Lot 144

2017   |   Scottsdale Auctions 2017

1938 Jaguar SS 100 3 1/2 Litre


$450,000 - $525,000



Car Highlights

Owned for Three Decades by Today Host Dave Garroway
Fitted in 1951 with a Competition-Prepared XK120 Engine
Numerous Period Modifications and Notable Pre- and Postwar Race History
Alligator Skin Interior Dating to 1954
Offered with Period-Correct Engine and Exhaustive History File

Technical Specs

3,442 CC DOHC Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
Twin SU H8 Carburetors
Estimated 180 HP at 5,300 RPM
4-Speed Manual Gearbox
4-Wheel Drum Brakes
Front and Rear Leaf-Spring Suspension with Luvax Shock Absorbers
Register to Bid

H.P. Terry, England (acquired new via dealer in 1938)Samuel Lortz, St. Louis, Missouri (acquired in 1948)Dave Garroway, New York (acquired from the above in 1948)Jackson Brooks, Fort Collins, Colorado (acquired from the above in 1977)Steve Sim Roberts, Englewood, Colorado (acquired from the above in 1978)Henry Pearman, East Sussex, England (acquired from the above in 2007)Luay Allawi, Hadley Wood, England (acquired from the above in 2010)Current Owner (acquired from the above)

Multiple races from 1938-1952, including:SS Factory Speed Trial, c. 1939, H. Philip Terry (1st)GP Watkins Glen, September 1949, Dave Garroway, No. 16 (18th)Bridgehampton Cup Race, June 1959, Dave Garroway, No. 24 (DNQ)Giant’s Despair Hill Climb, December 1951, Dave Garroway, No. 30 (11th)Mt. Equinox Hillclimb, October 1951, Dave Garroway (10th)Match Thompson, April 1952, Dave Garroway (2nd)SCCA National Bridgehampton, May 1952, Dave Garroway, No. 11 (16th)

SS Cars Ltd. – the precursor to the Jaguar marque – created the SS 100 as the first model to feature the Jaguar name. It also was the first car to carry the company over the 100 mph threshold, courtesy of its 3.5-litre six-cylinder engine. Despite its immediate celebrity status, only 118 3.5-litre examples were crafted before Jaguar converted its production to military manufacturing in 1939.

On September 20, 1938, this SS 100, dressed in Gunmetal Grey with Silver interior, was sold new to H.P. Terry of England, with the registration CNP 947. Mr. Terry immediately raced the car in a Jaguar-sponsored event, where it placed first – the beginning of the car’s illustrious race history. Subsequently, the car was shipped to the US and in 1948 was acquired by broadcaster Dave Garroway, who a few years later became the first host of NBC’s Today show. Mr. Garroway repainted the SS 100 in off-white and fitted the engine with a Roots Blower. In 1951, the car developed mechanical problems and the original 3.5-litre engine was retired.

Mr. Garroway persuaded Jaguar to send him what is thought to be the first independently sold DOHC XK120 engine from England. Requiring some bespoke adjustments, the new engine was fitted along with racing camshafts, twin H8 SU sandcast carburetors, and special ported and polished manifolds, which together facilitated a top speed of 118 mph. Between 1949 and 1952, Mr. Garroway raced the car and built an impressive competition history. In 1954, he purchased six full alligator skins and covered the seats, steering wheel, and dash in the rich brown hide, as can be seen today.

Jaguar collector Steve Sim Roberts purchased the SS 100 in 1978 and campaigned relentlessly to chronicle its history, resulting in a staggeringly comprehensive automotive file including more than 70 magazine articles featuring the car.

Eventually, the SS 100 was shipped back to the UK and acquired by Henry Pearman of Eagle E-Types and then by Luay Allawi, an investment banker and classic car collector. In 2010, Mr. Allawi obtained the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Certificate for the car and assigned the SS 100 to DK Engineering for a comprehensive yet sympathetic recommission costing more than £40,000. The car has since been driven sparingly while receiving regular maintenance, and it is offered a correct SS 100 3.5-litre engine and gearbox.

Since its restorative work, this unique SS 100 has been used sparingly and is ready for the next phase of its history to commence under its next owner – perhaps a Jaguar connoisseur with a deep passion for the marque as well as an appreciation for this unique car’s history and driving event potential.