SS100 Roadster

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.

Brough Superior SS100

1928 Brough Superior SS100

Offered by Bonhams, Yorkshire, November 16, 2011

The bike shown above is not the same bike offered by Bonhams at their Yorkshire auction (Bonhams keeps their photos to themselves). But, the bike shown above was actually owned by T.E. Lawrence (of Lawrence of Arabia fame). Lawrence was actually killed while riding an SS100 (sans helmet).

The bike offered by Bonhams is an early example – the SS100 entered production in 1924 and was produced until the war broke out and the company shut down production in 1940. Of all models, Brough Superior produced a little over 3,000 bikes, a third of which still exist today. The motorcycles were built to exacting standards – the highest standard for motorcycles built before or since. They were tested before being delivered and if they didn’t perform exactly to George Brough’s standards they were re-built until perfect. They were, and are, considered “The Rolls-Royce of Motorcycles.”

This model features the early 998cc JAP V-Twin engine producing 45 horsepower @5000 rpm (later models had Matchless engines). The ‘100’ in SS100 meant that they were capable of 100 mph.

They were expensive when new and they remain so today. The example offered by Bonhams is expected to sell for between €190,000 and €210,000 (or $250,000-$285,000). You can read the entire lot description here and about the sale here.

Update: Not Sold.