Jaguar SS

1935 -1940



The SS90 was a British sports car first built by SS Cars Ltd in Coventry, England in 1935. In 1945 the company changed its name to Jaguar Cars Ltd.


The car used a six cylinder side valve Standard engine of 2663 cc with an output of 68bhp (51kW). The engine differed from the one used in the ordinary cars by having Dural connecting rods, an aluminium cylinder head with 7:1 compression ratio and twin RAG carburettors. The 8 feet 8 inch (2640 mm) chassis was a shortened version of the one used on the SS 1 and was also supplied by Standard. Suspension was by half elliptical springs all round with underslung back axle. The braking system was Bendix.


In 1932 the basic tourer cost £395. Twenty three were made. The car was 12feet 6inches (3.8m) long and 5feet 3inches (1.6m) wide and weighed typically 2,519.9pounds. True sports car performance had to wait for the SS 100 with similar styling and suspension but with the engine fitted with an overhead valve cylinder head.


Jaguar SS100

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 World War II, due to the connotations then attached to the initials SS, the company was renamed Jaguar.


The chassis with a wheelbase of 8feet 8inches (2.6m) 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 SS 90 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 converted from side valve to overhead valve with a new cylinder head designed by William Heynes and Harry Weslake. The power output was increased from 70bhp (52kW) to 100bhp (70kW). Twin SU carburettors were bolted directly to the cylinder head. In 1938 the engine was further enlarged to 3.5 litres and the power increased to 125bhp (93kW). 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).


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 will fetch well in excess of GBP100,000, a near concours example was sold by auctioneers Bonhams at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2007 for GBP199,500.


Country of origin

Great Britain

Numbers built


Produced in





Straight 6


Front, longitudinally mounted


cast-iron block and head


2.663 liter / 162.5 cu in

Bore / Stroke

73.0 mm (2.9 in) / 106.0 mm (4.2 in)




2 valves / cylinder, Sidevalve

Fuel feed

2 RAG Carburetors


Naturally Aspirated




body on steel frame

Front suspension

beam axle, semi-elliptic leaf springs, Andre Telecontrol dampers

Rear suspension

live axle, semi-elliptic leaf springs, Andre Telecontrol dampers




drums, all-round


4 speed Manual


Rear wheel drive




1143 kilo / 2519.9 lbs

Length / Width / Height

3810 mm (150 in) / 1600 mm (63 in) / 1370 mm (53.9 in)

Wheelbase / Track (fr/r)

2641 mm (104 in) / 1370 mm (53.9 in) / 1370 mm (53.9 in)


Performance Figures


70 bhp / 52 KW @ 4000 rpm


26 bhp / liter

Power to weight

0.06 bhp / kg

Top Speed

145 km/h / 90 mph

0-60 mph

17.5 s