S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com SS and JAGUAR Cars Page keywords = Jaguar SS history car auto Standard Swallow Sidecar Coventry Lyons

Updated:   08 Jan 2014, 15:35 ET
[Page converted 14 Sep 2011/30 Mar 2010;

    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]
URL:  http://sbiii.com/ssjaguar.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/ssjaguar.html"]

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 had to scramble to transfer everything by then.  Everything's saved but all the links have to be changed, mostly by hand.  See my sbiii.com Transfer Page for any updates on this tedious process.

S. Berliner, III's


SS and JAGUAR Cars Page

Wild '34 SS One Custom Classic Cat was available:

(photo courtesy of present owner - all rights reserved)

SS and JAGUAR Cars

Here are some SS and Jaguar car decorations:

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

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

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


[This page had been overwritten by http://sbiii.com/jaguar.html, Jaguar Cars; please visit that, as well.]

You may wish to create a new bookmark or change your old bookmark.

There is a master index (ff.) on this main SS and Jaguar Cars page and there are also now:
Continuation Pages.

You may wish to visit them, also, and see more of REAL SS and old Jaguar cars!

All pages now include additional digitized photographs from SB,III's collection.


This (main) SS and Jaguar Cars Page:
  Nomenclature - S.S. vs. SS, Mark IV, etc.
  SS and Jaguar Miscellany (continued on the next page).
  SS Jag Tips.
  SS 100 Jaguars in Z Scale (1:220)   new (23 Aug 2013)

SS and Jaguar Cars Continuation Page 0
  SS and Jaguar Miscellany -
    partially moved and continued from this page on 06 and 20 Feb 2004.

SS and Jaguar Cars Continuation Page 1
  SS and Jaguar Museums.
  Jaguar Cars, Limited - the Company.
  Brief History of the SS1.
  Old Photos.

SS and Jaguar Cars Continuation Page 2 (with many more photos):
  More SS and Jaguar Apocrypha.
  SS and Jaguar Bibliography.
  SS & JAG NEWS - you really should check here periodically!

SS and Jaguar Cars Continuation Page 3:
  Original SS Alpine Tourer.
  More SS and Jaguar Material.
  Dick Strever's SS and Jaguar Cars.
  HELP! - please see requests which I, at my sole discretion,
    may choose to append at the bottom of that page.

SS and Jaguar Cars Continuation Page 4:
  The SS One "Alpine" Controversy.

SS and Jaguar Cars Continuation Page 5:
  Original SS Alpine Tourer (moved from page 3 on 06 Feb 04).
  The SS One "Alpine" Controversy. (moved here 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.

SS and Jaguar Cars Continuation Page 7:
  SS One Walmsley Special KV 8011.   new (14 Feb 2012)
  A SECOND SS One Walmsley Special!   new (19 Aug 2013)
  SS and Jaguar Boot Coachwork.   new (22 Sep 2013)

Wild '34 SS One Custom Classic Cat.

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

SS and Jaguar Museums - moved to Contionuation Page 1 on 29 Apr 02.

RETHINKING THESE PAGES - I moved modern (post-Mark V) Jag material [Mark VII and XK-120 and up (not SS)] to the Jaguar Cars Page: to free up space on these SS Jaguars pages.  There are inconsistencies, so please bear with me as I struggle through this change (14 Sep 2011/12 Nov 2003).


