SS100: a litmus test in a tricky market?

1938 SS Jaguar 100 2.5-litre

by classic-cars |
Published on

[CHASING CARS] Nigel Boothman’s market analysis

Jaguar’s origin car has held firm through pre-war market turbulence, but how long can it weather the storm?

1938 SS Jaguar 100 2.5-litre

How will this ‘collector grade’ 1938 SS Jaguar 100 2.5-litre perform when offered by H&H on June 19? The SS100 has been a nailed-on classic forever – the combination of low-slung looks, un-Thirties performance (0-60mph in 10.5s for the 3.5-litre) and the embodiment of Jaguar’s origin story saw to that – but more interesting in recent years has been its relative stability in a sickly pre-war market.

Ten years back SS100s looked ready to join the immortals, with a couple of 3.5-litre cars selling in America for $850,000 (around £520,000 at the time), but the market settled around £325,000£350,000 for a 3.5-litre; maybe £75,000 less for the equivalent 2.5-litre. The smaller-engined cars are more numerous (198 vs 116 for the 3.5-litre) and appear far more often, with recent results confusing: £393,000 for a storied RAC rally winner at H&H in June ’23, £202,500 for another one with period rally history at Gooding &Co in London in September and a no-sale for a smart black one at Artcurial’s Retromobile sale in February, low estimate just €200,000.

With a startling 20,000 miles from new, low ownership, a great colour combination and a recent overhaul, this car should indeed nail its estimate of £230,000 - £270,000. If not, there may be trouble ahead.

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