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The Early Years - Swallow Sidecars and SS Cars Ltd Main / Library / Technical / Model guide / Buyers guide / Guestbook / Photobook / Links / Archive / Specialists

The Early Years - Swallow Sidecars and SS Cars Ltd (part 2)

SS, Jaguar Mark 4 and 5 Spotter's Guide

- By Rob Reilly

A brief description of external differences between the S.S.I, S.S.II, S.S.90, SS100, SS Jaguar, Mark 4 and Mark 5 models.


S.S. 1 series 1 S.S. 1 series 1

Early and late coupe

1936 SS

4-seat tourer

S.S.I
-Produced 1931-1935

The radiator shell is canted back at a noticeable angle, and has a sculpted sweeping shape at the top. The headlights are chrome pods, separate from the fenders, and on the early S.S.I are connected to each other by a crossbar. On later S.S.I the headlights are on posts, no crossbar. The engine was a side-valve six cylinder made for SS Cars by the Standard Motor Company of 2054 or 2552 cc's in early cars, 2143 or 2663 cc's in later cars.
The early coupe had helmet style front fenders (wings) with no running boards, rather cramped rear seats, a leather covered roof with non-functional landau bars (pram irons) on the sides thus no side windows for the rear seat passengers, and an optional rumble seat (dickey seat). Hmm, would that make it a six-seater sports car?
Later the coupe was lengthened to give more rear seat room and acquired running boards.
The saloon version had additional side windows, so the landau bars and dickey seat option were eliminated.
Other bodies available included a four-seat tourer with side curtains, a four-seater drop-head coupe (with functional landau bars), and the Airline saloon with the long sloping backend. The Airline was the only one of his creations about which William Lyons was ever heard to openly express dislike, but it sold well.

S.S.II
- Produced 1933-35

This model had a Standard 4 cylinder sidevalve (flathead) engine of 1006, 1343, or 1608 cc's. Noticeably smaller and stubbier than the more popular S.S.I, it was an entry level or economy variant of similar styling, and was produced in coupe, saloon, and tourer versions.

S.S.90

The front fenders (wings) are the clamshell style, with integral running board to the rear fender. The headlights are supported by a cross bar, with two more support bars angled up from the frame rails to the center and a cast "90" in the center. Separate chrome sidelights are attached to the tops of the front fenders. The radiator shell has a wire mesh screen, not vertical bars. The prototype had a rounded tailend with a spare tire mounted nearly horizontal on the tail. The production cars had a nearly vertical rear mounted spare, and the rear fenders sweep down under a squareish fuel tank. The correct engine is a sidevalve (flathead) 6 cylinder of 2663 cc's.
SS 100 SS 100

SS 100 from 1936 to 1940

SS Jaguar 100

[Note that from the introduction of the OHV engines on the 'Jaguar' range, the S.S. designation with periods changed to straight SS without any punctuation - TB]

The front fenders (wings) are the clamshell style, with integral running board to the rear fender. Cycle fenders and pontoon fenders have been seen on a few cars. The headlights are supported by a cross bar, with two more support bars angled up from the frame rails to the center and a cast "100" in the center. The radiator shell has the same wire mesh screen as the S.S.90. Separate chrome sidelights are attached to the tops of the front fenders. There is a slab fuel tank on the rear, with one or two spare tires mounted on the tank at an angle. The correct engines are the 2-1/2 liter and 3-1/2 liter OHV pushrod engines made for SS Cars by the Standard Motor Co. There were a few special bodies done by various other coachbuilders, and one coupe done by the factory for the 1938 Earl's Court show.

Part 3

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