The Oldest Surviving Jaguar In The UK Is For Sale With H&H Classics

To Be Sold At Our Auction Of Classic Motorcars - June 22nd The Imperial War Museum

14/06/2022     General News

The oldest known surviving Jaguar in the UK, this 1936 SS Jaguar 2.5 Litre Saloon, is estimated to sell for £35,000 - £45,000 when it comes to auction with H&H Classics on June 22nd at the IWM Duxford.

This historically significant car is the earliest known surviving Jaguar motorcar left in the UK and has matching chassis, engine and body numbers.

Essentially complete, it requires painting, trimming, rewiring and setting-up. Much hard work has been done in terms of a professional engine overhaul, refurbished ash frame, restored chassis and re-plated headlamps.

Damian Jones, Head of Sales at H&H comments: “It would be ideal as a donor for an SS100 Evocation but thankfully saved such a fate thus far. It retains numerous correct 1936 model year only details and is surely worthy of completion and a place in a national museum or significant private collection.”

This was the very first model to carry the Jaguar name, the SS Jaguar 2½ Litre Sports Saloon was launched at the Mayfair Hotel, London in September 1935. Styled by Sir William Lyons, the four-light design featured a higher beltline and lower roofline than many of its contemporaries which, together with voluptuous wings and plentiful brightwork lent the newcomer a distinctly rakish air.

Challenged to speculate on the Jaguar’s prospective asking price, the assembled journalists came up with an average guess of £632 and were thus somewhat taken aback when Lyons revealed that he intended to market the 1936 model-year machine for just £395. The modest sum was all the more surprising given that conversion to overhead valve gear, courtesy of consultant engineer Harry Weslake, had seen engine power jump by almost fifty percent to 102bhp. More labour intensive than their successors, the 1936 model-year 2½ Litre Saloons were coachbuilt in the traditional manner with steel bodywork over an ash frame and incorporated a host of detail differences including a bespoke windscreen design. Short-lived (chassis 10001 – 11449), they also shared a high degree of commonality with the iconic SS100 sports car.

Chassis 10552 is understood to be the earliest, surviving Jaguar in the UK as well as the only known 1936 SS Jaguar 2½ Litre Saloon. Having so much in common with the SS100, too many of its siblings have been broken up for spares or modified into evocations. Although the vendor initially had similar repurposing plans for ‘NPE 75’, he was soon persuaded of the car’s historical significance by the SS Jaguar fraternity and has done much to hopefully ensure that a new owner will continue his hard work. Boasting matching chassis, engine and body numbers, not to mention its original Surrey registration number, which was apparently issued on 24th March 1936, the Saloon has benefited from the following: Chassis & Suspension: Body removed, chassis stripped down and sandblasted before being hot zinc sprayed and finished with two coats of Dacrylate specialist metal paint. Springs blasted, overhauled and repainted with Dacrylate. New hardened trunnion discs fitted to spring housings and metaplastic bushes replaced.

Brakes: Drums blasted, primed and repainted. Brake shoes relined. NB The drums are 13-inch units and together with the oval pedals, which are also present, were exclusive to SS100s and the 1936 Saloons. The pedals have been rebrushed and fitted with a new cross shaft. Axles: Rear: Diff overhauled, axle shaft tapered, roller bearings replaced. Front: Bearings adjusted, stub axles overhauled, kingpins adjusted. Steering & Gearbox: Steering Box stripped down and overhauled by specialist Holman Engineering Ltd. Gearbox checked and refurbished. Engine: Professionally stripped down with all gunge removed from the block and head. Overhauled by specialist engineering firms with Gosnays doing the machining and Holman the reassembly. Line bored, new pistons and uprated with a SS Jaguar 3.5 litre crankshaft that accepts steel conrods etc. Bodywork: Wooden support frame repaired and remade via Framecraft using well-seasoned ash. Door hinges were rejuvenated and re-bushed by a specialist. New sunroof frame made in ash. Floors blasted and primed. The original wings which have been stripped and primed, are with the car. Fittings: Lucas P100 headlights and Lucas 1170 sidelights restored. Dynamo and starter motor renovated. Tacho and speedo totally rebuilt. Seat frames and runners are with the car. Surely worthy of completion to original specification, this historically significant Jaguar is offered for sale with a V5C Registration Document and history file.