctions
1938 SS Cars SS 100 image  1938 SS Cars SS 100 image  
1938 SS100 Jaguar 3½-Litre Roadster
Chassis#: 39051
Sold for USD$330,313
  2010 Bonhams - Les Grandes Marques a Monaco
 
1938 SS Jaguar 2½-Litre Drophead Coupé
Chassis#: 46131
Sold for USD$154,408
  2010 Bonhams - Collectors' Motor Cars and Automobilia
 
1938 Jaguar SS 100
Chassis#: 39032
Sold for USD$341,000
  2009 Sports & Classics of Monterey
1938 SS Cars SS 100 image  1938 SS Cars SS 100 image  
1938 SS100 Jaguar 3½-Litre Roadster
Chassis#: 39087
Sold for USD$327,579
  2009 Bonhams -Goodwood Festival of Speed
 

SS Cars SS 100s That Failed To Sell At Auction

1938 SS Cars SS 100's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1938 SS100 Jaguar 3½-Litre Roadster390832022 Bonhams : Goodwood Revival $400,000$500,000
1938 Jaguar SS100 2½-Litre Roadster490282018 Bonhams : Goodwood Members Meeting $250,000$300,000
1938 Jaguar SS 100 3 1/2 Litre390672017 Gooding & Co. : Scottsdale, AZ $450,000$525,000
1938 JAGUAR SS100 3½ LITRE ROADSTER390832015 Bonhams : The Frederiksen Auction   
1938 Jaguar SS100 2½ Litre The Kuala Lumpur SS100490342013 Coys Techno Classica $265,000$285,000
1938 Jaguar SS Coupé by Graber301822011 RM Auctions Villa d'Este$210,000$300,000$400,000
1938 Jaguar SS 100390272010 Bonhams Automobiles d'Exception á Rétromobile $200,000$250,000
1938 Jaguar 1.5-Liter 2007 Christie's Exceptional Motor Cars at the Monterey Jet Center $50,000$60,000

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1938 SS Cars SS 100 vehicle thumbnail image  1938 SS Cars SS 100 vehicle thumbnail image  
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1938 SS Cars SS 100 vehicle thumbnail image  1938 SS Cars SS 100 vehicle thumbnail image  
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1938 SS Cars SS 100 Profiles

1938 SS Cars SS 100 vehicle information
Roadster
Chassis #: 39010
Engine #: M1398E
1938 SS Cars SS 100 vehicle information
Sports Saloon
Chassis #: 50038
Engine #: K47
1938 SS Cars SS 100 vehicle information
Roadster
Chassis #: 39032
1938 SS Cars SS 100 vehicle information
Drophead Coupe
Chassis #: 46037
Engine #: L509
1938 SS Cars SS 100 vehicle information
Roadster
Chassis #: 39016
Engine #: M529E
1938 SS Cars SS 100 vehicle information
Coupe
Designer: Graber
Chassis #: 30182X
1938 SS Cars SS 100 vehicle information
Roadster
Chassis #: 39048
Engine #: M 549 E
1938 SS Cars SS 100 vehicle information
Roadster
Chassis #: 39039
Engine #: M536E
1938 SS Cars SS 100 vehicle information
Coupe
Designer: Graber
1938 SS Cars SS 100 vehicle information
Roadster
Chassis #: 49049
Engine #: T 9528
1938 SS Cars SS 100 vehicle information
Roadster
Chassis #: 39067