Jaguar SS1 Airline
Built between: 1934-1936, Number sold: 624, cool cat rating: 4/5
Jaguar’s heritage stretches back to 1922, and the birth of the Swallow Sidecar Company. Amazingly, it took less than a decade for this rapidly expanding firm to grow from humble beginnings to launch a breakthrough car.
Having wowed the crowds at its debut at the Mayfair Hotel in London in 1931, the SS1 established itself as a vehicle to rival the best that Alvis and Bentley could offer. With its sweeping wingline and high-class cabin, it was a fine effort.
It debuted as a coupé, but several different bodystyles were quickly added to the SS1 line-up – the most famous being the SS100 sports car below. But it was the saloon, which we’ve pictured here, that really kept the order books busy. The stunning example in our pictures is the Airline model. Its covered spare wheels and streamlined form reflected the art deco style of the day, and it was produced from 1934 to 1936, during which time only 624 were made.
Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons wasn’t a fan of this model’s looks and the Airline was attributed to the influence of William Walmsley – Lyon’s original partner, who would soon leave the firm. Nonetheless, it’s now regarded as the most striking of all the SS1 bodystyles.
By the outbreak of World War II, SS had sold 20,000 cars, and it emerged from the conflict in good health. By then, the unsavoury connections of the company’s SS initials required a change – and in February 1945, it became Jaguar Cars.
WHY: Saloon set blueprint for firm.
In this review
- 1IntroductionThe coolest cats of all-time go head-to-head in a unique shoot-out!
- 2Jaguar XJ (new)Built: 2009 on, number sold: not on sale yet, cool cat factor: wait and see!
- 3Jaguar XKBuilt between: 2006 to date, number sold: 124,382 to date, cool cat rating: 3/5
- 4Jaguar XFBuilt: 2009 to date, number sold: 56,149 to date, cool cat rating: 4/5
- 5Jaguar X-TypeBuilt between: 2001 to date, number sold: 360,405 to date, cool cat rating: 2/5
- 6Jaguar XJ (X350)Built: 2003-09, number sold: 295,365 to date, cool cat rating: 3/5
- 7Jaguar XK8Built between: 1996-2004, number sold: 84,958, cool cat rating: 3/5
- 8Jaguar XJ (X300)Built between: 1994-1997, number sold: 92,038, cool cat rating: 3/5
- 9Jaguar XJ220Built between: 1992-94, number sold: 277, cool cat rating: 4/5
- 10Jaguar XJ (XJ40)Built between: 1986-1994, number sold: 208,000, cool cat rating: 3/5
- 11Jaguar XJSBuilt between: 1975-1996, number sold: 115,413, cool cat rating: 4/5
- 12Jaguar XJ6Built between: 1968-73, number sold: 98,527, cool cat rating: 5/5
- 13Jaguar E-TypeBuilt: 1961-75, number sold: 13,490, cool cat factor: 5/5
- 14Jaguar XJ13Built: 1966, number built: 1, cool cat rating: 4/5
- 15Jaguar MkIIBuilt between: 1959-1967, number sold: 83,976, cool cat rating: 5/5
- 16Jaguar XK150Built between: 1957-1961, number sold: 9,385, cool cat rating: 4/5
- 17Jaguar MkI saloonBuilt between: 1955-1959, number sold: 37,397, cool cat factor: 5/5
- 18Jaguar D-TypeBuilt between: 1955-1956, number sold: 87, cool cat factor: 5/5
- 19Jaguar C-TypeBuilt between: 1950-53, number produced: 54, cool cut rating: 5/5
- 20Jaguar XK120Built: 1948-54, number sold: 12,064, cool cat rating: 5/5
- 21Jaguar SS100Built between: 1935-1939, number sold: 309, cool cat factor: 5/5
- 22Jaguar SS1 Airline - currently readingBuilt between: 1934-1936, Number sold: 624, cool cat rating: 4/5