A serious in depth study of the growth of SS Cars Limited during the world's worst economic depression; the relationship with the Standard Motor Company
upon which success was based, together with a detailed technical survey covering the progression of design from 1928 to 1950.
Many hithertoo unknown facts disclosed and copiously illustrated with contemporary photographs.
Review from Jaguar Magazine, Edition 122, October 2005
Another surprise book from another author not necessarily associated with Jaguar. This one has turned out to be a gem of a book. Barrie Price is the owner of the Lea Francis marque, and a successful business man, but in this instance he clearly shows his broad knowledge, and dedication to a subject which has not been covered in great detail often before.
It is ironic that the purpose of this work is to show in words, photographs and by documentation, just how William Lyons and William Walmsley moved their business from Blackpool to Coventry, expanded at new premises in the suburb of Foleshill, brought on new swallow body styles, instigated their S. S. marque and grew the business intone which captivated motoring types around the world.
However, while that might all sound pretty straight forward, this book goes right to the heart of the many people Lyons had to deal with, often wrangle with and also socialised with.
An added bonus is the clear fact that the author knows a great deal also about Jaguar’s rival products of the time, and he makes very interesting comparisons with them. They include Avon and Ensign who both used Standard components like Lyons and Walmsley did.
Each of the S. S. models are discussed in detail, and backed up with photographs which explain why they were introduced and what their basic mechanical components were.
The roles played by the many characters associated with the growth of S. S. all come to life. They include Tommy Wisdom, Billy Heynes and Sammy Newsome. You are reminded that the MkV and XK120 were all coming out of that now almost totally forgotten facility in Foleshill, and even the first C-Types were built there for Le Mans in 1951.
We find out what manufacturers such as Lea Francis, Daimler and Armstrong Siddeley were doing while Lyons was pushing his business onwards and upwards, and then truly understand the man’s determination and ability to succeed where others failed before, during and after the war.
This is a great and entertaining addition to the Jaguar story. It is fine entertainment as well as being very informative and comes very highly recommended.
Review from The Oldie magazine, September 2005
BARRIE PRICE HAS done more than simply chronicle the formative years – 1928 to 1950 – of one of Britain’s most famous cars. His authoritative study will appeal to all who have ever owned an early Jaguar, or who wanted to.
Review from Jaguar Heritage, Issue 13
Subtitled 'A detailed study of the 'Standard' era 1928 to 1951, this book by Barrie Price claims to be 'the first book to concentrate on Jaguar's formative years and the company's metamorphosis from SS cars'.
That is quite a challenge. However, Price does succeed in offering some new material on the formation of SS with chassis from Austin and engines from Standard. He concentrates on the early years and gives an insight, via the other products, of the time that were similar to the Swallow cars. He also looks at the mechanics of those cars and the methods of manufacture. Comparisons are made between Standard, MG and Triumph products.
The chapters are clearly divided into models and their gestation from Lyons's ideas to production. Price also considers how a small company could take on the established marques and come out on top in many instances. His research is deep and clearly a labour of love for SS and jaguar products.
Barrie Price ends with a chapter on owning and driving a pre-war SS car in today's traffic conditions. He knows die subject, as he is actively involved with the motor industry and enjoys restoring old cars, especially SS and Jaguars. A most interesting Appendix is the correspondence between Rolls Royce and SS Cars. They tested the first SS Jaguar and the book is worth buying just for their comments!
The Rise of Jaguar is well up to the usual high production values one expects from Veloce and is copiously illustrated with images from JDHT and from private collections.