SS and JAGUAR Cars Continuation Page 0 keywords = Jaguar SS history car auto Standard Swallow Sidecar Coventry XK XJ Supermarine S6b saloon drophead Earl's Court one off

Updated:  13 May 2014; 12:25 ET
[Page created 06 Feb 2004; converted 13 May 2011;

    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]
[was at ""]

S. Berliner, III
Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"

[consultation is on a fee basis]

Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher

note - The vast bulk of my massive Web presence (over 485 pages) had been hosted by AT&T's WorldNet service since 30 May 1996; they dropped WorldNet effective 31 Mar 2010 and I have been scrambling to transfer everything.  Everything's saved but all the links have to be changed, mostly by hand.  See my Transfer Page for any updates on this tedious process.

S. Berliner, III's

SS and Jaguar Cars
Continuation Page 0

SS1 Alpine Sports Tourer
WS 5777 had just come available in England
  (as of 11 Jan 04) and sold instantly!

SS1 Alpine WS 5777
(cropped from Jan 04 photo by owner's agent - all right reserved)
[Thumbnail image - click on picture for much larger image.]

(Click HERE for more information)

Wild '34 SS One Custom Classic Cat had just come available:

(photo courtesy of present owner - all rights reserved)

SS and JAGUAR - Continued

The first page was originally "jaguar.html".

1933 SS1 Coupé Hood Ornament
(photo from Switzerland by permission - all rights reserved to source)

1935 SS1 CMA 490 badge
(cropped from 1935 SS1 CMA 490 photo from Japan by permission - all rights reserved to source)

SS100 F. H. Coupé Badge
(photo by and © 1961 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

Jag Mk IV DHC Gilmore
(cropped and silhouetted from Aug 2004 photo by K. Parker - all rights reserved)

JagCat1Mascot JagCat2Badge
(18 Feb 04 photos by and © 2004 S. Berliner, III - all right reserved)

NOTE:  Page size was limited by HTML to some 30kB; thus, I was forced to add this Continuation Page.
You may also wish to visit the preceding SS and Jaguar Cars, Continuation Page 1, and Continuation Page 2, etc., as well.


Main SS and Jaguar Cars Page:
  Nomenclature - S.S. vs. SS, Mark IV, etc.
  SS and Jaguar Miscellany.

This Continuation Page 0:
  SS and Jaguar Miscellany - continued (partially moved here from the main SS and Jaguar Cars page
  & nbsp; and continuation page 1 on 06 and 20 Feb 04).

SS and Jaguar Cars Continuation Page 1:
  SS and Jaguar Museums (moved here 29 Apr 02).
  Jaguar Cars, Limited - the Company (moved here 29 Apr 02).
  Brief History of the SS1 (moved here 29 Apr 02).
  SS and Jaguar Miscellany - continued.
  Old Photos. SS and Jaguar Cars Continuation Page 2:
  More SS and Jaguar Apocrypha.
  SS and Jaguar Bibliography.

This Continuation Page 3:   [Original SS Alpine Tourer moved to page 5 on 06 Feb 04.]
  More SS and Jaguar Material.
  Dick Strever's SS and Jaguar Cars.
  HELP! - please see requests (and offers) which I, at my sole discretion,

may choose to append at the bottom of this page. SS and Jaguar Cars Continuation Page 4:
  [The SS One "Alpine" Controversy moved to page 5 on 06 Feb 04.]
  1936 SS One DHC DPA 342

SS and Jaguar Cars Continuation Page 4:
  Original SS Alpine Tourer (moved from page 3 on 06 Feb 04).
  The SS One "Alpine" Controversy. (moved from page 3 on 06 Feb 04).

SS and Jaguar Cars Continuation Page 6:
  SS One Alpine Tourer AYY 987.
  The SS Magazine - Vol. 1 No. 1.
  1934 Alpine Rallye Plaque.

Jaguar Page:
  XK-120 and Mk. VII and later Jaguar (not SS) cars.

Original SS One Tourer

All material moved to SS Jaguar page 5 and combined with The SS One "Alpine" Controversy on 06 Feb 04.

note-rt.gif - These SS Jaguar pages had been overloading with great regularity, lately, so I had created this page to focus on the original and additional SS and Jaguar Miscellany, moving information and images here from the main SS Jaguar page and continuation page 1.

