In appearance the larger SS1
was a long, low vehicle with a short passenger compartment, wire
wheels, and a luggage boot with a spare tire at the rear. Its
expensive looks belied its excellent monetary value.
In 1933 the name of the
company was changed to SS Cars Ltd. with Lyons becoming managing
director. He bought his partner out in 1936.
The First Jaguar
In 1934, Harry Weslake,
regarded as one of the industry's top engine experts, joined the
company. His new cylinder head with OHV valve arrangement was
The name Jaguar was used for
the first time in 1935. Also in 1935, William Heynes joined the
company as chief engineer.
The firm's production
included limousines, convertibles, and sports cars fitted with
1.5-litre, 2.5-litre, and 3.5-litre engines. The most notable
vehicle of the period was the 3.5-litre SS 100 model. This was the
fastest and most famous pre-war Jaguar, with speeds of 100 mph and
acceleration from rest to 60 mph in about 10.5 seconds. The engine
had a compression ratio of 17.5:1. Racing successes in the Marne
Grand Prix of Reims, the Villa Real International event, the
Alpine Rally, The Monte Carlo Rally, and the RAC Rally made this
one of the most famous Jaguar cars.
During WWII, production
shifted to the war effort, of course. After the war, the company's
name was changed to Jaguar Cars Ltd. and production resumed. The
first Jaguars were produced with the option of left-side driving