Jump to content

1951 Lanchester LD10


Recommended Posts

2 minutes ago, vulgalour said:

Well... that escalated quickly.


Thank you to Autoshite for once again being the enablers that you are.  Now, which one of you horrible lot wants to buy my BX to make up for what you made me do?

oh fuck yeah! properly looking forward to seeing how this progresses 

hopefully a bit better then Richard Hammond's one did!

very cool that you where able to get it :) 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I shall let you know.  I've never driven a pre-selector or a car with rod operated drum brakes before.  I imagine it will be a combination of charming and slightly terrifying.  Conservation of the current appearance is the goal.  We got it to run and idle with just fresh fuel, and aside from a broken flexi on the exhaust (which looks to be the newest thing on the car), it seemed quite happy.  All the electrical things work, including the semaphors, and it doesn't seem to have ever had anything modernised.  No modifications will be occuring.

Going to be a steep learning curve this one.  Despite appearances, it seems to be very solid indeed.  Tiny bit of rust in the superficial outer sills, and a little hole on the passenger side rear inner arch is the only corrosion of note.  Wooden frame seems very solid, doors don't sag, nothing feels flimsy.  Floor is in surprisingly good shape, which is more than can be said for the tyres which look like they're about as old as the car.  Quite comfortable too, which is always a bonus.  Front passenger wing is probably a replacement, it doesn't quite match everything else, and that's okay.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


One of the first cars I drove for Classic Car Buyer's "Tried and Tested" section was one of these, in roadster form.  Considering the first preselector I'd ever driven was about half an hour earlier (a Daimler from the same garage) I think your estimate of "charming but terrifying" is just about right!  It won't get you anywhere very fast, but it should be very comfy while doing it.  I was going to say DNP but I see that's already the plan, good for you!

I wish you luck with it :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Over £900 new in 1947 was an eye-watering amount - average house price was about £1,800.  Car tax was high and it was a sellers market following the war.

Beautifully made little car - but an Austin Devon A40 for example did about the same thing at a lot less money. The buyers for this kind of small 'luxe car was pretty small group - which was a pity. 

Lanchester and eventually the parent Daimler thus ran into trouble as other manufacturers geared up with these newer post-war models at a lot less money or better performance. 

So Lanchester joined Jowett, Singer, Lea Francis and others being gone by the mid-50's ( Singer only survived as a badge in the Rootes Group). And even Daimler eventually got into difficulties and were taken over by Jaguar.

Very nice car - the pre-select is not so frightening - I had a pre-war Lanchester.  Good to see it has survived - survival rate on these does not seem too bad - which would partly be explained by the quality of the build. There is a keen owners club. About 3000 made of both body types.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good man! As I alluded to in the other thread, if you really wanted it, letting it slip through your fingers would have been something you'd have eternally kicked yourself about. Congrats on grabbing the bull by both horns and some. This is the very car your practice on coachpainting has been waiting for!

What's the story then? Tinternet tells me she's been enjoying a deep sleep since 84...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most of the time impulse buying can be avoided by telling yourself there'll always be another. This is one of those rare times when you just know that there'll never be another one like this that you get the chance to buy. Well done for having the courage to follow your automotive dreams.

Fine old vehicles like this don't have owners merely custodians and I look forward immensely to seeing this fine old thing blossom during your stewardship.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great to see another older, more quirky car join this parish. I have had pre-select vehicles and would certainly have another. Once you are used to it, it is probably the smoothest of changes, which is why many camera cars for early day TV etc always had a Wilson Pre-Select box. Rod brakes are fine, they just need setting up properly and regular adjustment as the linings wear, usually half a turn on a butterfly nut near the brake pedal. My Morris Cowley and my Royces all have rod/drum brakes and all are fine, though the '34 Royce fitted with overdrive weighs 2.5 tonnes and can cruise at 70mph so that does feel a little* underbraked at times. At least there are no hydraulic seals to leak or cylinders to seize, just stay on top of the greasing schedule.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had rod and cable brakes on my Ford Pop. Amazing equalising mechanism designed by people who could still design things. They equalised front to back under the brake pedal, individually left to right under each axle, then up and down between the shoes in each drum. Yours might be more basic but they’ll be fine.