SS and Jaguar Miscellany - continued

(partly moved and continued here from the main SS Jaguar page on 19 Sep 03 and then further on 06 and 20 Feb 04)

The coachwork on my '48 3½-litre drophead could be distinguished from pre-war coachwork by the lack of a horizontal strip of bodymetal between the boot (trunk, dummy!) and the spare tyre (tire to you) compartment.  Pre-war bodies had such a strip, perhaps 3" to 4" high, whereas the boot and tyre compartment lids were contiguous (you certainly wouldn't want them to actually touch!) on post-war bodies.  For more on this distinction, see SS and Jaguar Boot Coachwork.   rew (22 Sep 2013)

In addition, the pre-war belt line chrome trim strip broadened toward the rear in a spear shape, whereas the post-war cars had a thin strip of fixed width all the way to the rear.

Who even knows the difference between the XK120 and the XK120M?  The M had dual exhausts and those damnable chromed-wire wheels (hydrogen embrittlement, don'cha know?  Later stainless steel spokes did away with the regular "pingggg, clackety clack, clack, clack!" of failing spokes!).  Incidentally, there never NEVER WAS an XK120MC; that didn't come along until the XK140.

One searingly hot day, I stopped the '48 Mark IV for a while on an unshaded spot of asphalt on the east side of Causeway (at Barrett Road opposite the Lawrence Village Country Club, to be exact) in Lawrence; when I got back in to drive off, the car stalled.  I tried again, several times, and the car kept stalling, even though it was running very well.  Finally, after I tried unsuccessfully to rock it loose, it leaped forward and went off down the road LUMPETY-BUMP, LUMPETY-BUMP, no way at all for a Jaguar to run!  A quick examination of the 5x19 tires and the parking spot showed just why; the tires had sunk into, and bonded with, the asphalt and one chunk of pavement came away with each tire!  A lot of energetic scraping was required to proceed.  Something similar happened to a tank during Ordnance testing at Aberdeen Proving Ground.

Let me tell you of the day I drove back to Long Island from Aberdeen, Maryland, in the Mark IV drophead, on another searingly hot summer Friday evening.  Coming out of the Queens-Midtown Tunnel from Manhattan into Long Island City, I came across another Mark IV sitting in the toll plaza, dead; the driver was stumped - he'd had no trouble until he sat in the jammed toll lane.  Knowing from bitter experience what was wrong, I borrowed a terry towel and some cold water, wrapped the wet end of the towel around the Lucas electric fuel pump and propped the bonnet (hood) open at the cowl end with the dry end.  Là, voilà; she schooned!  He'd had a classic SS/Jag vapor lock in the pump, located as it was at the top of the firewall, just under the bonnet, the hottest part of the engine compartment away from the exhaust.

Then there was the delicious incident near that same toll plaza one evening when I stopped at the first traffic light eastbound off the upper level of the Queensborough Bridge (Jackson Avenue and 30th{?} Street, then) next to a TC MG.  Both cars were black with tan heads (tops) lowered and a vaguely similar appearance, other than the enormous difference in size.  Just as the light was changing, I looked 'way down at the MG driver and, as I engaged first and slammed the accelerator pedal "to the metal", called out "Eat your Wheaties and you'll grow up to be as big as me some day!", and all-but-popped the clutch, whereupon I vanished into the dusky distance before he could even recover.  And that with only 125HP lugging 2½-tons!  Hey; a Jag is a Jag, even a side-cam Jag!  "Poor man's Bentley", indeed!

At Aberdeen, I used to shoot in a quarry alongside the Susquehanna.  The road down into the quarry was never intended for an underslung automobile (one in which the solid rear axle rode OVER the frame, which is, of course, exactly what a Mark IV was).  I got down and out with no trouble in the '49 Chrysler, but the Mark IV simply refused to go up the hill without bottoming and slipping its wheels; the clutch and undercarriage took some beating on that first and only foray in for the Mark IV!  From then on, we used my buddy's '49 Mercury, not that it was all that much higher off the ground.  The Mark IV sheared the bottoms off its two pair of twin silencers on a perfectly-normal garage lift (it was REALLY LOW!) and it did sound a mought loud afterwards.  This was during the Korean Conflict (men died but one mustn't call it a war!) and there was a shelter on Route 40 (Interstate I95 hadn't been built then) outside the Naval Training Station at Bainbridge, Maryland, just north of the Susquehanna River Toll Bridge, marked "GIVE A SERVICEMAN A LIFT", which I always did, both as a courtesy and to liven up the four-hour trip to New York.  Well, on my first trip home after mangling the silencers, I picked up a swabby and, with the head and side windows down, proceeded noisily to the Delaware Memorial Bridge.  The speedometer was a miles-per-hour American export model, but some bozo had apparently replaced a stripped drive gear with a kilometres-per-hour gear (or was it vice-versa?).  The upshot was that the speedometer (and odometer) had no bearing on reality, unless you carried a Curta calculator, which I didn't.  So, I made up a chart, which I taped to the left door panel; the readings on the speedometer and odometer were then designated as "pooh-bahs", and 200pbph was equivalent to 90mph, as I recall.  On open roads, I often exceeded 200pbph, and with the windscreen cranked out to 90° (it hinged forward at the top with a rigid chain on the crank), the swabby, who knew nothing about my pooh-bahs, was rather tense about going 200, and it really felt like 200!  When I accelerated like crazy onto the bridge and hit the open grille-work of the center-span roadway, all the blast of the open silencers went instantly down through the grille.  In the sudden silence, the swabby must have thought he'd died; he soiled his pants and passed out!

