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Past Meeting

Eric Baptiste - 120 Years of Lanchester Cars

Lanchester Logo
1910 Lanchester

We were delighted to welcome Eric Baptiste (Trustee of the Lanchester Trust) who gave us a talk on Lanchester and the incredible family that created that marque.

The very first Lanchester car is believed to have been the first British 4-wheeled petrol (benzene) driven vehicle, first seen in the Autumn of 1895 and created by Frederick W. Lanchester. That was just one of many inventions and new developments.

Eric's talk was expected to cover:
the history of the marque & the technicalities of the early models
the history preceeding the 1890s: steam etc
innovative inventions: disc brakes, rack & pinion steering, turbo charging,
power steering, 4-wheel drive and even the humble accelerator pedal
the work of the Lanchester Trust

Frederick Lanchester
Frederick Lanchester
This meeting was a compelling review of the marque and the many inventions that were far in advance of their time.

Lanchester Cars

This business was begun by the three Lanchester brothers, Frederick, one of the most influential automobile engineers of the 19th and 20th centuries, George and Frank who together incorporated The Lanchester Engine Company Limited in December 1899.

1895 Lanchester
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.
1901 Lanchester

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 with larger, two-cylinder, air-cooled engines. The first cars were sold to the public in 1901.

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