1933 SSI 16HP Fixed Head Coupé JE 187
This car has been in the ownership of Jaguar and later the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust since 1947, when it was acquired from a Mr Bryant in exchange for a Jaguar 3½-litre saloon. It is probably the first car that was specially acquired for the ‘museum’, as this is specifically stated in the records of the transaction.
Introduced at the 1931 Motor Show, the original SS1 coupé had rather controversial styling, and did not look quite the way that William Lyons wanted the car to look. After just one year, the car was therefore extensively re-designed and re-launched at the 1932 Motor Show, when the original ‘helmet wings’ were replaced by flowing combined front wings and running boards. Together with other changes to the styling of the body and radiator, the new car was much better-looking than before.
There were also extensive changes under the skin. The chassis was now underslung under the rear axle, and the wheelbase and track were both increased. These changes made the car into a proper four-seater, with comfortable individual rear seats, separated by a fixed armrest. The chassis continued to be supplied by the Standard Motor Company at Canley in Coventry, as a rolling unit complete with engine, while the bodies were made and fitted in the Swallow Company’s factory at Foleshill.
The resulting car, roomier as well as more elegant, still sold for a modest £325 with the 16hp engine, while for another £10 it could be fitted with the larger 20hp engine. The 1933 model became deservedly popular, and production more than doubled, as there were 1,250 SS1 cars made and sold, as opposed to just 500 of the 1932 model. The fixed head coupé body was at first the only style of body offered, and this accounted for 1,103 cars, with the balance being made of up the new tourer model which was launched in the spring of 1933.
Registration Mark: JE 187
Chassis Number: 136240
Owner: The Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust
Inventory Number: 23/S.11