Of all the prestigious shows and concours we attend, few are as highly regarded as those of the Antique Automobile Club of America, or AACA. This is in part due to the rigorous judging standards the organization has set, but it also its tiered award system that requires a vehicle to win at numerous increasingly difficult events before it can be crowned with the grand prize. Documented AACA wins are so important they can add significantly to a vehicle’s value based on how high it achieves.
Over the May 19-21 weekend we represented a past Ragtops & Roadsters restoration at the AACA Grand National show in Virginia Beach. The car was a 1938 SS100 Jaguar, a model from what was then the Swallow Sidecar company, or SS, before the company wisely renamed itself Jaguar in the aftermath of WWII. One of just 90 examples ever built with the 3.5-liter six-cylinder engine. it’s also the only one to have been built with a high-compression 10.0:1 cylinder head built by John Heath HWM Jaguar fame, capable of achieving 100 mph, as its name implies.
It’s not a stretch to say that in classic Jaguar circles, this particular example is kind of a big deal. In the days before WWII, it competed in RAC rallies at Blackpool and Edinburgh, and its post-war years was raced at Brands Hatch and Brighton speed trials. The car was considered the fastest SS100 in the UK.
Our Perkasie team gave it a mechanical refresh starting in 2017, followed by a bare-metal repaint of the car by our Pottstown team completed in 2018. Later than year it earned 100 points at the Jaguar Club of North America (JCNA) Concours, “Most Outstanding Jaguar” at the Greenwich Concours d’ Elegance, and “Best in Class” at the Radnor Hunt Concours. In 2019, the SS100 won its first AACA award – its “First Junior” – at Fall Hershey and it returned in 2020 to win its “First Senior” recognition.
With its owner on hand to present the car, we prepared he SS 100 for its next challenge, a first attempt at a Grand National award. Winning at the lower level AACA events does not guarantee a Grand National win, so critical details could not be ignored at this stage. The vehicle’s presentation on for judging included its complete original tool kit, side curtains, and jack as well as many other original accessories. The judging team looked over the Jaguar throughly several times before walking away in silence.
The owner of the gorgeous car, our client Chris, discovered when he got home from Virginia a couple days later that his car had, in fact, won its Junior Grand National, a triumph that required receiving a minimum of 385 points out of a possible 400 to be considered. He couldn’t have been happier when got the news.
“Kuddos to the team at Ragtops & Roadsters for bringing this car back to its original beauty,” said Chris when we shared the results with him. “Let’s see if we can get the Senior Grand National next.”
So far, so good. Let’s see what’s next.