1933 SS 1 16hp Tourer ALC 789

One of Thirteen Survivors

This is one of around thirteen known survivors of 1,250 SSI cars made during the 1933 season, of which 143 were tourers. It was supplied new in July 1933 through Henlys in London, to a first owner from Richmond in Surrey, in the colour scheme of Blue and Silver. It was purchased by the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust in 2006, in part restored condition, to fill one of the few gaps in Jaguar Heritage’s collection of early SS cars. The restoration was finished in 2012.

From the start with a single, rather ungainly looking coupé body in 1931, over the next few years the SS1 underwent considerable development and became available with several different body styles. William Lyons was not particularly happy with the style of the original car, and after production of only one year, the 1933 models acquired a new chassis, underslung at the rear, long flowing wings, and a lower roof line.

Most of the 1933 SSI models still had the typical fixed head coupé with blind rear quarters and external dummy hood irons, but in the spring of 1933 the first additional body style was introduced, in the shape of this open four-seater tourer. The first example of the new car was supplied to Captain John Black, the managing director of the Standard Motor Company, which supplied the rolling chassis for the SS cars to the Swallow Company.

The tourer cost the same as the coupé, £325 for the 16hp model, £335 for the 20hp version. The body style was much more sporting, with the swept-up scuttle, large instruments, and doors with elbow cut-outs, but still offered comfortable accommodation for four passengers. Performance was probably similar to the coupé model, with a top speed of up to 75 mph for the 16hp car, and another 5 mph for the 20hp model.

Three of the new tourers were entered as a works-supported team in the 1933 Alpine Trial. The Company lent the three cars to the drivers: Miss Margaret Allan; Humphrey Symons and Charles Needham but the drivers were to pay all their own expenses. The cars were painted red, white and blue, with Needham piloting the white one. A fourth SS 1 was entered by the Austrian SS Distributor Georg Hans Koch.

The cars of Allen and Symons succumbed to head gasket failure and Needham was the only one of the three to complete the Rally, accumulating 54 penalty points on the way and coming 8th overall. Koch in his ‘private’ entry finished 5th in class in the Glacier Cup and 14th overall.

A mixed media painting by artist F Gordon Crosby depicting Charles Needham in car 19 on the 1933 Alpine Trial is exhibited on the Painting Wall of the Collections Centre at Gaydon.

Registration Mark: ALC 789

Chassis Number: 136493

Owner: The Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust

Inventory Number: 165/S.10

Price when new: £325

Price: 118 Weeks Average Wage