Classic Cars

Rare 1938 Jaguar SS 100 3.5-liter Roadster up for Auction

A British classic that is sure to give its new owner plenty of joy.

Unveiled at the 1937 London Auto Show, Jaguar introduced its first sports car in the form of the open-topped Jaguar SS100 3.5 liter, elevating it from relative obscurity to the purveyor of some of the most inspiring sports cars of the pre-WWII era. The SS 100 won prizes in the Alpine Trial and RAC Rally and was capable of 0-60mph in ten seconds and reaching a top speed of 100mph, reflecting the numerical portion of the alphanumeric name that all of Jaguar's post-war sports cars indicated, such as the XK 120 and 140.

Only 188 cars of the 3.5-liter production were ever made, and the model up for auction has been recently repainted in dark blue with new red leather upholstery. The engine has been well maintained over the years and has travelled extensively, most notably at the 1998 1,000-mile Louis Vuitton China Run. Made up of a 125hp, 3.5-liter overhead valve inline six-cylinder engine, twin SU carburetors and 4-speed manual gearbox, the SS 100 was one of the great pre-war British sports cars and is expected to fetch between £310,000 and £380,000 when it goes under the hammer in London on Wednesday.

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