1927 Windsor Two-Seater  Chassis no. X813 Engine no. 1101

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Lot 167
1927 Windsor Two-Seater
Registration no. KA 6696 Chassis no. X813 Engine no. 1101

Sold for £ 16,100 (US$ 21,149) inc. premium
1927 Windsor Two-Seater
Coachwork by James Bartle & Company

Registration no. KA 6696
Chassis no. X813
Engine no. 1101
Amazingly, George Milligen was still adding to his collection as he neared his 90th year, and he bought this delightful vintage light car from, his notebook records, “an old age pensioner near Newcastle” (who was probably younger than he) in December 1996. He completely restored it in the space of six months. He was attracted by its rarity and the Rolls-Royce-like radiator (hardly surprising, since F.W.Berwick of Sizaire-Berwick was connected with the Windsor company) and had been looking for a Windsor for several years. This, he believed, was the only Windsor left in running order, and he loved driving it because it was so easy to handle.

Its makers, James Bartle & Company of Lancaster Road, London, were an old-established firm who combined coachbuilding, machine tools and iron founding in their activities – an ideal combination for motor manufacture - and launched the Windsor (named after C.S.Windsor, who had taken over the company in 1910) at the 1923 Olympia Show.
The idea was to produce a light car “to satisfy the demands of the connoisseur – those whose motoring needs are particular and to whom a car of comfort, refinement and luxury particularly appeals”.
Unusually for a light car maker, Bartle produced their own 1,354cc overhead valve power unit, built-in unit with a four-speed gearbox, modestly describing the Windsor as “the most advanced attainment in automotive evolution”. Contemporary accounts praised the smoothness and quietness of the engine.

The right-hand gear change and centre throttle seen on this car were regarded as signs of quality in a light car at that date, and the Windsor has been described as “one of the finest light cars produced in Britain during the 1920s” by no less an authority than T.R.Nicholson.
The Windsor was designed for “luxurious running and high efficiency”, and particular attention was paid to weight distribution, with “every detail… designed to provide a car of entire trustworthiness, refinement and luxury”.

The equipment was comprehensive, with Wefco spring gaiters as standard (and George Milligen had a new set made by the original manufacturers in 1997). The dashboard is fully equipped, with speedometer, CAV lighting panel with ammeter, oil pressure gauge
and clock.

The company’s coachbuilding skills produced bodywork that was “roomy, well-upholstered, affording complete weather protection, and designed with a knowledge of what real comfort demands”.
But against the cheaper products of companies like Morris – at £345 it was twice as expensive as a Morris-Cowley - the Windsor stood little chance of success. Production only lasted from 1923 to 1927, and probably some 300 cars were built. First registered on 30 April 1927, this must be one of the very last Windsors to be built by Bartle, though some cars were assembled from spare parts by a dealership in Stamford Hill after Bartle had gone into liquidation.

The care and attention, not to mention expense, lavished upon this car by George Milligen, was out of all proportion to its value. As with so many of his cars, George added his own personal touches to bronze the restoration – in this case, typified by the beautiful cold painted kingfisher mascot which adorns the radiator cap.

This must be one of the most attractive cars of its kind to come to auction for many years and its unique nature will make it a fine addition to any collection.
1927 Windsor Two-Seater  Chassis no. X813 Engine no. 1101
1927 Windsor Two-Seater  Chassis no. X813 Engine no. 1101
1927 Windsor Two-Seater  Chassis no. X813 Engine no. 1101
1927 Windsor Two-Seater  Chassis no. X813 Engine no. 1101
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