Jaguar has been bought out twice, lately, first by Ford, which did absolutely nothing for the marque, and, more recently,
by Tata Motors of India, which promised to return it to sports cars!  Only time will tell.

note-rt.gif - On 20 Feb 2005 I got word from the UK of the ongoing restoration of a world-traveller 1934 SS1 Tourer.  The car was returned to the UK from Atlanta, Georgia in March 1988, having been purchased from the late Bob Slack, who owned an antique car and furniture gallery called The Great Gatsby in Chamblee, Atlanta, Georgia.  The present owner is trying to trace the history of the car and asks the assistance of any knowledgeable SS afficionados.  He is fairly sure the car was exported to the USA in the late 1950s or early 1960s and so was here for some 25 to 30 years.  Since Slack is gone, no information can be gleaned from him but the owner assumes that Slack purchased the car sometime in 1987.  Here are two photos (cropped) of the tourer exactly as it arrived from Atlanta in March 1988:

34 SS1 1

34 SS1 2
(Cropped from 1988 photos courtesy of present owner - all rights reserved)

As you can see from the photos, it was in a pretty poor state so it probably hadn’t been used for many years, just stored.   Most of the restoration work is nearly complete and when it is finished we will get some photographs.  One thing we know for certain; those Lucas P-100 headlamps, good as they look, have got to go!

Please be sure to let me know if you can shed any light on the history of this car (I've asked for chassis and engine numbers).


Re the so-called '48 "Mark IV", you purists will please allow me to use the term "Mark IV" - it was DEFINITELY NOT contemporaneous Jaguar Cars nomenclature; there were only the small 1½-litre and the large 2½- and 3½-litre cars (with common coachwork), as saloons and dropheads, and distinguished otherwise only by their displacement.  Jaguar did not start "marking" {oooh! - did I really write that?} until the following model, properly referred to as the "Mark V".  But then, whilst talking nomenclature, the earliest Motor Sport, Motor, and Autocar (etc.) reviews and Swallow and SS Cars adverts all refer to the S.S.I and S.S.II and S.S.1 and S.S.11 almost interchangeably.  SS Cars' 1935 Programme advert lists SSI and SSII!  In the 24 Sep 35 Motor article introducing the new Jaguar name and models, they continued the SS I and SS II (with spaces, no less!).  Similarly, articles and adverts show the S.S.90 or S.S.100, SS100, SS 100, Jaguar 100, etc., etc., ad infinitum!  However, nowhere are there hyphens (SS-1, etc.).  I'm sure I've been inconsistent herein and, at this point, couldn't care less (certainly no less than Sir William!).

The first Swallow brochure (1931) for new the cars definitely has them as "S.S. I" and "S.S. II" (with no space in S.S. but a space between the second period and the "I") but in 1934 (their last year), they are also shown as "SS ONE" and "SS TWO"!

Here are the logos from the 1931 brochures:

31 SSI Logo 31 SSII Logo

and the logos from the 1934 brochure:

34 SSI Logo 34 SSII Logo

However, Nick Johanessen (page 2) reproduces the 1936 SS introductory advert for a 'Jaguar "100"'.  Selah!

Of course, not one of you eagle-eyes out there has noted that the 1935 SS1 radiator emblem shown above is emblazoned:


(See Continuation Page 3)

I have confirmation (but no supporting photo, yet) that the SSII badge reads:


And then there's the argument over "Mk. V" vs. "Mark V"; nowhere have I found any proper reference to "Mk.".

Page 20 of Porter's book has a fine reproduction of SS's introductory advert in the 28 Jun 32 MOTOR (on page B27) showing, superimposed on the haken-SS emblem on that ad, the letters "S.S.1" and in the text, "S.S.1" and "S.S.11".

How many even know, let alone remember, that "SS" originally stood either for "Swallow Sidecar" or for "Standard Swallow" and, to the best of my knowledge as far back as 1950 or so, no one really knew which?*  Certainly, the announcement of the first SS1 in Motor Sport for Dec 1931 was from Swallow Coachbuilding Co., of Foleshill, Coventry, with a chassis and engine from Standard and coachwork from Swallow.  The "SS" logo was dropped ca. 1939 for very obvious reasons (one doesn't have to be Jewish to dislike the "SS") and the Company name changed "on 9th April, 1945" (see Jaguar Cars, Limited on the next page).

* - but see SS1 history, on Continuation Page.

