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Lanchester Motor Company

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Template:List of Lanchester Motor Company ModelsLanchester Motor Company was a car manufacturer based at Armourer Mills, Montgomery Street Birmingham, Great Britain. It ran from 1895-1955.

The company was started by Frederick Lanchester, one of the most influential automobile engineers of the 19th and 20th century.

The first Lanchester in 1895 was designed as a car not a horseless carriage and led to the first production cars in 1900. These had two cylinder horizontal air cooled engines with two crankshafts rotating in opposite directions to give smooth running. Steering was by side lever not wheel. The gearbox used Epicyclic gearing. The 1904 models had four cylinder water cooled overhead valve which were now mounted between the front seats rather than centrally. Design started to become more conventional with wheel steering from 1912 and pedals and gear lever replacing the original two lever system of gear changing. George, Frederick's brother, was now in charge and the engine moved further forward to a conventional position in the sporting side valve 5.5 litre six cylinder Forty.

After the first World war the Forty was re-introduced with a 6.2 litre overhead cam engine in unit with a 3 speed gearbox still using epicyclic gears and a worm drive rear axle. The Twenty One of 1924 had a 3.1 litre engine mated to a four speed conventional gearbox and this grew to the 3.3 litre Twenty Three in 1926. The Forty was finally replaced by the Thirty with straight eight 4.4 litre engine in 1928.

DaimlerEdit

The company was taken over in 1931 by BSA who also owned an upmarket brand in the British Daimler company and production moved to their Coventry factory. The great years for Lanchester were now over and the models were generally overlooked by the company in favour of Daimler models. The first new offering, still designed by George Lanchester, was the Eighteen with hydraulic brakes and a Daimler fluid flywheel. The Ten of 1933 was an upmarket version of the BSA 10. The pre war Fourteen of 1937, known also as the Roadrider, was similar to the Daimler DB17 with its 1.6 litre six which anachronistically had a fixed cylinder head until 1938.

Post war, a ten horsepower car was reintroduced with the 1287 cc LD10 which didn't have a Daimler equivalent and the four cylinder 1950 Fourteen / Leda was upstaged in 1953 by a six cylinder Daimler version called the Conquest.

The last model, of which only prototypes were produced, was called the Sprite and in 1956 the Lanchester name was phased out. The parent company, Daimler, was in decline and in 1960 was absorbed by Jaguar, who used the Daimler name in the same way Daimler had used the Lanchester name. Both became victims of badge engineering in their last years of production.

MonumentEdit

An open-air sculpture, the Lanchester Car Monument, in the Bloomsbury, Heartlands, area of Birmingham, designed by Tim Tolkien, is on the site where the first four wheel petrol car was made by Lanchester.

ModelsEdit

Type Engine Approx Production Year Notes
Lanchester Five 1311 cc single cylinder air cooled 1895
Lanchester Eight 3470 cc twin cylinder air cooled 1897-1898
Lanchester Ten 4000 cc twin cylinder air cooled 1900-1904 First production model
Lanchester Twelve 4000 cc twin cylinder water cooled 1903-1904
Lanchester Sixteen 4838 cc twin cylinder air cooled 1903-1904
Lanchester Eighteen 4838 cc twin cylinder water cooled 1904
Lanchester Twenty 2472 cc overhead valve four cylinder water cooled 1904-1911
Lanchester Twelve 3974 cc twin cylinder overhead valve water cooled 1906-1908
Lanchester 28 3654 cc six cylinder overhead valve water cooled 1906-1911
Lanchester 50 8145 cc six cylinder overhead valve water cooled 1907
Lanchester 38 4856 cc six cylinder overhead valve water cooled 1911-1914
Lanchester 25 3137 cc four cylinder overhead valve water cooled 1912-1914
Lanchester 40 5482 cc six cylinder side valve water cooled 1907
Lanchester 40 6178 cc six cylinder overhead cam water cooled 392 1919-1928 Chassis £2200. Four wheel brakes from 1924
Lanchester 21 2930 cc six cylinder overhead cam water cooled 735 (including Twenty Three) 1923-1926 Chassis £1000.
Lanchester 23 2930 cc six cylinder overhead cam water cooled 735 (including Twenty One) 1926-1931 Vacuum servo.
Lanchester 30hp 4400 cc eight cylinder overhead cam water cooled 126 1929-1932 Chassis £1325
Lanchester Eighteen 2504 cc (2390 cc from 1935, 2565 cc from 1936) six cylinder overhead valve water cooled 2650 approx 1932-1939 Badge engineered Daimler Light 20. Fluid flywheel.
Lanchester Ten 1203 cc (1444 cc from 1936) four cylinder overhead valve water cooled 12250 approx 1933-1936 Fluid flywheel. Hydraulic brakes until 1935.
Lanchester Light Six 1378 cc six cylinder overhead valve water cooled 1075 approx 1935-1936 Saloon, Sports Saloon, Drophead Coupe. Similar to BSA.
Lanchester Eleven 1444 cc four cylinder overhead valve water cooled 2000 approx 1937-1939 Saloon, Sports Saloon.
Lanchester Fourteen Roadrider 1527 cc (1809 cc from 1938) six cylinder overhead valve water cooled 2000 approx 1937-1939 Saloon, Sports saloon. bendix brakes
Lanchester LD10 1287 cc four cylinder overhead valve water cooled 3030 1946-1951 Independent front suspension, Mechanical brakes
Lanchester Fourteen/Leda 1968 cc four cylinder overhead valve water cooled 2100 1950-1954 Appropriated for badge engineered 1953 Daimler Conquest. Saloon and drophead coupe.
Lanchester Sprite 1622 cc four cylinder overhead valve water cooled 10 1954-1956 Hobbs automatic gearbox. Did not reach production.

External linksEdit

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