- Sold new to Swiss Olympic bobsleigh champion, Hans Aichele
- Meticulously restored by Terry Larson
- 2004 Pebble Beach award winner
This beautifully presented example of perhaps Britain’s most recognizable sports car of the late 1930s spent its early life at the heart of Swiss professional and sporting life. The reputed first owner took delivery from London distributor Henlys early in the summer of 1937, and one can imagine the excitement of driving his new SS 100 Jaguar home to his native Switzerland. Hans Aichele was something of an adventurous speed addict anyway. He took part in the 1936 Winter Olympics in the four-man bobsleigh competition, and scooped the silver medal.
Swiss records show the car was registered to him in Zürich on 1 July 1938. Chassis number 18102, this was the 2.5-litre model, the Standard-based engine featuring the Weslake conversion to overhead-valve configuration that was a key part of the transformation of SS’s when they adopted the Jaguar name for the first time in 1935.
Records suggest he retained the S.S. Jaguar until 2 April 1954 when ownership of the SS passed to a Zürich-born graphic designer named Paul Staub, and by February of 1956 the two-seater was acquired by another Swiss aesthete, architect Daniel Reist of Mauri in Berne. Mr Reist’s custodianship was a lengthy one, lasting 25 years, during which it’s thought he undertook a change in paint colour from gunmetal grey to dark green. In 1982 the car was the subject of a deal between Oldtimer Garage of Berne and Coys of Kensington in London, and thus the fourth owner in 1982, Peter Tacon, became the first one from the car’s land of origin. Slightly confusingly, Mr Tacon’s quest for an age-appropriate registration number was all too successful; it ended up carrying the plates once worn by another SS 100, chassis 49035 built in 1938.
These SS 100s have long been in high demand all over the world, and by 1993 this one was resident in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA with Nancy Huntsman.
After one more change of ownership, the current owner entrusted the SS 100 to US expert Terry Larson so that it could undergo the very best possible restoration in the hands if his experienced team.
At the 50th Anniversary SS 100 rally in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire in 1986, this car won first prize in the concours d’elegance for its then owner Peter Tacon, so evidently it was in exceptional outward shape. However, once restored fully by Larson and his craftsmen, the car was taken to a whole new level. At Pebble Beach in 2004, it took the second prize in the European Sportscars Pre War class, followed by a first in the pre-war class at the 2006 British Classic Cars Meeting in St. Moritz. In April 2007, the SS 100 was also exhibited to great acclaim at the Villa d’Este concours at Lake Como, Italy, and its magnificent condition today remains unchanged since then.