SS Jaguar 100 - The remarkable history of 18008
New book tells the story of ‘Old Number 8’
Launched in 1935, the rakish SS Jaguar 100 was a landmark model for the company that had been founded by William Lyons as Swallow Sidecars and which would evolve into Jaguar. As the first true performance car to wear the Jaguar name, it soon attracted the attention of drivers who recognised its competition potential – and chassis number 18008 would become the most famous SS100 of all.
Better known by its registration number BWK 77, or simply as ‘Old Number 8’, it was sold new to Sammy Newsome before being bought back by the SS Cars factory. It went on to become the works development car before making headlines when the husband-and-wife team of Tommy and Elsie Wisdom achieved a penalty-free run on the 1936 International Alpine Trial.
After being modified into lightweight 3.5-litre form, BWK 77 raced at prestigious venues such as Brooklands and Shelsley Walsh, eventually being sold into private ownership after World War Two. Its competition history did not end there, however. Subsequent owners have continued to use this revered SS100 in the manner to which it had become accustomed and this, the 11th book in the Exceptional Cars series from Porter Press International, brings its remarkable story right up to date.
- The full story of 18008’s career as a works car, including its penalty-free run in the 1936 International Alpine Trial in the hands of Tommy and Elsie Wisdom.
- Revealing profiles of each private owner and their competitive achievements with this unique SS100.
- Superb photography from throughout the car’s sporting history – from the 1936 Scottish Rally to the 2022 Spa Six Hours Historic Meeting.
- The evolution of BWK 77 – from factory form to lightweight racer and its restoration in the late 1960s.
- A stunning full set of studio images of ‘Old Number 8’, as photographed by John Colley.
Publication date: 12 September 2023
Page count: 128
Dimensions: 240 x 280mm portrait
Images: Over 110
Chas Parker swapped a career in astronomy, during which time he was press officer for the Royal Greenwich Observatory, based at Herstmonceux in East Sussex, to begin writing about his other great interest, motorsport. He spent seven years as a sub-editor on Motorsport News, often reporting on events such as the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Goodwood Revival and Silverstone Classic.
He has written 13 books, including histories of Brands Hatch and Silverstone, together with Haynes manuals about the Jaguar D-type, Bugatti Type 35 and Lola T70. He has also written books in Porter Press International’s Great Cars and Exceptional Cars series about the Jaguar XK 120, C-type and D-type, as well as Ford Model T: An Enthusiast’s Guide and The Michael Turner Collection. Together with co-author Philip Porter, he was shortlisted for the 2017 RAC Motoring Book of the Year Award for the Great Cars title Jaguar C-type – The Autobiography of XKC 051. He lives in East Sussex with his wife Diane.