From the archive: On this day in 1933

99 SS1

We drive the ultra-luxurious SS 1

Coventry firm Swallow achieved much in its first decade, crafting sidecars and specials, so it decided to make a car of its own (under the brand name SS); and the 1 arrived to an Autocar rave review.

Naturally the 62bhp 2.5-litre version was even more appealing to us than the 40bhp 2.0-litre, so we got hold of one posthaste.

“A really fierce performance is possible on second gear to 40mph, and third is also very useful, while even on top the acceleration is still very rapid, which is not always the case with a sports car,” we swooned.

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“The keen driver will find it a car after his own heart, for the gear change is of the type which allows rapid alterations to be made with a satisfying crispness and silence.

“Roadholding is particularly good. When bends are taken fast, the car remains very steady, and there is no sign of rolling. It is in no small measure owing to these good qualities that the car is so likeable and is such a pleasure to drive.

“The rear seats provide ample room for two adults of normal build. “The coachwork is soundly built and well finished, the upholstery being well sprung and padded so that it gives the necessary comfort for long journeys without fatigue.”

What became of SS, you ask? Did it not produce any follow-ups? Let’s just say you could summarise the 1 as having grace, space and pace…

Literal one-pedal driving

We often speak of one-pedal driving in EVs, but we don’t mean it literally, like AC Neville did in his patent filing. We explained: “Depressing the pedal releases the brakes, then allows the throttle to open. As pressure is released, the throttle is closed and the brake comes into operation. Further release allows the brakes to be applied more vigorously.” Surely an answer to a question no one asked.

Paris plans pleasure spiral

Did you know the Eiffel Tower was meant to stand for only 20 years? Built for the 1889 World Fair, it was initially the subject of much disgust but gradually became a cultural icon. Would the same have gone for the Phare du Monde, planned for the 1937 World Fair? As we reported in 1933, it was to have a spiralling road around it, leading to a 500-car garage for a restaurant 700 metres up.

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Source: Autocar

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