It's a 1939 SS 100 from the pre-Jaguar era. The name "Jaguar" was given to the car with its introduction in 1936, but the company was not named Jaguar until after WW II, when the initials "SS" were evocative of a lot less savory image than this car. This car came to the shop in its fully restored condition about three years ago. The owner, who lives in San Francisco, uses the car periodically to run a rally here or there and has put about 6500 mi. on it since its restoration. He brings it in for regular maintenance and whenever anything happens that needs repair. One repair that has come up arose from his being forced to hit the brakes suddenly to avoid a collision with a car that came suddenly from a side street. This sudden stop caused his tie rod link to bend severely and I deemed it unsafe for reuse if it was straightened. We made a new tube with appropriate threads in each end, set toe-in and he was back on the road.
There is a type of customer who wants their classic to be as usable as a modern car. They want to cruise on a freeway, stop on a dime and make very few concessions to the cars age. It is entirely possible to do that without too much compromise of a car's character (to be clear there is always compromise when you modify something). This car has been in this family for 25 years, I have put a 5 speed transmission, a triple Webber carbs setup, and much more. The car now produces more usable power, and lopes at freeway speeds effortlessly. It was just in the shop to have aging motor mounts replaced and after untold miles the rear suspension rebuilt.
This one is a real challenge. The original engine wore out and was replaced with another V 12, but from a later car. The fuel injection in this motor, is not tuned to deal with its compression so it just never ran right. I sourced the correct fuel injection system from a later car and am adapting it to work on this car. Not simple, but will make a big difference when its done.