Lot 163 - 1978 Jaguar SS100 by Suffolk
|Odometer reading||3,446 miles|
|Result||Sold - £34,412|
- Beautifully restored using many real parts and full weather gear.
- Comprehensive and detailed file including photographic build history.
Regarded as one of the rarest and most elegant of pre-war designs, the Jaguar SS100 was entitled to reflect its ability to reach 100mph and the model’s combination of style and performance undoubtedly set the course for the company’s future successes. With a total of just 314 original examples produced between 1936 and 1939, the SS100 is also one of the rarest with only 198 of the 2.5 litre and 116 of the 3.5 litre models being manufactured, most staying in the U.K. and, like its later C and D-Type siblings, generally considered to be one of the most aesthetically pleasing Jaguar cars ever built, with values of original cars continuing to rise steadily and remain beyond the reach of many enthusiasts. Although a fine touring car, the SS100 was marketed primarily for competition work. Its first major success came early, if somewhat unexpectedly, when Tommy Wisdom, crewed by his wife, won the arduous Internationale Alpine Trial in 1936, beating Bugatti, and bringing the fledgling marque to the attention of the continental public. This would be the first of many successful racing forays, including class wins in the RAC events of 1937 and 1938. Jaguar used a new Weslake-developed, overhead-valve engine in a shortened SS1 chassis. The introduction of the OHV unit was considered to justify the adoption of a new name for the series. SS Cars boss William Lyons later recalling, “I immediately pounced on Jaguar as it had an exciting sound to me” and was adopted as the marque name in 1943.
With such iconic branding as the Jaguar SS100, it was inevitable that companies would seek to produce recreations. The best quality and highest regarded of these recreations were offered by Suffolk Sports Cars with close to 200 cars being built to date. They are widely considered as having set the benchmark for others to follow.
Utilising an original SS100 to ensure exact and correct dimensions were achieved for the chassis, GRP moulds were taken from the original car to ensure that scale and tolerances were as accurate and close to the original as possible.
The vendor purchased this example from a retired engineer who built this car between 2016 and 2017 from parts supplied by Suffolk Sports Cars as a project. The detailed and extensive list of parts and directions are enclosed within the history file. Needless to say, the body is an exact copy of an original 1938 SS100 with a steel internal frame making it very strong.
The bonnet is aluminium replicating the original, with all-correct 200 louvres. A large number of parts are indeed identical to the original and will actually fit original cars as all parts are either new or reconditioned. The wooden flooring has been epoxy coated for durability and doubling pieces added as appropriate. Stainless steel fastenings have been used for durability and all wood mounted on the chassis rails utilise rubber gasket strips.
The engine is a 4.2 litre Jaguar XJ6 unit and was reconditioned by Ivor Searle Ltd and connected to a lightened flywheel. It has a stainless steel tubular exhaust manifold together with the rest of the system. Carburettors are reconditioned 2” SUs and electronic ignition is by a Powerspark distributor. The reconditioned four-speed gearbox has a rebuilt Laycock overdrive unit working on top gear with improvements made also to include softer front springs, quieter silencers and additional fuses for reliability. There are additional driving lights fitted which are wired to come on with main beam (via a relay), controlled via a selection switch on the dash and the fuel gauge has been electronically matched to the tank unit to improve gauge accuracy.
The headlights are replica Lucas Q596s and matching replica ‘owls-eye’ rear lamps can be found to the rear. There is a tonneau cover, hood and side screens in black mohair together with a cover to conceal the folded hood together with a lockable rear compartment with a lift-out lid. There is an extensive build file, book and DVD of the photographic build history. It also comes with all old MoTs plus a new 12 month MoT test certificate, various invoices, Suffolk build manual (with additional notes), an XJ6 manual and a large file of specifications. This represents a beautifully put together Jaguar, striking in Phthalo Blue with a tan interior and wire wheels. Difficult to distinguish it from the real thing!
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each Lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. All registration numbers, engine and chassis details are sourced from registration documents provided to Historics by the client or representative or HPI checks and buyers are to satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of these details. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.