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Lanchester - 18 series

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About Lanchester

Lanchester Motor Company was a car manufacturer based at Armourer Mills, Montgomery Street Birmingham, Great Britain. It operated from 1895–1955. The company having merged with Daimler and thence becoming part of Jaguar, the rights to the Lanchester marque now lie with Tata Motors of India, which purchased Jaguar from the Ford Motor Company in March 2008.

History

The company was started by the three Lanchester brothers, Frederick, one of the most influential automobile engineers of the 19th and 20th century, George and Frank as the Lanchester Engine Company Ltd and registered in 1899.

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. These had two cylinder, 4033 cc, horizontal air cooled engines, retaining the twin crankshaft design. Steering was by side lever not wheel. The gearbox used Epicyclic gearing. The first cars were sold to the public in 1901. 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, in spite of a full order book, the company ran out of money and receivers were called in. The company was re-organised and registered as the Lanchester Motor Company 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.

During the war the company made artillery shells and some aircraft engines but some vehicle production continued with the Lanchester 4x2 Armoured Cars built on the Lanchester 38hp chassis for use by the Royal Naval Air Service on the Western Front.

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4-door
5-seat
S6 12v 2.6L OHV WP-4
46.2 kW / 62.0 hp / 62.0 hp        
   

Lanchester 18 (1936)

4-door 5-seater sedan (saloon), petrol (gasoline) 6-cylinder 12-valve straight (inline) engine, OHV (overhead valve, I-head), 2565 cm3 / 156.5 cu in / 156.5 cu in, 46.2 kW / 62.0 hp / 62.0 hp @ 3600 rpm / 3600 rpm / 3600 rpm, Wilson pre-selector 4-speed transmission, rear wheel drive, 116 km/h / 72 mph / 72 mph top speed

Infobox

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