British cars history: from “Lanchester” to “Rolls-Royce” (Part-1)

England remained behind France and Germany on manufacture of cars. The first “Daimler”, created by Englishmen, has appeared in 1897. It represented only a model copy “Panhard et Levassor”, equipped with engines “Daimler” which were originally imported from Germany.

Most original of all automobile engineers, Frederik William Lanchester (Frederick William Lanchester) (1868-1946) differed rather original approach to questions of designing of the car.

The first “Lanchester” has been produced in 1895-1896 and was not similar to one car of that time. Under the testimony of the historian of automotive industry of Anthony Berd, “it was the first car in the world, created on a scientific basis as a unit”. However its industrial production has been begun only in the end of 1900.

The power unit represented the engine with two opposite located cylinders and two bent shafts rotating in different directions, each of which – with three connecting rods. Both shaft have been connected by pinion gears to spiral teeths, therefore there was no vibration that provided to the engine inaccessible steadiness on those times. The motor included also the original rocker gear providing durability of the valve, and completely an automatic lubricating system. This surprising engine worked together with a glider gear box from which the twisting moment was transferred by a short propeller shaft to a worm gear of the rear bridge, and the rear bridge has been equipped by ball-bearings and half shafts, that those years it seemed the supreme achievement of technical thought.

All knots have been permanently mounted on a frame, including a gasoline tank that gave designs additional ruggedness. The car by means of an easy and simple T-shaped wheel was steered. Ignition from a low voltage, and the elementary on the device the carburettor preventing pollution of fuel was an innovation also also.

A little complicated, but made under the technical decision, the two-cylinder model “Lanchester” has bypassed the competitors, thanks to reliability, softness of a course and simplicity of operation. But, unfortunately, she has declared herself too late: the industry already took on arms configuration on “system Panhard”.

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