Actually, the "sig" runes (Siegrune, meaning "Victory" runes) of the Schutzstaffel insignia are not very like the SS Cars logos at all:   new (08 Jan 2014)

Photomontage by S.B., III - 08 Jan 2014)

Just the symbolism of the two "SS" letters was bad enough.  So, Jaguar Cars it became, and quite properly so.

The Jaguar-Lovers site has loads of old adverts, one of which, the official announcement of the name change, follows on the Continuation Page.

Speaking of nomenclature, when is a roadster a drophead?  By definition, a "roadster" has a soft, disappearing head (top) and demountable side screens and a "drophead" has a heavily-padded head and wind-up glass windows (and, in the case of the XK-120/140, vent panes), but the XK-150 "roadster" had wind-up windows!

SS and Jaguar Miscellany

SS and Jaguar enthusiasts on both sides of the water might enjoy linking to a most excellent site, the Jag Lovers site over in the home country!  I was particularly taken by their Model Guide, which is an illustrated history of the marque, and even more so to the The Early Years - Swallow Sidecars (which covers autos and Standard, as well) and The Postwar Saloons (which actually covers dropheads, as well).  In addition, there are photos and links galore (including Daimler).

You can buy an almost exact SS-100 replica (with an XK engine) from Suffolk SS-100!

There are also the Jaguar Enthusiasts' Club and the Jaguar Drivers’ Club in the U.K.

Hello!  I was in Coventry in October of 1998 and was assured by locals who claimed to be works employees that Jaguars had no facilities open to the public!  Apparently this just "ain't so"!  See Jaguar Cars, Limited - the Company.

The sculpted Jaguar on the radiator cap (and, more recently, on the bonnet) was created by The Autocar's artist, Frederick Gordon Crosby, and first appeared ca. 1937.  The story of how Bill Lyons chose the mascot appears in Classic Car Weekly for 02 Jul 2003, in which Richard Gunn relates that Lyons's old school chum had been an RFC aircraft engine mechanic at Farnborough in WWI and raved about the Armstrong Siddeley ‘Jaguar’ engine and the name and image appealed to Lyons.

Here's a great example of a later (ca. 1936?) SS1 tourer with a cat (and later Lucas P-100 headlamps):

ca. '36 SS1 Jag Tourer
(photo sent in 06 Mar 2002 without provenance)

Minor problem; if it's a 1936, it's an SS Jaguar, not an SS1.

There seems to be an SS100 (real, not a replicar) only some 8 miles from my old Long Island house!  More on this as (if) I find out!  I moved and the distance increased a small bit - 02 Oct 98 (it had been only ¼-mile as of 07 Apr 1998) but then moved to the Boston area in 2010, some 200 miles away!).

I once had a 1948 3½ litre drophead (the so-called Mark IV), S/N 637370, with motor SL-3494 with a pre-war block still bearing the SS logo on the sides.  That car was with me on a caper at Aberdeen Proving Ground, q.v.

Here she is, my every-day car, with the head in the landaulet position, at Havre de Grace just after arrival in Maryland:

1948 3½-litre D. H. at Havre de Grace
(photo by and © 1956/2001 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

Now, you have to admit, that's some Jag!

{more Mark IV photos on SS Jags page 2}

Then I had a 1950 3½-litre Mark V saloon which I sold as junk and which ran from New York to Florida and back many times thereafter.

Lastly, I had a 1954 3½-litre XK120M drophead (with hydrogen-embrittled wire knockoffs!).  Now, that was something else!  I even had it out on the course immediately after the running of the revived Vanderbilt Cup race at Roosevelt Raceway ca. 1970.

I also had the pleasure of driving the one-off 1938 Earl's Court SS100 Fixed Head Coupé, the one that was later fitted with a chromed, die-cast Supermarine S-6b racing seaplane model (with a celluloid disk to simulate a spinning propellor) as a radiator mascot; this was in 1961 and the car has what would become the rear coachwork of the XK120 melded with an SS100 front end.  I found detailed photos (dated April 1961) and digitized them; they've been moved to the SS Jags continuation page 2.

