1938 Jaguar SS 100

3.5 Litre

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1938
  • Car type 
    Convertible / Roadster
  • Chassis number 
    39029
  • Engine number 
    M 546 E
  • Competition car 
    Yes
  • Drive 
    RHD
  • Condition 
    Original condition
  • Exterior brand colour 
    Jaguar Rust Red Metallic
  • Interior colour 
    Grey
  • Interior type 
    Leather
  • Number of doors 
    2
  • Number of seats 
    2
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Red
  • Gearbox 
    Manual
  • Drivetrain 
    2wd
  • Fuel type 
    Petrol

Description

Jaguar's ability to produce outstanding sports cars was first demonstrated in the 1930's with the SS100. The combination of Sir William Lyons design flare with the genius of mechanical engineer Bill Haynes could only result in one of the great British sports cars. After the good looking early SS90, which was produced in small numbers with a flat head 2.5 litre engine, Jaguar designed the overhead valve 2.5 litre SS100. The cars were stunning and much less expensive that the more exotic cars produced by firms like Alfa Romeo and Bugatti, but with similar performance. The more powerful 3.5 litre version started production in 1937 and finally Jaguar offered a car that could actually achieve the magic speed of 100MPH! Total production was 198 2.5 Litre cars and 116 3.5 Litre cars.

The SS100 cars did well in international rallies, with drivers like Tommy Wisdom driving in the Alpine Trial and other rallies and sprint events.

This car chassis number 39029 was sold through Jaguar main agents Henleys in London and on 1st February 1938. The original colours are recorded as "Rust Red Metallic" with matching red leather interior trim. All the numbers recorded on the build sheet are still on the car making it that very rare example retaining all its original components throughout. The car went to Australia early in its life presumably in the hands of the first owner because it does not appear to have been registered for the road in the UK. The first registration in Australia was in July 1939 to Richard De Coudrey Tronson. It then passed to Peter Moss, who ran it in the Rob Roy Hill Climb in 1946 and 1947. It then was sold to James Leech and then to Keith Thalllon. Thallon was a well known Australian race/rally driver who held several records in the car. He raced the car in the Australian Grand Prix at Leyburn in 1949, but unfortunately ran a big end bearing and had to retire. Subsequently the car passed quickly through 3 owners to the last owner in 1961, who kept the car until 2018.

Like many Jaguar sports cars SS100's offered performance and good looks at a reasonable price. As a result the fate of many was to be driven into the ground and become dilapidated, often being broken up for spares to keep other cars going. This car is one of the very few genuine SS100 cars that has survived intact. It has been well maintained over the years and the last rally it completed was a 1500 mile run in 2018. The early competition history is recorded with photos and documents on file including a letter from Jaguars to Thallon congratulating him on his competition success. Not only is the car a wonderful original example, but it has real provenance and history.