Lot 39

2022   |   London Auction

1939 Jaguar SS100 3 1/2 Litre

SOLD £495,000


£325,000 - £425,000



Car Highlights

One of Just 116 3 1/2-Litre Examples of the Intoxicatingly Beautiful SS100 Built

Pebble Beach and Windsor Castle Concours d’Elegance Veteran

Beautifully Finished in As-Delivered Gunmetal Gray

Displays Original 1939 Registration Number Plates

Offered from 22 Years of Single Ownership with Extensive History File

Technical Specs

3,486 CC OHV Inline 6-Cylinder Engine

Twin SU Sidedraft Carburetors

125 BHP at 4,500 RPM

4-Speed Manual Gearbox

4-Wheel Girling Drum Brakes

4-Wheel Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs with Adjustable Friction Dampers

Register to Bid

Joe Twyman

Norman V. Terry, Redditch, England (acquired new via P.J. Evans in 1939)

Ada Wilshaw, Redditch, England (acquired by 1949)

Colin Fine-Thompson, Tamworth, England (acquired via Chiltern Cars in 1953)

Howard A.L. Dawes, Birmingham, England (acquired from the above via Chadney Motors in 1955)

Nigel G.K. Dawes, Solihull, England (acquired from the above in 1975)

Brian Dignan, Cheshire, England (acquired from the above by 1987)

Current Owner (acquired in 2000)

Newport Hillclimb, Curaçao, 1954

Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, 2011

Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance, 2012

The SS100 has taken its place among the greatest automotive designs in history. The long hood and low stance; the sweeping fenders with their inimitable inward slope toward the body; the large, closely spaced headlamps; cut-down doors; folding windshield; short wheelbase; and large wire wheels work together to create an amazingly sporting and exciting overall design. With its low curb weight and 125 bhp, a 100 mph top speed was achieved, giving the model its name. For many enthusiasts and devotees of the Jaguar marque, it has been a dream car since it was first built over 80 years ago.

This strikingly presented SS100 was dispatched from the Coventry factory on January 21, 1939, to the Birmingham Jaguar retailer P.J. Evans. It was sold to its first owner, Norman Terry, finished in Gunmetal Gray and registered as CUY 915, the number plate it still wears today. The Jaguar’s accompanying registration card records a number of owners over its next 50 years, all based in the immediate Birmingham area.

The SS100’s one major excursion in its first half century took place in 1954, when then-owner Colin Fine-Thompson had it shipped to Curaçao, to participate in the Newport Hillclimb event that November. Mr. Fine-Thompson enjoyed the Jaguar on the island before it was shipped back to his home, and soon acquired by Howard Dawes of Birmingham. The SS100 would remain in his family’s care for at least 25 years and, by 1987, it was owned by collector Brian Dignan of Cheshire.

In 2000, the SS100 was acquired by its current owners. Longtime enthusiasts of the Jaguar marque, the car joined their collection, which included a C-Type and XKSS. After nearly a decade of ownership, the couple embarked on a restoration of the SS100 in which it was refinished in its original Gunmetal Gray, perfectly complemented by a black leather interior. Once complete, the Jaguar was exhibited at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® in 2011, and the Windsor Castle Concours d’Elegance the following year.

Today, the SS100 shows the benefits of the care it has received since the consignors acquired it 22 years ago, and is beautifully presented throughout. Its incomparable design, coupled with its light weight and straight-six power, make it one of the most coveted sport cars of the Classic Era. The surviving examples make ideal prewar entries on the most popular historic tours and rallies, and they never fail to draw a crowd while on display. This late-production SS100 stands ready to thrill its next caretaker on nearly any road or show field.