Amelia Island

10-11 March 2017

A Gentleman's Collection: The Pride & Passion of Orin Smith

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Lot 142

1937 SS 100 Jaguar 2½-Litre Roadster

  • Chassis no. 18124
  • Engine no. 250798
  • Body no. 4832

Sold for $319,000

102 bhp, 2,663 cc OHV inline six-cylinder engine with dual SU carburetors, four-speed manual transmission, independent front and solid axle rear suspension with semi-elliptical leaf springs and friction shock absorbers, and four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 104 in.

  • Formerly owned by noted Jaguar enthusiast James Dale
  • High-quality enthusiast restoration
  • Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic
  • Ideal for numerous tours and rallies worldwide


The mighty Jaguar had its start as a simple Swallow—such are the ironic annals of motoring history.

William Lyons and William Walmsley began manufacturing motorcycle sidecars in Blackpool, Lancashire, in 1922. By 1927, their Swallow Coachbuilding Company was turning out attractive little bodies on Austin, Morris, Fiat, and Standard chassis. After a move to Coventry, they came out with the first of several generations of “SS” cars (for Swallow Sidecar), the SS1 of 1931. Based on the 16-horsepower Standard, it had an underslung chassis, a long bonnet, and streamlined coachwork.

A companion model, the SS2, was based on the Standard 9. Saloons, dropheads, and tourers were offered by 1934, and a particularly attractive “Airline” fastback coupe developed a devoted following. That year, the company was re-named S.S. Cars Ltd.

The Jaguar name, the choice of Lyons himself, who split with Walmsley in 1934, was first used on a handsome sports saloon introduced at the autumn 1935 Olympia Motor Show. This car had a 2,663-cubic centimeter overhead-valve version of the Standard engine, somewhat redesigned by Harry Weslake and William Heynes. Good for 90 mph, it was christened SS 90 and was a relative bargain at £385. The greater fame, however, was accrued by the short-chassis SS 100 Jaguar Roadster. The wheelbase was shortened to 104 inches, and as the name implies, 100 mph was on its horizon, particularly after the engine was enlarged to 3,485 cubic centimeters. With twin SU carburetors, it made 125 brake horsepower, and the four-speed gearbox had synchromesh on the top three gears. At 2,600 pounds, it had plenty of energy, and many owners chose to compete in them.

One of the most aesthetically pleasing cars of its time, the SS 100 is also among the rarest, with 198 of the 2½-Litre examples built. From the beginning, they were exclusive, a characteristic that has only increased with age. Among the prominent personalities who have owned them are the late Alan Clark, British Member of Parliament, and Dave Garroway, founding host and anchor of NBC television’s long-running Today.


The SS 100 offered here was one of only 94 cars produced in 1937, and according to the Classic Jaguar Association’s SS 100 Register, was originally delivered by the famous downtown London distributors Henlys on 30 January 1937, finished in black with an olive interior. Subsequent owners were, from 1978 to 1998, Tom Gooding of Minetto, New York, then, from 1998 until Mr. Smith’s acquisition, the well-known enthusiast James Dale, of Canada and Florida. Mr. Dale received the car in trade from Jaguar expert Terry Larson, in exchange for the missing parts to an original C-Type!

Mr. Dale restored the car to original condition, with the exception of a change in colors to the present livery, red with a black interior and tonneau cover. At some point the car received a correct replacement 2½-Litre engine; this engine, still present today, is number 250798. The car remains in very solid and thoroughly presentable condition, showing only minimal instances of wear; the interior is lightly stretched and the paint exhibits minor chips and cracking in the usual stress areas. Mesh stone guards are fitted to the headlamps and radiator. At the time of cataloguing, the odometer recorded just 87 miles since completion of the restoration. A new fuel tank was installed in 2015.

The SS is offered with a Mark V handbook, a correct instruction book for the model, its original cowl numbers tag (loose; a faithful reproduction is mounted to the car), and a small collection of information and ownership documentation from over the years. It is a lovely example ready for continued use and enjoyment, for many years to come.


Please note that this car is fitted with an MG transmission for ease of driving enjoyment.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more