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Meet the Cousins


It is fairly well known that much of the SS heritage stems from The Standard Motor Company but when you look at the rather upright form of the small Standards of the 1930s it's difficult to see the family resemblances. Look into the mechanical parts and the DNA matching becomes more obvious.

Both Standard and SS used rear axles supplied by ENV in the pre-war period so it's no surprise that there is much in common there. The Standard axle is shown on the left.

Move a little further forward and we can see lots of commonality in the gearbox casings too. The internals are also very similar. The top cover is rather different but the dip stick looks very familiar. The inset (Plate H) shows the SS casings. The SS box may look a little more elongated but I think it is the same size as the Standard and the drawing is just a little deceptive.

At first sight the side valve Standard engine looks less familiar but take a look at the front and rear ends and we see very similar timing sprockets, chain cover and water pump. The front camshaft bearing and the engine front plate are also very close relatives and the front main bearing and the alloy bridge piece beneath it are also clones. At the rear of the engine the bridge piece and rear main castings, rear plate and oil seal are again cloned in the SS and the flywheel could easily be mistaken too.

If we look at a transverse cross section of the engine then again we see very similar cylinder block castings and the relationships between piston, crank and camshaft also match. In the collage below the SS Jaguar 2 litre is on the left and the 1 litre to the right of the Standard engine. The three drawings are not all sectioned in the same plane but if they were then the oil pump and drive shaft in the 2 would show up just like that in the Standard and SS 1 litre.

There are in fact many parts that carry the same part numbers in the Standard and SS parts lists so next time you see a Flying Standard do give it a friendly wave.

In the engine of the 1 litre SS Jaguar 1938-48 we find 46321, 39428, 44460, i.e. crankshaft, oil pump and camshaft to name but a few that appear in the Standard 12 parts list.

In the gearbox of the 1 litre SS Jaguar 1938-48 we find 53020, 38701, 44717,44716, i.e. gearbox casing, 1st speed, 2nd speed and 3rd speed countershaft gears and it's a similar picture on the mainshaft with 37423, 44712 and 44713.

Having looked at the mechanisms of the SS Jaguar and the Standard it's interesting to see how they performed.

In July 1938 The Autocar tested the baby of the SS Jaguar range, the 1 litre, and in April 1939 The Motor tested the Standard 14.
Both cars had the same size 4 cylinder engine of 1776 cc although SS Cars claimed 65 bhp for their OHV version as against the 49 bhp of the side valve Standard.

Both cars were about 14' 5" in length although the SS was about 1 cwt heavier at 26 cwt.
As has been mentioned earlier the Standard and SS 1 litre used the same gearbox ratios except that the SS was much longer in the leg at 18.7 mph/1000rpm compared with 14.9 for the Standard. Fuel consumption was very similar for the two cars.

Now to the performance figures:

                                      Standard 14               SS Jaguar 14 hp

Top Speed
                      70mph                            74 mph

0-30 mph                        6.5 secs                           
4.7 secs
0-50 mph                      17.4 secs                          17.0 secs
0-60 mph                      23.5 secs                          25.1 secs

10-30 in top                  11.4 secs                          12.5 secs
20-40 in top                  10.5 secs                          12.7 secs
30-50 in top                  12.0 secs                          14.5 secs

10-30 in third                  7.4 secs                             9.3 secs
20-40 in third                  7.2 secs                             8.7 secs
30-50 in third                  9.0 secs                           11.1 secs

Braking from 30mph      35 feet                              31 feet

Price                                    268                                  298

The 14 hp comparison is perhaps fairly predictable given the bhp and gearing differences but things become less obvious when we
compare the 20 hp models from Standard and SS Cars in the same period. The
SS 1 litre
engine was to form a test bed for the XK engines.

The Standard 20 was tested by The Motor in March 1938 and the same magazine tested the SS Jaguar 2 litre in June 1939
Again we are comparing a side valve Standard to an OHV SS both having 2664 cc. Again the SS is heavier, much heavier at 32 cwt. The Standard 20
was more than 4 cwt lighter but its engine developed only 65 bhp as against 104 bhp in the SS Jaguar. Again the Standard has a lower
axle ratio giving 17.5 mph/1000 rpm as against the Jaguar at 20 mph/1000 rpm but they share the same gearbox ratios. Again fuel consumption was very similar for the two cars.  See also: Jaguar and the Gas Meter

The SS Jaguar 3 litre from The Motor road test of May 1938 is added in brackets.

Here are the performance figures:

                                     Standard 20       SS Jaguar 20 hp        (25 HP)

Max Speed Top         75 mph                     87 mph                (92 mph)
Max in third                 54 mph                    70 mph                (76 mph)

0-30 mph                     6.4 secs                     4.7 secs                (4.1 secs)
0-50 mph                   15.6 secs                  10.6 secs                 (9.0 secs)
mile                         23.0 secs                  20.6 secs               (19.4 secs)

10-30 in top                 8.5 secs                    9.8 secs                 (7.4 secs)
20-40 in top                 8.2 secs                    9.5 secs                 (7.8 secs)
30-50 in top               10.5 secs                    9.4 secs                 (8.5 secs)
40-60 in top               14.3 secs                  10.0 secs                 (9.5 secs)

10-30 in third               6.2 secs                     7.9 secs                 (6.0 secs)
20-40 in third               6.2 secs                     7.6 secs                 (6.3 secs)
30-50 in third               8.8 secs                     8.1 secs                 (7.7 secs)
40-60 in third                   ------                        8.4 secs                 (8.0 secs)

Price                                 325                          395                        (445)

Despite its lighter weight the Standard appears rather under geared and runs out of steam sooner. At least that's how it looks by our standards today but with the generally lower road speeds of the 1930s perhaps we would look on it more favourably. The 70 price difference is also rather significant in the 20 hp cars.