Story of an SS?

Please excuse my ignorance of these early Jaguars. I post this just for interest sake.
I came across some photos and an Invoice related to an SS. I have no other information as to the owner or fate of the car. The invoice is from a firm called Matvel Motors & Engineers, Mildura, Australia, The date looks like 21/11/1955. Jaguar SS- Remove Cylinder Head & check motor. Expand Pistons, Fit Bearings, ??? Fitting, Valve Work, Clean, Assemble & Install Motor, Bore Block & Fit Sleeves, ??? Piston Grooves, Labour ÂŁ59.15.8 (Australian Pre-Decimal Currency)
Supply Material- Gudgeon Pins, Valve Guides, Timing Chain, Head Gasket, Sump Gasket, Manifold Gasket, Valve Springs, Circlips, Sleeves, Gaskets, Bolts ÂŁ44.10.0 Total ÂŁ104.5.8 ( AUD




$208.58 in todays money ) The slide is an SS 100 but I’m not sure about the car under restoration. I assume its the car referred to in the invoice. Anyway, if you’re into the SS models you may be able to work things out.
Cheers
Dave

Very interesting, Dave.
The car with the doors and wings off is an SS1 Saloon from about 1933-36. Looks like it is about to get a repaint including the brake drums. This car was most likely made before the name Jaguar was used as a model name in 1936, and this model was never called a Jaguar, so it would be less likely that the invoice applied to this car.
However, the engine is not the original side valve type, it is an OHV 2-1/2 Litre, which was first used in the 1936-40 SS Jaguar models, so possibly the invoice could apply to the engine.
Peeking out behind it is an SS Jaguar or Mark IV, 1936-48. We can’t tell much more about it other than noting it does not have fog lamps nor visible horns (my '38 has both). It has the larger headlamps and longer bonnet, suggesting it is a 2-1/2 or 3-1/2 Litre car, not a 1-1/2 Litre. It could be the car in the invoice.
The blue car is an SS-100. It could also be the car in the invoice.
It seems a pretty high expenditure for a pre-war car in 1955, suggesting the car was well loved.
What’s the story, how did you find these?

I would think the invoice was for work on the SS100.

Peter

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Thanks Rob. I’m glad you found them interesting, I’d like to think those cars are out there somewhere and in good hands. I know some of the Jaguar story from the Swallow Sidecar beginning but I’m not familiar with all the models and variations. I’ve just bought a book The Jaguar by Andrew Whyte and intend to improve my knowledge. Regarding the invoice and photos, a friend of mine who restored a 1934 Chevrolet Roadster found them somewhere in is travels, and as they were Jag related, gave them to me.
I’m fairly new to Jaguars and my one and only car is a 2002.5 S Type. 4.2 V8
Dave

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Thanks Peter. I’d like to think its out there somewhere in a warm, dry garage (Except on Sunday’s)
Dave

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Hi,

Exactly. AFAIK SS Cars stopped the production of all other previous (SS1 and SS2) models when the “SS Jaguar” was unveiled in September 1935 EXCEPT for ONE model, which was the Open Tourer, the four seater or 2+2 convertible.

This may have been because of a need to offer an open car until the Drophead Coupé version of the new SS Jaguar model would have been ready for production.

I know I should check from Allan’s books (I have them all) how this all went, but that’s roughly what the situation was in late 1935 and early 1936:

All car bodies “coachbuilt” until 1938.

  • SS Jaguar 2 1/2 Litre OHV engine, coachbuilt 4-door Saloon body with one side mounted spare tire
  • SS Jaguar 1 1/2 Litre sidevalve engine, coachbuilt 4-door Saloon body with one side mounted spare tire
  • SS Jaguar “100” 2 1/2 Litre OHV engine, coachbuilt open two seater 2-door sports body, rear mounted spare tire
  • SS Jaguar Open Tourer 2 1/2 Litre OHV engine, coachbuilt 2+2, four seater 2-door open tourer body, rear mounted spare tire

And then came also the Drophead coupe, but I don’t remember ever seeing one with a side mounted spare tire, so perhaps they came into production first in 1938 with the steel bodies? Although we all know that the door frames and rear scuttle in all Drophead coupes also MKIV and MKV still used wooden (beech) frames.

So from 1938 the spare tire was mounted in a closed compartment below the trunk and the 4-cyl car used the OHV cylinder head, if not even a bit earlier? (I have one such engine with a LOT of missing parts from 1938).

But with the introduction of the “SS Jaguar” model the only “interim” models were the “SS90” that was upgraded into “SS100” (new chassis, new engine, new wheels) and the SS1 “Open Tourer” which continued a short period as “SS Jaguar Open Tourer” with a new engine, bigger and wider radiator and radiator cowl and a modified chassis etc.

The models that were “dropped” in late 1935 were:

SS1 “Airline” Saloon, coachbuilt 2+2, four seater 2-door coupe body, rear mounted spare tire
SS1 “Four Light” Saloon, coachbuilt 2+2, four seater 2-door saloon body, rear mounted spare tire
SS1 Coupé, coachbuilt 2+2, four seater 2-door coupe body, rear mounted spare tire
SS1 Drophead Coupé, coachbuilt 2+2 four seater 2-door convertible body, rear mounted spare tire

SS2 “Four Light” Saloon, coachbuilt 2+2, four seater 2-door saloon body, rear mounted spare tire
SS2 Coupé, coachbuilt 2+2, four seater 2-door coupe body, rear mounted spare tire
SS2 Open Tourer, coachbuilt 2+2, four seater 2-door open tourer body, rear mounted spare tire

They all had used the sidevalve engines (16HP or 20HP) until the end of production (well SS2 was 4-cyl ca 1.3/1.6), AFAIK none of them were ever factory fitted with the OHV engine when new, although some owners may have fitted such engines and other engines later. I think I saw once an SS2 Coupé from Argentina that had a 4-cyl Ford engine and a Peugeot gearbox.

