1938 SS 100 3.5-Litre Roadster
Offered by Bonhams | Brooklands, U.K. | December 3, 2012
Swallow Sidecar Company was founded in 1922 by William Walmsley and William Lyons – and they built, well, sidecars. 1926 brought coachbuilding into the business. In 1932, they introduced their own car, the SS I and in 1934 Lyons founded SS Cars Ltd to continue the line of sports cars.
The SS 100 was introduced in 1936 and was nicknamed “Jaguar” by Lyons. The 100 referred the car’s capability to hit or exceed 100 mph. The engine was originally a 2.5-liter unit, but in 1938 a new 3.5-liter straight-six was introduced, making 125 horsepower. These cars were sporting: racking up victories around the U.K. and continental Europe. It’s one of the fastest, best-handling cars of the era.
The styling is superb and this one, in light green metallic, looks stunning. Only 116 3.5-liter cars were made and they command a price premium, with an estimate on this car for between $320,000-$400,000. The model lasted through 1940 and in 1945, the company changed its name to Jaguar, mostly because the initials “SS” had a much more sinister connotation thanks to the Second World War. For more information on this car, click here. And for the rest of Bonhams lineup at Mercedes-Benz World Brooklands, click here.
Update: Sold $402,800.