Publisher: London Daimler Motor Syndicate, Limited 1895
“Carriages are made in various types and designs, a variety of which is shown in the accompanying illustrations. They are constructed to accommodate either, two, four, or six persons, or more if required.
The carriages are propelled by our Daimler Patent Oil Motor with two cylinders. The motor is either placed in the front or rear of the carriage and is easily accessible from all sides. The construction of the Motor being extremely simple, enables any intelligent person, without previous technical knowledge, to soon become expert in the working of both the Motor and Carriage, as well as keeping same in proper order. The lubrication also is easily effected. The engine does not emit any offensive smell, smoke or heat, and can be started within two or three minutes. The great feature of the Daimler Motor, which is constructed on the same principles as any ordinary gas engine is its safety and reliability, thus avoiding the slightest danger of explosion.”
Prices range from £190 to £270.
Motorcars came into use on British roads during the early 1890s, but initially relied entirely on imported vehicles. The inception of the British motor industry can be traced back to the late 1880s, when Frederick Simms, a London-based consulting engineer, became friends with Gottlieb Daimler, who had, in 1885, patented a successful design for a high-speed petrol engine. Simms acquired the British rights to Daimler's engine and associated patents and from 1891 successfully sold launches using these Cannstatt-made motors from Eel Pie Island in the Thames. In 1893 he formed The Daimler Motor Syndicate Limited for his various Daimler-related enterprises.
In June 1895, Simms and his friend Evelyn Ellis promoted motor cars in the United Kingdom by bringing a Daimler-engined Panhard & Levassor to England and in July it completed, without police intervention, the first British long-distance motorcar journey from Southampton to Malvern.
Simms' documented plans to manufacture Daimler motors and Daimler Motor Carriages (in Cheltenham) were taken over, together with his company and its Daimler licences, by London company-promoter H J Lawson. Lawson contracted to buy The Daimler Motor Syndicate Limited and all its rights and on 14 January 1896 formed and in February successfully floated in London The Daimler Motor Company Limited. It then purchased from a friend of Lawson a disused cotton mill in Coventry for car engine and chassis manufacture where, it is claimed, the UK's first serial production car was made.
The claim for the first all-British motor car is contested, but George Lanchester's first cars of 1895 and 1896 did include French and German components. In 1891 Richard Stephens, a mining engineer from South Wales, returned from a commission in Michigan to establish a bicycle works in Clevedon, Somerset. Whilst in the United States, he had seen the developments in motive power and by 1897 he had produced his first car. This was entirely of his own design and manufacture, including the two-cylinder engine, apart from the wheels which he bought from Starley in Coventry. This was probably the first all-British car and Stephens set up a production line, manufacturing in all, twelve vehicles, including four- and six-seater cars and hackneys, and nine-seater buses.
Early motor vehicle development in the UK had been effectively stopped by a series of Locomotive Acts introduced during the 19th century which severely restricted the use of mechanically propelled vehicles on the public highways. Following intense advocacy by motor vehicle enthusiasts, including Harry J. Lawson of Daimler, the worst restrictions of these acts, (the need for each vehicle to be accompanied by a crew of three, and a 2 mph (3.2 km/h) speed limit in towns), was lifted by the Locomotives on Highways Act 1896. Under this regulation, light locomotives (those vehicles under 3 tons unladen weight) were exempt from the previous restrictions, and a higher speed limit – 14 mph (23 km/h) was set for them. To celebrate the new freedoms Lawson organised the Emancipation Run held on 14 November 1896, the day the new Act came into force.
Oblong 8vo., original faux crocodile skin printed wrappers, stapled as issued. Light vertical crease, otherwise a very good copy of a rare early motoring survival.
1 copy listed at The Revs Institute