This miscellany (and apocrypha) continues on SS Jaguar Continuation Page 0.

SAMPLES (teasers, really!):

1933 SS1

1933 SS1 Coupé left side
(photos from Switzerland by permission - all right reserved to source)
[Thumbnail images; click on pictures for larger images.]

And then there's my own (once) 1948 3½-litre Jaguar drop-head coupé (the so-called Mark IV) shown up above in 1956.

If you like cars, you've probably been to various salons (not saloons); here's a Jag salon only a few blocks from my old Long Island house:

Jag Salon
(photo by and © 1956/2001 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

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

SS Jag Tips - here is where I have decided to record any recollections of tricks I employed to keep the '48 and '50 3½l. cars (and the XK-120M) running (duplicating some of those on the Jaguars page):

If the starter solenoid clicks but the starter doesn't turn over, I'd suspect a faulty solenoid.  Many years ago, though, I recall, the starter gear would snag on a tooth on the ring gear and the car had to be put in reverse gear and rocked back and forth to free the starter gear.  Unfortunately, as far as I know, all current cars are now fitted only with automatic transmissions and so that won't work.

An easy way to check for a jammed starter gear (ONLY if ALL else fails) is to loosen the bolts holding the starter to the bell housing.

I speak to the vapor lock problem on older Jags at:

    SS and Jaguar Miscellany (above) and

    SS and Jaguar Miscellany - continued (page 0).

Here's a new one for you - you can get your headlamps and sidelamps reconditioned (or replaced) by Vintage Headlamp Restoration International Ltd.; they make new giant Lucas P100 (and P80) headlamps, with and without stoneguards!  They also make the lesser-known 10½" QK596, the correct lamp for the SS100.   new (14 Sep 2011) and   rev (16 Aug 2013)

I'm also a railroad and model railroad fan; looking idly through eBay's Z-scale (1:220) offerings on 16 Aug 2013, what should strike my eye but two SS100 Jaguar cars!  Whil(e)(st) not particularly fond of the low, wide, and exceedingly short-wheelbased late-1930's SS100 models, could not possibly resist this one!  One came in British Racing Green and one in bright (Italian) red, both with black fenders/wings; fancying the flashier red car, I instantly ordered it:   new (16 Aug 2013)

ZSS100 ZSS100
SS100 Jaguar Cars in Z (1:220)

With a price no higher than the car model itself, how could I go wrong?  I haven't a clue which coin is pictured but, when the car comes in, I'll post my own microphoto with a U. S. dime for comparison.  Regardless, it's TINY!  At 12' 8" (152"/3.86m) long, it should scale out to 0.69"/17.5mm; we shall see.

Actually, I had ordered a green car before I spotted the red one, cancelled the green car, and ordered the red one, but eBay put both through and I decided the green one will be customized as the 1938 Earl's Court SS Jaguar "100" Fixed-Head Coupé, EHP 111, 39088 - and all that at 220 times smaller than life size!  Here they are, as received 22 Aug 2013, and right on the money (a U. S. dime) at 17.5mm:   new (22 Aug 2013)

SS100 Jaguar Cars in Z (1:220)

The windscreen frames should be chrome (silver) on the roadsters!

Now for some microscopic carving and filling!  Problem - should I paint the FHC silver, as I saw it, or pale lavender (as it apparently once was)? I think I'll opt for silver.

Lots more apocrypha and good hints follow on Continuation Page 2 apocrypha.

NOTE:  You may also wish to visit the succeeding SS and Jaguar Cars Continuation Page 0, et seq., as well.

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.

If you are interested in the very latest about Jags (I'm not terribly), you might visit Tom Walton's Jaguar Cars Blog.

For other automotive interests, see the index on my Automotive page.

Cyclops fans; see Cyclops on my Automotive page!

of this series of SS and Jaguar pages.


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


See Copyright Notice on primary home page.

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