Introduced in 1936 alongside the 2½-Litre saloon, the SS 100 Jaguar sports car marked the debut of the ‘Jaguar’ name for the company. Styled in the vein of its SS 90 predecessor, the new model featured a shorter, 102″-wheelbase chassis and an updated version of the 2,663cc Standard six engine. Equipped with Weslake’s overhead-valve cylinder head and twin SU carburettors, the engine now produced 104bhp.
While an excellent touring car, the SS 100 was primarily marketed for competition. Its initial major success occurred unexpectedly when Tommy Wisdom, with his wife Elsie as the crew, won the challenging International Alpine Trial in 1936, surpassing Bugatti and gaining attention for the fledgling marque on the Continent.
This triumph marked the beginning of numerous successful rallying endeavors, including class victories in the RAC events of 1937 and 1938, as well as another outright win in the Alpine in 1948. Production of the SS 100 was halted prematurely due to the outbreak of war, with approximately 190 2½-Litre and 116 of the later 3½-Litre cars manufactured by that time.