Were SS Tourers ever called Roadsters?

I am considering putting a picture of an SS on the front cover of the Sept/Oct Jaguar Journal. It’s a two door four seat convertible with open outboard mudguard sides and looks just like a 1936 Tourer I once loosely assembled. I’m asking an event organizer to confirm what model it is and he has replied “1934 SS Roadster.”

I wasn’t aware there was ever an SS Roadster, and since it’s too big for an SS90 or SS100s I assume it’s just a mistake by someone who doesn’t now his SS cars too well. However, since that description also includes me, I thought I’d just check here first. No photo handy but I suspect all 4-seat SS cars with folding tops were classed as Tourers, no?

Definitely not a roadster. The four seat open SS cars of that date would be called tourers.


I agree with Peter. No roadster. As far as I know, roadsters have only two seats and do not have a folded roof (possibly detachable).

In the brochures the open 4 seaters were always called Open Four Seaters, they never used the word roadster.
http://www.jag-lovers.org/brochures/ss/ss34cat_10_l.jp g
remove the space between the p and g.

You can go through all the 1930-39 brochures here.
Even the SS90 and SS100 were never called roadsters, always Open Tourers or LeMans Type or Competition models.


AFAIK the term ”roadster” is an American one. In Italy they used the word ”Spider” for similar ( = Spyder, no letter ”y” in old Italian typewriters etc.) configuration. ”Tourer” was usually the typical term in England.

We also simply used the words for ”open” or ”closed” cars, just like for horse driven carts.

So many call E-type Open Two Seaters for roadsters although they all have a fixed hood and wind up windows of glass. Some people say the difference between a ”spider” (= roadster) and a ”cabriolet” (=covertible) is the front side vent or frame that has a small side window, like the Jaguar Drophead Coupés (and even SS1).


Many thanks gentlemen…

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An ongoing issue for authors and editors… correct, if that exists, terminology for things that vary from country to country and indeed evolve over the years…
A few basic rules I follow, that I find works well enough…
First of all SS, SS Jaguar and Jaguar are English designed, engineered and manufactured cars, so as a RULE I always use English terminology, rather than my local Australian, or indeed USA terminology, Canadian terminology or New Zealand terminology…, and I even go one step further - at times I use Jaguar terminology/spelling rather than main-stream English terminology where that differs… the term CARBURETTER comes to mind…, as supplied to Jaguar by the SU Carburetter Company…
But then you also get an age related evolution of even SS/Jaguar terminology/spelling such that what was preferred use in the 1930s by SS Cars was not necessarily the same as used by Jaguar Cars in the 1960s…
In this particular case…
The 1934 S.S. Cars Sales Catalogue clearly refers to this model S.S. as being an OPEN FOUR-SEATER SPORTS so in my opinion, that’s what is the ‘correct’ terminology for 202 only S.S.I. built in 1934 with this particular body…

If you have a copy of Allan Crouch’s S.S.I & S.S.II definitive reference - , refer to page 138 where he shows a copy of the 1934 S.S.I. Ledger that given the limited space simply refers to 1934 cars as being ‘Saloon’ or ‘Open’

Allan’s book published in 2006 however more generally throughout refers to these OPEN FOUR-SEATER SPORTS as being instead TOURERS, so whether that is more general use English terminology in 2006 or not, best to ask him - but my (Australian) understanding is the term ‘Tourer’ was used for only ‘open four seater bodies’ that had ‘four doors’, a hood and side-curtains, and was not used for something with only ‘two doors’…

Others may wish to add their two-pence, but off hand I cannot think of to many other English cars built that were, open, had four seats, and had two doors only, and had a folding hood and side curtains for weather protection, regardless SS Cars Ltd called this 1934 model an OPEN FOUR-SEATER SPORTS.

The S.S.90 and S.S.100 were called OPEN TWO-SEATER SPORTS
and on its release in 1949 the XK120 was called a SUPER SPORTS, but later evolving - but that’s another issue…

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