On another memorable trip from Abereeen, up to Macungie, Pennsylvania, to visit the remains of the Wendling Brothers plant, an old classic-era auto body builder (what a feat of memory this is!), my companion de voyage was an old WWI-era motorcycle racer.  Knowing of my penchant for running rapidly with the head down and the windscreen out at 90º, he brought along his old snap-brim cap and goggles.  The endearing sight of this old codger (I'm probably older now than he was then) scrunched down in the right-hand seat, in his reversed cap and his goggles, with his face in the wind, grinning from ear to ear, will delight me as long as I live (or my long-term memory holds out).

I dropped out as a Charter Member of the Classic Car Club of America, partly because of the habit which emerged in the '60s of trucking cars in to meets in custom-built box trailers with a paid crew of detailers, but largely because they refused to accept my Mark IV, even though it was identical to the pre-war Mark IV (except for that narrow boot strip mentioned above); they made the exception for the Lincoln Continentals, and they weren't even identical.

I learned on the Mark IV, honed on the Mark V, and perfected (of necessity) on the XK-120M, the technique of out-tuning a Uni-Syn [??? - what was that proprietary carburettor (carburetor) synchronizer called?].  This entailed sticking my nose against the block with my ears equidistant from the twin SUs and twiddling them until they sounded identical; I was REALLY GOOD at this!

It had escaped my mind until an e-correspondent remarked (03 Jan 01) that his "grandfather used to joke that the engine {on an XK-120} had three carburetors, one to start the engine and two to run it."  But they ALL did - really, truly!  There were the twin SUs and then a much-smaller starting "carburettor" (on the forward, or left, side of the right, or rear, carb, as I recall - oh, where is my Mk. IV manual when I want it!), called in literature of the time a "cold-starting carburettor".  There was a solenoid hooked (presumably) to a thermostatic switch in the coolant system and it basically opened a third throat for raw gas to pour into the cylinders. It worked like a charm for me, on all three cars - Mk. IV, Mk. V, and XK-120M (not always so for other owners, apparently).

When I got the Mark IV, I knew absolutely nothing about Jag trannies; I drove home from Aberdeen in my '49 Chrysler on a stormy Friday evening, made the trade on Saturday morning, spent all day at the dealer on details, and took off for home in a torrential downpour.  For a start, I diligently and agonizingly double-clutched all the way home.  The head (top) was threadbare and immediately bellied down, filled with water, and began to leak directly over my head and down the back of my neck!  On Sunday morning, I dried out the car and went to the nearest discount house with an auto supplies counter; amazingly, they knew what I needed and had it - top dressing, which turned out to be nothing more than paraffin wax dissolved in kerosene (Tommies, please note - paraffin here is wax and kerosene is a low cut of fuel oil).  I applied it and drove back to Aberdeen very early Monday morning.  The sun was hot and I dropped the head (put the top down), cracking the paraffin in the process.  When the head was raised on parking, the sun remelted and resealed the paraffin.  As long as there was a hot sun, this process could be repeated ad infinitum, but in Winter the head could leak rather badly after being dropped (which, of course, it often was).  I then double-clutched all the way to Aberdeen on that Monday morning drive; it wasn't until long weeks later, when I bought a new Owner's Manual (which I still have) from (or through) Jack Pry's in Baltimore, that I discovered that the tranny had syncromesh on all forward gears save that inconceivably-low granny gear (1st)!

