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Calthorpe - marque/manufacturer information

List of all Calthorpe cars

Calthorpe cars were made in Bordesley Green, Birmingham, England from 1904 to 1932.

The company started out as a Birmingham bicycle maker run by George W Hands who, in 1904, made his first motor car, a 10 hp four cylinder model. They briefly made some larger types but it was in the light car field that they specialised using proprietary White and Poppe engines. The cars were successfully raced in France in the Coupe de l'Auto series. A small car was announced in 1913 for the 1914 season with the 10 hp Minor which proved to be a real large car in miniature with 3 speed gearbox and shaft drive.

After the war the large cars were dropped but the Minor re-appeared with a slightly larger engine of 1261 cc. In 1920 a Mr J Mathews was in charge of production and a target of making 50 cars a week was set. The cars continued to have excellent coachwork made by the Calthorpe subsidiary company of Mulliner (acquired in 1917) who had an adjacent factory. Sporting activity continued with Woolf Barnato, amongst others, racing at Brooklands. George Hands briefly left the company in 1922 to set up his own Hands make of cars in the Calthorpe motor cycle factory in Barn Street, Birmingham but returned in 1924. Whilst away he developed the six cylinder overhead camshaft engine that was fitted for a short time to the 12/20. The Hands cars seem to have used Dorman engines.

The days of the high quality light car were coming to an end by the late 1920s and sales of the fairly expensive Calthorpe were declining. A receiver had to be appointed in 1924 but he kept production going for a while. A final fling with the 1925 15/45 six cylinder 2 litre car was really too late and production of the cars had virtually ceased by 1928. About 5000 cars were made in the post war period, pre war production is uncertain. A very few cars have survived.

There was also a range of Calthorpe Motor Cycles and these carried on being made after car production had ended.

Car Models

Type Engine Year Notes
Calthorpe 10 hp (7.5 kW) 1530 cc side valve two cylinder water cooled 1904 87 inch wheelbase. Shaft drive.
Calthorpe 16 hp (12 kW) 2383 cc side valve four cylinder water cooled 1905 102 inch wheelbase
Calthorpe 12/14 1810 cc side valve four cylinder water cooled 1906-08 102 inch wheelbase. Updated 10 hp (7.5 kW).
Calthorpe 28/40 4562 cc side valve four cylinder water cooled 1907 117 inch wheelbase
Calthorpe 25 4250 cc side valve four cylinder water cooled 1908-10 86 inch wheelbase
Calthorpe 12/14 2297 cc side valve four cylinder water cooled 1909-11 98 or 102-inch (2,600 mm) wheelbase
Calthorpe 16/20 3261 cc side valve four cylinder water coole 1909-16 102 inch wheelbase
Calthorpe 15 3012 cc side valve four cylinder water cooled 1911-13 114 inch wheelbase
Calthorpe 20 3817 cc side valve four cylinder water cooled 1911-13 114 inch wheelbase
Calthorpe 12/15 1868 or 1924 cc side valve four cylinder water cooled 1912-15 102 inch wheelbase
Calthorpe 15 3016 cc side valve four cylinder water cooled 1912-15 114 inch wheelbase
Calthorpe 10/12 Minor 1087 cc side valve four cylinder water cooled 1914-15 87 inch wheelbase
Calthorpe 10.4 1261 cc side valve four cylinder water cooled 1919 99 inch wheelbase
Calthorpe 10/15 1261 cc side valve four cylinder water cooled 1922-26 102 inch wheelbase. Three speed gearbox. two seater £240 in 1924.
Calthorpe 12/20 I and II 1496 cc side valve four cylinder water cooled 1922-32 86 inch wheelbase. Four speed gearbox. Engine quoted as 30 bhp (22 kW) at 3000 rpm. Detachable cylinder head from 1924. Two seater £285 in 1924, £295 in 1926. Saloon £425 in 1924, £395 in 1926..
Calthorpe 12/20 III 1991 cc overhead cam six cylinder water cooled 86 inch wheelbase. Very few made.
Calthorpe 10/20 1327 cc side valve four cylinder water cooled 1924-31 Updated 10/15. 103 or 106-inch (2,700 mm) wheelbase. Two or four seater £235 in 1924, £215 in 1926. Pressure lubricated engine from 1925.
Calthorpe 15/45 1991 cc overhead valve six cylinder water cooled 1925-28 112 inch wheelbase. Four wheel brakes. Three speed gearbox. Very few made.
Calthorpe 12/25 1720 cc side valve four cylinder water cooled 1926 86 inch wheelbase. Updated 12/20. Pressure lubricated engine.

List of all Calthorpe cars

Source: Wikipedia

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