Learn how they work and how to adjust them properly and just keep them in check. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • By Fumbler
      To mark the genesis of my fleet project thread I here present my new car: a 1997 Nissan Micra Shape-

      It really looks that good. There is a reason for this: its previous owner was an old lady who loved the thing so much so she made every effort to keep it in good shape. It originally came from Fleet in the GU postcode which suggests to me it was bought by the present dealer at auction, hence arriving down here in Kent. Before seeing the car I checked its MOT history and its only fails were thanks to broken stoplights, which shows me that it was very well cared for. I suppose an example of this was that on the last MOT, an advisory was a corroded rear silencer. The silencer on the car when I saw it was new. Methinks the lady wanted to keep it as good as possible. It was kept in a garage and so all the bumpers and black trim are very black and the tyres are in very good condition. Spare never used! Also included a free Dettol first aid kit from 1997.
      This car has 15000 genuine miles on the clock. We clocked over 15000 during the test drive! The lady owner really only trundled around her village in it and the MOT shows that it only did some meagre miles between tests. This, of course, came at a price. We saw a cherry red Micra from 2002 at the same dealer. Paint was shoddy and when they washed it the boot had massive sections of bare metal and it wasn't very happy. This car, however, is in fabulous condition and there was no contest between the two cars- it really is that good, inside and out. Immaculate interior, driver's airbag, cassette player... all there and all functioning (apart from cassette thanks to new battery and failed display). This meant that I bought it for £1600, £100 over what was my uppermost limit, but I knew I wouldn't see another like this that was in as good shape for a fair while. It was priced very ambitiously, at £1990, so I'm content in the fact I managed to slash a few hundred off the price. There wasn't that much paperwork though. All the dealership received was the logbook with 3 service stamps from 1998, 1999 and 2000, the radio key pass, a National Trust sticker, and the original paperwork holder. I suspect the old lady died and had her car auctioned, and the massive file of paperwork is now someone's egg carton, along will everything else she owned.

      As always, this car isn't exactly in showroom condition. While the inside is great and the floor is solid, and the underseal is in great shape, the not undersealed parts need a small looking at. Mainly the rear of the driver's side sill. It's really the only bubbling on the car. I suspect a well aimed stonechip managed to fester over the wintery salted roads, making it rust even more. It's around the size of a 5p piece, and will give me the opportunity to spray the insides of the sill with some chain oil to prevent any further corrosion. Behind the fuel tank there are a few rusty joints- places where the spraygun cannot get paint onto- which some Vactan and Dynax should put to rights. Alternator belt looks original because of the cracking and Nissan badges and will need doing soon as well as the front plate. As much as I like the 90's font and original dealer surround, the dishevelled R and general water ingress is a persistant MOT advisory. It could be the MOT station being strict (and most likely is considering there's a Saxo down the road with far worse blackening), however for the sake of peace of mind and all that, I'll get a new one made. The rear has already been replaced indicating this has happened before.
      All in all, I think this is a nice plucky motor. I'll have it by the end of the week; just got to sort out tax, insurance, and it's going to have an MOT. As part of the deal it's getting the MOT and an oil and filter change which will be something ticked off the list. It has some love scratches and chips here and there, but it drives well, is stiff and controllable, and should make out to be a nice summer project!
    • By Zelandeth
      Well I've been meaning to sign up here in forever, but kept forgetting. Thanks to someone over on another forum I frequent poking me about it recently the subject was forced back into my very brief attention span for long enough to get me to act on the instruction.

      I figure that my little varied fleet might bring you lot some amusement...

