Saturday, October 22, 2011

SS1 four seat tourer

SS1 a much loved heap in my misspent youth. SS Cars Ltd was a British car maker. It grew out of the Swallow Sidecar Company and was first registered under the new name in 1934. The first of the SS range of cars available to the public was the 1932 SSI with 2 or 2½-litre side-valve, six-cylinder engine and the SSII with a four-cylinder 1-litre side-valve engine. Initially available as coupĂ© or tourer a saloon was added in 1934 when the chassis was modified to be 2 inches (50 mm) wider. I owned an SS2 before the SS1, quite primitive compared to modern cars and even in my ownership I felt the need to upgrade the engines, the SS2 gained a OHV engine out of a Triumph Renown which mated the original Standard gearbox. The SS1 tourer first acquired twin SU carburetters instead of R.A.G. with ram pipes and then a 3-1/2 litre engine from a Jaguar Mark V, the staggering thing was that all the different engines Triumph, Standard and Jaguar fitted the same 4 speed gearbox. Making them faster was one thing, getting them to stop with the Bendix cable drum brakes was another. As a consequence body rebuilds were required from time to time.

SS1 Coupe lanquishing in a restoration workshop in need of a new camshaft.

Inner page of the handbook, rather scruffy I know. oily fingers. Below a couple of pages showing the engine sizes, HP and other data. Even in its day comments were that the cars were more show than go hence the need to upgrade the power in the cars I owned.

At the time of ownership, in retrospect I behaved like a wee boy racer and poser, windscreen down with only the little aero-screens, deerstalker hat driving like a man possessed in a car already 30 years old. Cars of that time came with a tool kit and the hand book instructed how to service and people did. Not many would adjust tappets, decoke, replace big end bearings, grease various nipples and the like these days. No need of course.

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