1936 / 1937 Jaguar SS100 Kit Car ..HELP PLEASE!

Hello all,
I do not know if I am posting in the correct forum. If not, I apologize in advance.
My brother-in-law inherited a 1937 (we think it’s a '37) Jaguar SS100.
The engine is a 1986 Chevrolet Chevette 1.6L.
The issue he chose to tackle first is the wiring. The car was running within the past year, but now the wiring is haunting him.
Without going into detail, our desire is to get in touch with a mechanic who has experience working on our configuration and can troubleshoot our wiring issues. Then we will move on from there.

Is there anyone out there willing to help us?? We live in Phoenix, Arizona USA.

Hi Jim-
Can you define what you mean by “help?”

  • Need someone to work on the existing wiring until it is correct enough to allow the car to run… At which point the car may or many not run depending on other issues.
  • Need someone to coach / help as you do the work?
  • Something else?

Are you and your brother “car guys”, or you want to be and this is your first rodeo, or…?

Just want to make sure the “ask” is clear before I offer suggestions. You mention a mechanic who “has experience working on our configuration…” I’ll eat my hat if you find someone who says “oh yeah I know all about Chevette engines in Jaguar SS replicas…” What I think you want is a good general mechanic with some custom build / hot rod experience. Someone who knows mid-80’s GM stuff and isn’t afraid to modify / improvise along the way…


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Hello Bob.
You pretty much nailed it on the head! - We are looking for a good, reputable, general mechanic.
I should probably point out that the owner has the 1986 Chiltons service manual wihich has all the wiring diagrams.
Seems the previous owner used bandaids, rubber bands and a complete lack of common sense to keep the car running rather than maintaining it properly.
With work & kids…not enough time in the day or motivation to tinker with it. The car has just been sitting in Joe’s driveway far too long. I’m prodding him to get it running! Joe is going to wash it down & clean it up this week.
He’s looking for someone local that won’t charge an arm and a leg to get it running.

Thanks again!

Here’s one to consider. I’ve chatted with the owner and toured the shop. It’s kind of a hodge podge set of buildings but they had about 8 projects going of all types and people busy on all of them. I’ve never used them for anything so no personal experience.

Thanks again Bob!

I think Joe is looking more for a “backyard mechanic” rather than a brick & mortar. Joe is certainly a skilled and qualified home mechanic in his own right. But he’s a wrench-turner. He’s not solid when it comes to electrical. And neither am I.

The car has been sitting in his driveway for over a year. It used to run. I’m the one kicking his butt, motivating him to get it road worthy again. Once it’s running again, I am confident he will start working on it in his spare time and have it in car show quality shape in no time!

Let me qualify that statement – Your idea of Car Show Quality, and my idea of Car Show Quality will be vastly different then Joe’s opinion of Car Show Quality. With Joe, think Rat Rod – but the rat never left. LOL.

I saw your list of cars. You’ve got a nice stable my friend!

Did you have anything at Goodguys this past weekend?


Hi Jim…im not much use to you as im in the UK…but with basic knowkedge and help here you should be able to get it running…you just need to focus on the electrics to run it…battery to starter motor to turn it over…ignition feed to distributor/coil…fuel pump feed…are you on electronic ignition…can you turn over the engine…dont try to start it on old fuel…drain it out and fill with fresh…or rig up a can to direct feed to the carbs…Steve

Hi Jim-
Last time I was at Big Happy it was definitely a shade tree operation. He had at least two cars in there he was doing electrical work on, neither were particularly fancy. His website looks like he’s doing more general work now. Dunno.

I don’t know anything about the 86 1.6l gm engine, but looking on Rock Auto it appears to be carbureted? If so, that makes things a lot easier imho. Electrically you’re dealing with starting, charging/running, and spark. None should be that complicated. Chassis electrical like lights and wipers and stuff can wait.

As Steve mentioned, it’s doable with patience and persistence. Take it one system at a time. But I get that electrical can be overwhelming.

Totally get that it’s not a show car, which is fine. I think you goal should be what we call “well sorted.” Things are properly done in a durable manner but every nut is not polished and every harness is not braided.

I will think a bit more on who I might know. What are your cross streets?

I went to GG on Sunday, pretty quiet but saw some nice stuff. I talked to a couple of vendors about disc brakes for my F100. I did not have anything in the show.


Thank you all for your input -

The current history of the Jag as I know it -
Whoever owned the Jag in the past did quite a number with the electrical. Lots of wires starting from different locations and then abruptly ending. Seems as though when the owner would run into a problem, he would just cut the wire and start over - from a different location!, and leave the previous wires attached to…where ever! Over and over and over! It’s a mess!
My thought would be to just pull it all out and start over. But…we don’t know wiring.
Forward To Current owner - the car used to start and run (within the past 6 months). Yet if he were to, say, use a turn signal, the car would die.
Current status - The electronic fuel pump is no longer getting power, thus won’t push fuel to the carb.
Which leads back to the maze of wires - some of which are going somewhere and some going to nowhere. Again - It’s a mess, guys!.

Rather than us spending hours getting nowhere and perhaps making it worse…we are reaching out looking for someone more experienced that can come look at the car and say - “okay, this goes here, that goes there”, and remove all the rest.

Major cross streets are Gilbert & University, Mesa

Were I a bit closer…:persevere:

I was just going to say, the PO is in a pickle, because he really needs an auto electrician, or someone that knows auto electrics/tech which is quite a specialised field

I am a qualified technician so can do 99% of my own electrical and electronic work

A guy I know is a retired autolec, he is 75, but will still do work, he is fantastic, he just charges cash to come out, and he doesnt miss

If you can find someone like that, will be best, I have made custom wiring harness etc, can read circuit diagrams etc etc. It all is time consuming and auto electricians charge about $130 ph

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Might almost be easier to buy a universal fuse block and wiring harness kit from Painless Wiring or such and start from scratch.

I’d love to know the alleged logic that led to the selection of the Chevy Chevette drivetrain, a unique combination of vapid performance and obscure origin. My wife’s college roommate drove a Chevette for many years, but she was a banker. Because it had a manual transmission, chrome trim rings on the 13" wheels AND TWO TONE PAINT :flushed: she considered it a sports car. But again, banker.