Jaguar SS1 Fixed Head Coupe

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SS1 Fixed Head Coupe





In 1929 John Black of Standard Motor Company and William Lyons teamed up to realize their long standing dream to produce a one of a kind sports car. This "First SS" was a sleek boat-tail open 2-seater. Its flowing design and streamlining pointed to an obvious attempt at making a fast car, possibly with the intention of venturing into racing.

Under the guidance of the chairman, William Lyons, the company survived the depression years of the 1930s by making a series of beautifully styled cars offering exceptional value for money although some enthusiasts criticized them at the time for being "more show than go". The engines and chassis supplied by the Standard Motor Company were fitted with Swallow bodies styled under Lyons supervision.

Marque status arrived in October 1931 with the launch of the SS1, a close-coupled coupé. Based on that of the Standard Ensign 16hp, the SS1's low, under-slung chassis was designed by Lyons and supplied exclusively to Swallow by John Black's Standard Motor Company. Lyons' design for the body was startling: the SS1's excessively long bonnet, tiny passenger compartment and helmet-type front wings suggesting that it represented the ultimate in high performance.

The first of the SS range of cars available to the public was the 1932 SS 1 with 2-litre or 2½-litre side-valve, six-cylinder engine and the SS 2 with a four-cylinder 1-litre side-valve engine.

The SS1 body was revised for 1933 and the engines up-rated with alloy cylinder heads and improved manifolding, advances that raised the top speed to 75mph. For 1934 the SS1 gained a new wide-track chassis and slightly enlarged Standard engines of 2,143cc and 2,663cc, while the body - now available in four different configurations - underwent yet another re-style. In this, its final form, the SS1 remained in production until 1936, by which time 2,503 examples of this ultimate version had been made.

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