19th Jun, 2024 13:00

Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire

  Lot 85

1938 SS Jaguar 100 2.5 Litre
A collector grade example of the first sports car to bear the Jaguar name

Sold for £225,000

(including buyers premium)

Lot details

Registration No: DOX 996
Chassis No: 49032
MOT: Exempt

  • Owned by one family from 1938 until 2002, then a second family from 2002-2022
  • Believed to have only covered 20,000 miles from when new in 1938
  • A very original example with matching numbers
  • Subject to recent engine overhaul and mechanical work

Widely considered as one of the most desirable and attractive sports cars of the 1930s and the first to bear the 'Jaguar' name, the iconic SS Jaguar 100 entered pre-production in October 1935 and was launched officially in 1936 as a much improved successor to the SS90 from which it was derived. Improvements included a host of mechanical specifications, most notable of which was upgrading the six-cylinder Standard pushrod engine from side-valve to overhead valve with a new crossflow cylinder head designed by Harry Weslake and William Heynes fed by twin SU Carburettors. The power unit was mated to a four-speed manual transmission with synchromesh on all forward speeds apart from first. With 104hp at 4,600rpm, the car could be propelled to 60 mph in 12.8 seconds and onwards to a top speed of 96mph. Although a very capable car for touring, the SS100 was marketed purely for competition work and in 1936, its first major success came when Tommy Wisdom, crewed by his wife, won the International Alpine Trial - thus beating Bugatti and creating a name for the marque on the continent. This would be the first of many successful rallying forays, which included class wins in the RAC events of 1937 and 1938 and the Alpine Trial was won outright once again in 1948. In total, 190 2.5 litre and 112 3.5 litre SS100s were manufactured by the time production ceased at the outbreak of the second world war, which also spelled the end of the 'SS Cars' name. However, the 'Jaguar' name became carried on with Sir William Lyons' company post war which went on to create some of the most exciting sports cars of all time, all of which owe their heritage to the SS Jaguar 100.

According to its accompanying buff logbook, chassis 49032 was first registered as 'DOX 996' on 30th March 1938. Seemingly kept by initial owner Reginald Duckitt of Erdington for just two months, the SS100 then passed to Ashmore’s Auto Engineers of West Bromwich who sold it to Alfred Simms. The latter retained the two-seater up until his death in 1978 when ownership transferred to his widow, Elise Simms. Conscious that the SS Jaguar had been off the road for many years (a surviving tax disc suggests Mr Simms last drove it in the mid-1950s), she contacted marque historian Paul Skilleter and engaged a neighbour and fellow SS100 custodian, John Owen, to commence restoration. Mr Skilleter was reportedly impressed with the car’s ‘untouched originality’ and began to chronicle the work. Sadly, Mrs Simms and Mr Owen fell out over the project and little progress was made after the 1989 issue of the Classic Jaguar Association’s SS100 Register recorded that ‘DOX 996’ was mid-refurbishment and displaying a mere 19,600 miles to its odometer.

Beguiled by the two-seater’s originality, Ben Hyams became its next custodian in 2002. Entrusted to Auto Welding & Spraying of Chart Sutton, Kent a few years later, it was not until 2013 that the SS Jaguar was finally a complete entity once more. Repainted in British Racing Green with re-trimmed with Green leather upholstery, the two-seater was barely driven by Mr Hyams due to ill health. Entering the current ownership in 2022, the SS100 was suffering from an engine malady which has since been sorted with the odometer being zeroed accordingly. The instrument now shows less than 300 miles and the vendor is confident - based on the car’s condition, originality and paperwork - that it has covered a mere 20,000 miles from new!

Recent health issues have convinced the seller to switch to closed cars hence his reason for putting ‘DOX 996’ back on the market. Still highly presentable, the two-seater boasts full weather equipment (renewed during its rejuvenation) and drove some twenty miles for our recent photoshoot without issue. Indeed, the vendor considers it to be 'very trustworthy' and 'ready to use'.

A rare opportunity, if you are looking for an ever-usable collector grade pre-war sports car that represents the earliest iteration of the Jaguar in sporting form, then surely 'DOX 996' is worthy of consideration.

For more information, please contact:
Lucas Gomersall
07484 082430


Auction: Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire, 19th Jun, 2024

An auction of classic, collector and performance motorcars held at the iconic and visually stunning Imperial War Museum, Duxford. Venue Details 

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