Lanchester 25 Tourer

Car producer : 



25 Tourer





Work on the first Lanchester car had been started in 1895, significantly designed from first principles as a car, not a horseless carriage, and it ran on the public roads in February or March 1896. It had a single-cylinder 1306 cc engine with the piston having two connecting rods to separate crankshafts and flywheels rotating in opposite directions giving very smooth running. A two-cylinder engine was fitted to the same chassis in 1897 and a second complete car was built alongside it. This led on to the first production cars in 1900, when six were made as demonstrators. The Lanchester 10, or Lanchester Ten, is a model of car that was produced by the Lanchester Motor Company intermittently from 1900 until 1951. These had two-cylinder, 4033 cc, horizontal air-cooled engines, retaining the twin crankshaft design. Steering was by side lever (or tiller) not wheel. The gearbox used epicyclic gearing. The first cars were sold to the public in 1901. The name referred to the car’s fiscal horsepower, which was a function of the cylinder diameter. Fiscal horsepower was used in the UK, as in other European countries, by government to determine how much tax they would levy on the cars’ owners. It was differently defined in each country: the common feature was that there was no arithmetical correlation between tax horsepower and actual horsepower.

In 1902 Lanchester became the first company to market disc brakes to the public. They were mechanical and on the front wheels only. The discs were very thin and made of a very soft metal like brass. Although probably leaving much to be desired, they completely fit the definition of a disc brake, and beat all others to market by many years.

The Lanchester Motor-Car Company show a number of handsome vehicles. The design here is novel throughout, or, rather, it differs from other designs, as the Lanchester car was one of the first English cars to be made. The engine is horizontal and is balanced in a most ingenious manner, the change speed gear is by epicyclic trains controlled by band brakes, the electric sparking is most ingeniously contrived, and the suspension is also of special type. To describe the mechanism of these cars would, however, be impossible without elaborate diagrams. They are notable for their easy running and absence of vibration.

All bodies were made by external coachbuilders until 1903 when a body department was set up and up to 1914 most cars carried Lanchester built bodies. In 1904, despite a full order book, the business ran out of money and The Lanchester Engine Company Limited was put into voluntary liquidation. After a period of management by a receiver the business was re-organised re-capitalized and incorporated as The Lanchester Motor Company Limited later that year.

The 1904 models had 2470 cc, four-cylinder, water-cooled, overhead-valve engines featuring pressure lubrication, very unusual at the time, and were now mounted with the epicyclic gearbox between the front seats rather than centrally resulting a design with the driver sitting well forwards and no bonnet. Six-cylinder models joined the line-up in 1906. The specification started to become more conventional with wheel steering as an option from 1908, becoming standard from the end of 1911, and pedals and gear lever replacing the original two-lever system of gear changing. George Lanchester was now in charge, Frederick having resigned in 1913, and the engine moved further forward to a conventional position in the sporting, side-valve, 5.5-litre six-cylinder Forty but very few were made before the outbreak of World War I. A distinctive feature of the engine's valves was their use of leaf springs, rather than coil springs. Frank Lanchester ran the London sales office.

Sold for: 155250 GBP
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