Seversky succeeded in interesting a few investors in his ideas, and by 1933, the firm had produced and was demonstrating its first plane, the SEV-3, an all-metal amphibian which established a world speed record of 230 mph for planes of its type. By 1935, Seversky was concentrating on winning a contract from the Air Corps, and as a result, the company developed a prototype pursuit plane, the SEV-1XP (which became the P-35).
The SEV-1XP was fitted with a new tail and re-engined with a Pratt &Whitney R-1830B and redesignated SEV-S1, it was flown by Frank Sinclair at the 1935 Nationals Air Races. Seversky then developed a racer from the P-35, the aircraft lacked all military equipment and was fitted with a lower canopy. Designated SEV-S2 and flown by Frank Fuller Jr., the aircraft was very successful in the 2,042 mls (3,286 km) Bendix Trophy Races at Cleveland.
1937. First place, listed as Racer number 23.
7 hr 54 min 27 sec, speed 258.24 mph (415.60 kmh)
1938. Second place, listed as Racer number 77.
8 hr 33 min 29 sec, speed 238.60 mph (383.99 kmh)
1938. First place, listed as Racer number 77.
7 hr 14 min 19 sec, speed 282.10 mph (454.00 kmh)
Reportedly the aircraft was sold to Ecuador.