      So...we've got:

      1993 Lada Riva 1.5E Estate (now fuel injected, as I reckon the later cars should have been from the factory...).
      1989 Saab 900i Automatic.
      1987 Skoda 120LX 21st Anniversary Special Edition.
      1985 Sinclair C5.
      2009 Peugeot 107 Verve.

      Now getting the photos together has taken me far longer than I'd expected...so you're gonna get a couple of photos of each car for now, and I'll come back with some more information tomorrow when I've got a bit more time...

      Firstly...The Lada. Before anyone asks - in response to the single question I get asked about this car: No, it is not for sale. Took me 13 years and my father's inheritance to find the thing.

      Yes, it's got the usual rusty wings...Hoping that will be resolved in the next couple of months.


      Next, a proper old Saab. One of the very last 8 valve cars apparently, and all the better for it. I've driven two 16v autos and they were horrible - the auto box works sooooo much better with the torque curve of the 8 valve engine. Just wish it had an overdrive for motorway cruising...

      Next up a *real* Skoda...back when they put the engine where it belongs, right out the back. In the best possible colour of course...eye-searingly bright orange.

      Seat covers have been added since that photo was taken as it suffers from the usual rotting seat cloth problem that affects virtually all Estelles.

      Then we have possibly the world's scruffiest Sinclair C5...

      Realised when looking for this that I really need to get some more photos of the thing...I use it often enough after all! We have a dog who's half husky, so this is a really good way of getting him some exercise.

      Finally - again, I really need to take more photos of - we have the little Pug 107.

      Included for the sake of variety even if it's a bit mainstream! First (and probably to be the only) new car I've bought, and has been a cracking little motor and has asked for very little in return for putting up with nearly three years of Oxford-Milton Keynes commuter traffic, before finally escaping that fate when my housemate moved to a new job. Now it doesn't do many miles and is my default car for "when I've managed to break everything else."

      I'll fill in some more details tomorrow - I warn you though that I do tend to ramble...
    • By Tommyboy12
      What do you get after 16 hours and 800 miles of driving on a Sunday to collect two cars? Well @sharley17194 picks up a 1997 Citreon AX from the depths of the Lakes on the North West coast past Keswick. However, we actually started the day by driving to just near Cromer on the East coast to pick up this!
      An Austin Montego poverty spec estate with a 1.3L A-series engine! Yes you did read that bit right! Yes I know the DVLA lists the model as 1.6... Yes its correctly registered as 1.3L. No I dont know if its a factory 1.3L! 😂
      My favourite part of all this??? (Apart from the doom blue colour and the absolutely terrible interior!) 281,000 miles on the clock!
      Collection went really well and the below posts follows my initial assessment of what is quite frankly the best car I have ever purchased.

    • By Peter C
      Woke up this morning, had a little time before I had to leave the house for work, had a quick look at what’s new for sale on Retro Rides and saw an ad for a W124 200E manual, located 15 miles from home. I had no intention of buying a car today but I had to have it! I called the seller and arranged a viewing.
      2 x rusty front wings (TADTS)
      1 x rusty rear arch
      Needs a polish
      Tracking is out because new track rod end was fitted for MoT
      Engine has oil leak/s
      Good points:
      It’s a W124 200E!
      5 speed manual transmission
      New clutch
      Brand new MoT
      Superb MoT history
      4 x as new Continental tyres
      Last owner for 15 years, her husband before that for 4 years
      Very tidy MB-Tex interior
      Drives well
      All electrics work
      The dealer kindly delivered the car to my house but I managed a pez station shot on route:

      Remove front wings, cut away rust and apply plenty of wob.
      In-situ similar repair for rear arch
      Clean and polish
      Service engine
      Adjust tracking
      Leave patina and enjoy the car as it is
      I will update this thread once progress is made.









      Hopefully these two will become good friends.

    • By dome
      This evening I venture forth into hitherto unknown lands (Kirkintilloch) to collect my latest acquisition.

      Which, naturally, has issues.

      I have purchased my first line of defence.

      Which appears to have antigravity properties

      More will follow this evening...
  • Create New...