Daimler & Lanchester Owners' Club Ltd
Stand number: 2-820
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the ending of the Great War – “the War to end war”! This year’s NEC Classis Car theme is “Built to Last”
The Daimler and Lanchester Owners’ Club is combining these themes into a spectacular and dramatic show with two cars from just before the Great War and a (replica) of a Lanchester armoured car. Many Lanchester armoured cars were loaned to the Belgian forces and this replica has been built in Belgium as a copy of those loan vehicles. It is in the camouflage colours that were in use at the time. Only about 36 Lanchester armoured cars were made during the Great War. None are known to have survived.
Others were built after the war and the example in the Tank Museum in Bovington, Dorset, was built in about 1930. The Tank Museum vehicle is also a “6-wheeler”, felt to be better across country.
The 36 original (1915 cars) were built in the Lanchester factory in Birmingham (in the appropriately named factory at Armourer Mills, Montgomery Street, Sparkbrook). They were initially shipped to France but after finding that “trench warfare” and wheeled moor cars did not mix, most were either loaned (it is known that 4 were loaned to the Belgian army) or sent (under RNAS service) to Belgium. Later all armoured cars were transferred to the Army who, with a large and unmanageable range of makes and spares decided to standardise on the Rolls-Royce armoured car. The Lanchesters were, eventually, returned to England before being sent to Russia – or at least most of them were sent there – where they covered many thousands of miles very reliably. They were used in a variety of conditions, including snow and mud, until the revolution and then news of them ceases.
The other cars we are displaying are from the same era. We have a 1906 Daimler Wagonette. This vehicle belongs to a long-standing Club member living near Leicester. The current owner’s great Grandfather bought one of these new from the Daimler company in 1906. Although not this precise example, it is true to the style. It is a 30HP Wagonette with a four-cylinder side valve engine. It has a 4-speed gearbox and chain final drive. This particular car came from Scotland and was changed from the original limousine body to this wagonette body in 1910. Top speed is around 60mph – very quick for the time!!
Finally, we have 1911 Daimler Landaulette. This also has a four-cylinder engine but uses the later “sleeve-valve” system adopted by Daimler in an attempt to reduce engine noise – very successfully. This car has a 3-speed gearbox and uses the underslung worm rear axle arrangement introduced by Fred Lanchester in 1907.