1935 SS One Coupe emblem.
SS Cars was a British manufacturer of sports saloon cars from 1934 until wartime 1940, and from March 1935 of a limited number of open 2-seater sports cars. From September 1935 their new models displayed a new name SS Jaguar.
By then its business, founded in 1922, was run by and largely owned by William Lyons. Lyons had been partner with 1922 co-founder William Walmsley until Walmsley sold his shareholding in January 1935.
The company that owned the business, S. S. Cars Limited bought the shares of Swallow Coachbuilding Limited as of July 31, 1934 and the Swallow company was liquidated before S. S. issued shares to the public in January 1935. This was the time when Walmsley finished selling his holding.
There is doubt about the source of the SS name. Sir John Black of Standard-Triumph when asked said SS stood for Standard Swallow. William Lyons when asked was noncommittal, but he was at the time in the company of suppliers of chassis for his run of the mill production bodies. He concurred after the use of Standard chassis became exclusive.
S.S. Cars Limited changed its name to Jaguar Cars Limited on March 23, 1945.
Under the guidance of the chairman, William Lyons, the company survived the depression years of the 1930s by making a series of beautifully styled cars offering exceptional value for money although some enthusiasts criticised them at the time for being "more show than go". The engines and chassis supplied by the Standard Motor Company were fitted with Swallow bodies styled under Lyons supervision.
The first of the SS range of cars available to the public was the 1932 SS 1 with 2-litre or 2½-litre side-valve, six-cylinder engine.
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