Evaluation: One of 314 Jaguar SS100s made, but this car left Coventry with the smaller and less powerful 2.5-liter overhead valve six. Used as a London distributor’s demonstrator and show car in period, and remained in the same family ownership since 1990. The current 3.5-liter engine was fitted around then and it received some restorative work as well, but has sat in storage for the last 25 years.
Older paint is uneven but still looks good. The grille is well chromed but wears a few small blemishes. The chassis and engine bay look tidy, and the headlamp bowls have new chrome but the lenses and inner bowls are yellowing. The red-painted wire wheels are good, but the rear-mounted spare is a bit chipped. The knock-ons are a mixed bag of some new, some old componentry. The seat leather and door cards are superb and holding up well, while the instruments look original and simply wonderful. Ran when parked and stored carefully, but will need attention before hitting the vintage rally and tour circuit.
Bottom Line: Definitely one of the best-looking pre-war roadsters, the SS100 is a coveted collector car with either 2.5 or 3.5-liter mill and it has been for a long time now. However, it isn’t all that uncommon for one to have gotten separated from its original engine somewhere along the way, so this one’s replacement 3.5 isn’t as much of a red flag as it would be on a later sporting Jaguar. Plus, it’s faster with the hotter engine.
The Bond Street bidders took this into consideration along with the future shop bills to get the Jag back on the road and put up a realistic price that falls right within Bonhams’ equally realistic estimate range. What does an excellent condition SS100 go for? Bonhams sold a matching numbers, fully documented 2.5-liter car in #2+ condition back in September for £368,000 ($506,184 at the time).