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Lot 070: Lanchester E18 Limousine

Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles, Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers (18 July 2012)

Fred and George Lanchester were engineers in the truest sense. Everything they did was based on first principles and not convention. Credit to them that their avant-garde designs found favour with Royalty around the world, a fact illustrating just how good their first principles were! Early customers were Rudyard Kipling and George Bernard Shaw, individuals who understood and respected engineering integrity.

Their cars were always sold at the top end of the market, with a chassis costing more than a Rolls-Royce. The onset of quality mass produced cars in the '20s and the depression inevitably took its toll on profits and by 1931 the bank had had enough, delivering an ultimatum to the directors to either declare bankruptcy or amalgamate with another concern.

At the same time, BSA-owned Daimler were looking to move into a new market area and so the Lanchester concern was acquired, production moving to Coventry. The group launched the 15/18hp six-cylinder in 1932, a design developed over the preceding years by the Lanchester brothers. Somewhat simplified with overhead valves instead of an overhead cam, the smooth 2 � litre was to carry on with a slightly shorter stroke into the Lanchester E18, which was essentially a Daimler Light 20 with the Lanchester engine, fluid flywheel and Wilson pre-selector gearbox.

This lovely example, according to the buff log book on file, was originally Dove Grey. The history trail picks up in Blakeney in Norfolk in 1972. The car was owned by the owner of the Crown Hotel. It was then purchased by a gentleman from Surrey as a project. As is so often the case, the planned brief make-over turned into a comprehensive restoration, details of which are included in the history file. The Daimler coachwork is now in superb condition, still retaining its original fittings such as map netting, ashtray, working quarter-lights, all working windows, opening screen, original upholstery, working sunroof and rear window blind. The doors shut perfectly and fit well, the whole effect being of the superb quality associated with this marque.

The vendor purchased the car from Moto-Spot of Leicester in 1997 with strict running in instructions. Details show that it was re-bored with new pistons and white metal, the new owner instructed to drive gently for around 1,000 miles. Since the car was purchased, he has covered less than 6,000 reliable miles. During a test drive the car performed beautifully, the pre-selector working perfectly, whilst the smooth six-cylinder engine gave the car a respectable turn of speed. Complete with folding boot rack, hub spanner and starting handle, as well as part of the original service book, this fine old motorcar is MOTd until October 2012, is ready to go and according to the Daimler Lanchester register is one of just eight E18s extant.

Lot Details
Auction Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles
Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers, Easters Court, Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 0DE
Lot Number070
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£14000
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating0
Registration numberBAF 195
Chassis number12512
Engine numberBN1148
Engine capacity (cc)1968
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors4