1899 Star 3 1/2hp Vis-à-vis  Chassis no. 4

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Lot 307
1899 Star 3 1/2hp Vis-à-vis

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1899 Star 3 1/2hp Vis-à-vis
Registration no. AW 27
Chassis no. 4

Footnotes

  • One of Britain's top six motor manufacturers prior to World War One, the Wolverhampton-based Star Motor Company produced its first automobile in 1898. A close neighbour of Sunbeam, the company had been founded by Edward Lisle Sr, proprietor of the Star Cycle Company that would later build its own Starling cars under the guidance of his son, Edward Jr. Star's first automobile was a built-under-license Benz, though it was manufactured entirely in Wolverhampton.

    The Autocar magazine of 3rd June 1899 reported: "we have spoken of the fact that the Star Cycle Co. of Wolverhampton have entered the field of Motor Car Manufacturers and one day this week we had the opportunity of... trying a short run in one of their cars. This is practically a facsimile of the Benz but with a slightly larger bore to the cylinder and with an improved screw adjustment for the chain... it ran with great sweetness and with very little noise or vibration whilst it climbed a good steep gradient very well with two on board."

    This early example carries vis-à-vis coachwork by Strouds of Nyphon Works , Wolverhampton, and is presented in its original, and then fashionable, varnished wood finish. The car is fitted with the Star patent carburettor and enjoys the great advantage of the Crypto gear, giving enhanced hill climbing ability and ease of manoeuvrability at slow speeds.

    The engine presently fitted is believed to be the original engine which has the name Star cast both in the cylinder block and engine bearers. A spare engine comes with car which has plain engine bearers. At one time the spare engine was fitted to AW 27 and thankfully both engines have been retained providing valuable spares and maintaining the history and integrity of the car. The spare engine is mounted on a wooden frame, is fitted with a Zenith Carburettor and turns freely.

    This car is widely recorded as car no.4 and in the 1960s the son of one of its earliest owners stated that his father William Woodleigh Wyatt bought the car second hand in 1902, taking three days to drive it from Wolverhampton to Whitchurch. Indeed records show that the car was registered AW 27 in the County of Salop under the Motor Car Act 1903 in the name of William Woodleigh Wyatt of The Firs, Whitchurch, on 16th December 1903. The Wyatt family were engineers and around that time also owned a 1900 6hp Daimler – registration no. AW 325 - which remained in their ownership until the 1980s. The Star also remained in the Wyatt family ownership for many years and was displayed at their engineering works in Whitchurch. A contemporary photograph on file shows a Thomas Gibbons of West Bromwich in a similar car which he bought new. Edward Lisle stands alongside. Further research by a new owner may link this photograph to AW 27, thus adding to its almost complete early history.

    In 1978 AW 27 was recorded in preservation in the ownership of Philip Thomas of Eccleston, St. Helens, and in 1986 was acquired by VCC stalwart Bob Taylor of Stourbridge, where it shared the motor house with his Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost. He was to enter the car in numerous Brighton Runs and other events. AW 27 was acquired by the present owner in 1996 from dealer/collector the late Peter Harper and in 1998 the car with its new owner successfully completed the testing 180 miles Tour de Leman in Switzerland. Since then the car has been used only on local events not involving such great mileages. Although more recently the car has not seen active use, being part of a collection of significant veteran, Edwardian and later cars, it started readily on recent inspection. The vendor recommends the usual careful re-commissioning before active use. The car comes with an interesting history file including copies of extracts from contemporary motor magazines, further information from the Star, Starling, Stuart and Briton Register together with the all-important VCC Dating Certificate No.1745 issued in 1988 while the car was in Bob Taylor's ownership. It comes with Swansea registration documentation, copy of 1978 log book and a copy of the 1903 Register of Motor cars showing this car registered in the County of Salop.
    The V5 document and copy registration document from 1978 incorrectly record chassis and engine no. 917 - we have not been able to ascertain any source or reason for that number.

    This wonderful Victorian, British, four-seater motor car enjoys the benefit of a particularly early start position on the grid for the prestigious Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.
Contacts
1899 Star 3 1/2hp Vis-à-vis  Chassis no. 4
1899 Star 3 1/2hp Vis-à-vis  Chassis no. 4
1899 Star 3 1/2hp Vis-à-vis  Chassis no. 4
1899 Star 3 1/2hp Vis-à-vis  Chassis no. 4
1899 Star 3 1/2hp Vis-à-vis  Chassis no. 4
1899 Star 3 1/2hp Vis-à-vis  Chassis no. 4
1899 Star 3 1/2hp Vis-à-vis  Chassis no. 4
1899 Star 3 1/2hp Vis-à-vis  Chassis no. 4
1899 Star 3 1/2hp Vis-à-vis  Chassis no. 4
1899 Star 3 1/2hp Vis-à-vis  Chassis no. 4
1899 Star 3 1/2hp Vis-à-vis  Chassis no. 4
1899 Star 3 1/2hp Vis-à-vis  Chassis no. 4
1899 Star 3 1/2hp Vis-à-vis  Chassis no. 4
1899 Star 3 1/2hp Vis-à-vis  Chassis no. 4
1899 Star 3 1/2hp Vis-à-vis  Chassis no. 4
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