The introduction of the “SS Jaguar” to replace outdated models and simplify the model range reminds me of Sir William’s plan to replace “all models” with the new “XJ” that was developed from the 2+2 E-type coupe platform. I think in late 1974 there were no other models in production (if we leave out the Daimler Limousine aka DS420) until 1975 when the 2+door XJ coupe went into prodcution and the XJ-S followed soon.

Cheers!

Ps. Here’s one (an SS Jaguar Open Tourer from 1936) in Saanen, Switzerland in June 2011:

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I included the possibility that the SS1 could be a '36 based on this side valve brochure.
http://www.jag-lovers.org/brochures/ss_1936_side_valve.html
I wasn’t sure whether any SS1 ever had an OHV engine, but this brochure seems to say no.
But the early SS history is often obscure, so maybe I’ll read Andrew’s book again. :smiley:

My Jan '38 saloon is one of the first out the gate with the spare under the tank, and a very clumsy design it is; they made some improvements later that year.

Peter S, I presume you’re thinking one would only spend 100 pounds on a car that was worth much more than that in 1955, so most likely the SS100. That car may still be around, and possibly traceable by the registration or license plate number. It may be on here:
www.ssjaguardata.com

That would be my thoughts. I have some of the CJA reports listing the registration numbers of SS100s but JFB 498 doesn’t appear on any if them. I would think that Terry Mcgrath would know the status of this car.

Peter

No surprises to me re the SS100 registered [Vic] JFB-498…
It is 3-1/2 litre SS100 # 39029 that was dispatched from factory in Feb 1938 to Henlys (London) but believed not registered/used in UK and was in Melbourne, Victoria by July 1939 registered [Vic] AG-697. It went to Queensland post war reregistering on [Qld]NFL-667 plates. It was subsequently purchased in 1961 by Greg Berkman, who then took 39029 with him to Melbourne in April 1965 then reregistering it [Vic] JFB-498 - but then taking it back with him to Queensland in 1967 reregistering it again on [Qld] POD-131. Greg retained ownership and use of car, including some very long distance runs including a couple of the well supported Tristate Rallys over 6/7 days from Brisbane (where he lives), to outback NSW country towns, and back - with car remaining in truly excellent but original, long distance driving condition and use…
On one of my visits to Greg in 2014 he was well progressed with some top-end Engine work - see attatched photo, noting car was now back in its original Maroon colour…

So the timeline of this Matvel, Mildura (country town in Victoria) Invoice of Nov 1965 for engine work certainly fits in with Greg’s two year period April 1965 to 1967, so maybe its related - I will have to ask Greg if indeed he did get Engine work done in Mildura in 1965. But a little strange - Mildura is a country town on the Victorian North/West border some 550km (340mls) from Melbourne…

After nearly 60 years ownership/extensive use, Greg made decision it was time to sell car, and just recently in 2018 39029 went back to UK, and soon after offered for sale by Classic Car Dealer CHarles Prince … now on UK registration, probably for the first time — [UK] KXS421

Over to our UK experts where 39029 is now…

But as above, I will ask Greg about the 1965 Mildura Invoice…

The other photo shows an SS1 which is probably traceable by reference to John Clucas’ tome on SS and SS Jaguar in Australia given its most likely Victorian location based on the SS Jaguar/Mark IV in background on Victorian Number Plates… but at this stage 39029 looks a probable/possible match to the Mildura invoice…

Very cool: full circle!

The owner’s name and address on the invoice looks like it might be M. Gausden 72 Eaglesham St, which is in Mildura.
The current occupant of the business address 53 Tenth St seems to be a hydraulic piping and irrigation company.

Amazing history. I never thought this would raise so much interest. Thanks for the comprehensive background information, It’s fascinating to uncover the story behind the photo/invoice.
A bit more info re these items: My friend was helping the widow(partner?) of M.Gausden to clean up the property after his death. There was only one car, a Fiat for which my friend assisted with its sale. The photo and invoice were to be thrown out. Perhaps Gausden did not own the SS100 but more probably the SS1 Saloon? We are trying to confirm this.
If/when this “case” is closed, I am more than happy to pass the invoice and photos to the present owner.

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Peter,

Given I have identified the Australian SS100 as 39029, and as now being KXS421 in the UK since 2018, are you now able to identify current location…?

Roger

Another angle…
According to the Clucas tome, Mike Gausden did indeed own an unidentified SS1 Four Light Saloon, as well as a 1936 SS Jaguar 11187, who was in Mildura in 1955 who then fitted the engine from 11187 into the SS1 Saloon after dismantling the 1936 11187…, with the engine later being again refitted to an SS100 replica by well known real SS Jaguar owner Bill Coombs, subsequently going to NZ
So maybe the Mildura engine work was on 11187’s engine after dismantling car, to go into SS1 Four Light Saloon… wow, it gets complicated…

Regardless, I have asked the question of Greg Berkman, so that will confirm or eliminate the SS100 39029 possibility…

Still doesn’t explain the second photo with the SS1 Coupe and 1938-40 SS-Jaguar/ Mark IV in background… Can anyone narrow down the Saloon, but its not the 1936 11187

Roger

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Hi Roger,

Yes, although my most up to date records are from 1997.
The owner then was G.M. Berkman, 15 Longman Terrace, Chelmer, Brisbane 4068.
“Imported into Australia in 1939. Raced in Australian Grand Prix at Leyburn in 1949. Carries HIST 1630. Burgundy with grey interior.”

Peter