The rear license plate holder on the Mark IV was integral with the boot (trunk) lid and was sized to fit low, wide British rear plates; the high old New York State plate wouldn't fit!  Having to leave at once for Aberdeen, I bought a spare after-market MG TD tail license light, removed the glass from my housing, and made up a jury-rigged bracket from some scrap galvanized steel sheet laying around in Dad's garage, which I bent to fit from inside the housing to outside to hold the new MG light and the plate, spray-canning it black before installing it.  A few months later, the right-hand clamp that held the head in place when up snapped off; it was welded to the top frame or integral or whatever but was definitely NOT replaceable!  I fastened a crude substitute which was on the car when I sold it, as was my weird license plate bracket and light,  Many years later, I ran across the car on its visit to Long Island from its new home in Connecticut; it had been magnificently and meticulously restored, including my ersatz bracket and clamp!  You can see the bracket quite clearly on the large, sharp photo on the next page, silhouetted against the sky.

The Mark V saloon was one of a pair offered by Hempstead Auto; an immaculate white one with a blown engine and a tattered black one with a dental turbine instead of an engine (from the sound of it).  It took a lot of doing but I finally convinced the sales manager to part with just the black beast.  On the way home to Lynbrook from the dealer after taking possession, I sailed across Sunrise Highway on Hempstead Avenue onto Atlantic Avenue and, one block south, had to make a panic stop.  The brake pedal went instantly to the floorboard, and I sailed on with my speed undiminished, hell-bent for a horrible accident.  Yanking for all I was worth on the most-ineffectual dash-mounted hand brake handle, I sailed majestically through a red light toward a woman pushing a baby carriage (pram)!  Wow, what a lot of points I could have collected (even more if she'd been pregnant - does anyone remember the teens' point system?).  Swerving madly diagonally left across the intersection on the two off-side wheels (it WAS a left-hand drive export model), I ran up a side road (Lincoln Place) that luckily was clear and stopped with the hand brake alone.  Whoo, that was a rough one!  Back to Hempstead Auto; "I told you not to buy that car" said the sales manager (of course they made good on it).

One nice, happy day, cruising along in the Mark V saloon, with the top and windows open, I finally realized that the electrical smoke I smelled was travelling with me.  When I stopped, there was a long plume of white smoke pouring out of the right-hand trafficator.  I pulled it out manually and, smashing the celluloid, was able to blow out the flames emanating from the solenoid coil; that was too close a call!

That Mark V had twin horizontal bumper bars which hooked inward at the outer ends.  There was the memorable day that my landlord on Denton Avenue in Lynbrook traded in his '49 Ford for a '54; the '49 fit rather well into the Model-A-era two-car garage we shared.  The '54 did not, wedging itself between the door posts and requiring very careful extrication and body work!  I had to back around the protruding '54 to worm my way into the other half of the garage and miscalculated the resultant entry angle and grazed the unfinished wall to my right.  My right rear bumper bar pair slid neatly past a stud at the back and went "TWANGGGGGG!"  I jumped out and found there was no way I could get behind the car to free the bars, which only overlapped the stud by a ¼" or so, so I got back in and went forward with rather disastrous results!  The bars everted, and now stuck out past the fender at an alarming angle!  Naturally, this happened after body shops had closed for the day  The light bulb of genius shone down and I drove the car to the nearest street light pole, backed up to it, carefully positioned the car, and popped the clutch momentarily in reverse.  Presto, chango; the bumper bars reverted and the result was almost as good as before the incident.

Here's a view of a similar Mark V rear bumper:   added (13 May 2014)


That Vanderbilt Cup caper in the XK120M was moved to the Jaguar page on 12 Jan 2004.

[The XK120M developing a pinhole leak in the right rear of the petrol (gas) tank was moved to the Jaguar page on 12 Jan 2004]

This Jag ya just gotta see!  Shades of the catamount I saw in upstate New York
(see my Adirondack page).

Obligatory courtesy link to the
Classic Jaguar Association
(22 Nov 2001 - sorry I'd omitted this).

Stay tuned!

You may also wish to visit the preceding SS and Jaguar Cars, Continuation Page 1, and Continuation Page 2 pages, and Continuation Page 4, as well.

Cyclops fans; see Cyclops on my Automotive page!


  What happens to all this when I DIE or (heaven forfend!) lose interest?  See LEGACY.


See Copyright Notice on primary home page.

Please visit the main Automotive Page, et seq.

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