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S.S.90 HISTORY

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Home > JAGUAR HISTORY > S.S.90 HISTORY

SS90 In 1935 came the S.S.90 Lyons first true sports car so named to imply its anticipated top speed. The models chassis was essentially that of the revised S.S.1 with an underslung rear and 15 inches extracted from its central section. The engine, the 2.6 litre unit with a bore and stroke of 73 mm x 106 mm, had been mildly modified and now developed around 75 bhp. The side valve cylinder head had been retained although the camshaft was peculiar to the model, and the aluminium cylinder head was an S.S. fitting.





Shortly after the introduction of the S.S.90, Lyons appointed William Munger Heynes, a gifted young engineer from Humber, as S.S. chief engineer. One of Heynes first tasks was a formidable: with the assistance of only one draughtsman he had to revise the by now complex S.S. range, designing a new chassis, suspension and steering for the new generation cars to be revealed in only six months time at the Motor Show. This included a new saloon range powered by the Weslake modified 2.5 litre engine, which was also to be used in the S.S. sports car.

At this time the SS name was altered, losing its full stops and being joined by Jaguar. It was Bill Rankin who was to come up with a list of animal and fish names, and Lyons immediately pounced on Jaguar because it had an exciting sound. It was also Rankin who, as a keen amateur sculptor, was to design the famous leaping Jaguar mascot for the cars radiator. An unimpressed Lyons said that it looked like a cat shot off a fence.

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