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1933 Lanchester Ten

The Lanchester 10, or Lanchester Ten, is a model of car that was produced by the Lanchester Motor Company intermittently from 1900 until 1951. It was the first production car offered for sale by the company.

Lanchester 10 (1900–1904)[]

The original Lanchester 10 was introduced in 1900, and was designed by Frederick Lanchester, the eldest of the three Lanchester brothers, while the third brother, George, took responsibility for designing the production processes.

Lanchester Ten (1933–1936)[]

By the 1930s, Lanchester had been taken over by BSA and its range had been merged with those of BSA and its Daimler brand. The Lanchester Ten that appeared in 1933 was based on the BSA 10. It incorporated a fluid flywheel and, initially, hydraulic brakes.

This was one of the smallest Lanchesters ever produced. It was also the one produced in the greatest numbers, with approximately 12,250 sold.

For those who haven't seen this car it looks much like a 4 door Ford Popular 100E (1953-1959).

The hot rodders favourite.

Design and specifications[]


The new engine's four-cylinder design was on the same general lines as the six-cylinder Lanchester 15/18 (not Eighteen) though with a much reduced bore and stroke taking down the swept volume from 2,504 cubic centimetres (153 cu in) to 1,203 cubic centimetres (73 cu in). Its crankshaft was provided with three main bearings.

The overhead valves had single springs but there were return springs to keep the rockers to the pushrods. Engine accessories were mounted: distributor on a level with the cylinder head, the coil just in front. The petrol pump, oil filter and oil diprod were mounted aft of the distributor.

Engine timing was by chain and could be regulated by swiveling the dynamo mounted on the engine's offside. The flywheel and gearbox formed a single unit with the engine which was slightly inclined and held to the chassis at four points on rubber.


This was the first small car to have the Daimler fluid flywheel transmission.

The preselection finger and thumb lever was just under the steering wheel on the near side and so worked by the left hand. There was a stop for reverse.

Power was delivered to the wheels by Daimler fluid flywheel and Wilson four-speed preselective self-changing gearbox through a propeller shaft which was open and had mechanical joints. The back axle had half-floating underslung worm drive.

Until modifications were made there were difficulties with excessive vibration from oil surge in the fluid flywheel when picking up under heavy load at low speed.


The frame had the popular cruciform or X channeled sectioned cross membering. The unit of engine, fluid flywheel and self changing gearbox was held at four points on rubber, the two points in front being close together and on the cross member.

Half elliptical springs wide-set to prevent roll were fitted with hydraulic shock absorbers. In front they were shackled forwards, flat, sloped, and splayed—there were no dumb irons, while at the back the springs and frame were also under the axle.

Steering was by cam and lever. The four-wheel brakes were initially Lockheed hydraulic. The hand brake lever operated on the back wheels using cables. Tyres were 4.5 x 19 inches.
"This body provides full room for four persons with a level floor. There are two cupboards, four pockets, a sliding roof, safety glass and other usual fittings but no ash trays. The windscreen opens. The spare wheel is behind the luggage rack at the back. The generous wheelbase and the absence of a gearlever in the floor gives excellent entrance and exit through all four doorways." motoring correspondent The Times.


The motoring correspondent of The Times also reported "the saloon will keep up 50 easily, even under load, and will do about 60 on the level. The Ten h.p. Lanchester 6-light saloon is a car de luxe by its transmission which gives the greatest smoothness and simplicity, rapid acceleration, and additional safety, and also by its design, general finish, and quietness in running.


  • Chassis £240
  • standard saloon £315 (with sliding roof and green leather upholstery)
  • sports saloon £335
  • sports open car £350

Lanchester Ten (1946–1951)[]

The Lanchester Ten, also known as the LD10, produced after the Second World War was presented as a compact companion model to the Daimler range, being “craftsman built” and among the smallest ever volume-produced cars from the firm. Initially produced with a steel six light body by Briggs of Dagenham, later models were fitted with coachbuilt Barker alloy bodywork. Other body variations included an Abbott-bodied drop-head coupe and Hooper-bodied van.

The four-cylinder a claimed power output of 40 bhp (29.8 kW) at 4,200 rpm. This was coupled to an epicyclic preselector 4-speed gear box. Stopping power came from Girling mechanical brakes.

The car was considered to be exceptionally smooth in operation, with reasonable performance for its time.