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Standard Motor Company

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Defunct

The Standard Motor Company was founded in Coventry, England in 1903 by Reginald Walter Maudslay (1871-1934). The Standard name was last used in Britain in 1963, and in India in 1987.

History

1903-1914

The company was set up in a small factory in Much Park Street, Coventry and employed seven people to assemble the first car, powered by a single cylinder engine with three speed gearbox and shaft drive to the rear wheels. This was soon replaced by a two cylinder model quickly followed by three and four cylinder versions and in 1905 the first six. As well as supplying complete chassis, the company found a good market in selling engines for fitting to other cars, especially where the owner was looking for more power. The company took a stand at the 1905 London Motor Show in Crystal Palace where a London Dealer, Charles (later Sir Charles) Friswell agreed to take the entire factory output. In 1907 Friswell became Chairman of the company and worked hard raising its profile culminating in supplying 70 cars for King George V and his entourage at the 1911 Delhi Royal Durbah. Friswell sold his interest in Standard in 1912 to C.J. Band and Siegried Bettmann the founder of the Triumph Motor Cycle Company which later became the Triumph Motor Company. In 1914 Standard became a public company.

First World War

During World War I, the company produced over 1000 aircraft including the Royal Aircraft Factory BE12, Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8, Sopwith Pup and Bristol F.2-B in a new works at Canley opened in 1916 which would become the main centre of operations in future.

1919-1939

Civilian car production restarted in 1919 with a range of small cars and by 1924 the company had a share of the market comparable to Austin, making over 10,000 cars in 1924, but by the late 1920s profits had fallen dramatically due to heavy reinvestment, a failed export contract and poor sales of the larger cars. In 1929 Captain John Black joined the board from Hillman as joint Managing Director and one thing he encouraged was the supply of chassis to external coachbuilders such as Jensen, Avon and Swallow (which would become Jaguar). Reginald Maudslay left the company in 1934, and died shortly afterwards at the age of 64.

In the 1930s, fortunes improved with new models, the Standard Nine and Standard Ten which addressed the low to mid range market and at the Motor Show of 1935 the new range of Flying Standards was announced with semi streamlined bodies.

World War II

During World War II, the company continued to produce its cars but now mainly fitted with utility bodies. However, the most famous war time product was the Mosquito aircraft, mainly the FB VI version of which over 1100 were made. 750 Airspeed Oxfords were also made as well as 20,000 Bristol Mercury VIII engines, and 3000 Bristol Beaufighter fuselages.

Other wartime products included 4000 Beaverette light armoured cars and a lightweight "Jeep" type vehicle.

The Post War years

With peace the pre-war Eight and Twelve cars were quickly back in production. Of greater significance was, in 1945, the purchase arranged by Sir John Black of the Triumph Motor Company, which was in receivership, for £75,000. Triumph was reformed as a wholly owned subsidiary of Standard called "Triumph Motor Company (1945) Limited". Also, a lucrative deal was arranged to build the small Ferguson tractor which helped fill some of the large war time factory space.

A one-model policy was adopted in 1948 with the Vanguard, styled on American lines by Walter Belgrove, which lasted until 1953 when the new Eight small car was added. Overseas assembly plants were also opened in Australia, Canada, India and South Africa. Sir John Black stepped down from control of the company in 1954. Ill health was cited as the 'official' reason for his resignation but it is now known the Board of Directors requested he should leave. His deputy and long-time personal assistant, Alick Dick, took over. The company started looking for partners to enable continued expansion and talks were held with Chrysler, Massey-Harris-Ferguson, Rootes, Rover and Renault but these came to nothing.

The company was eventually taken over in 1960 by Leyland Motors Ltd who paid £20 million and the last Standard was produced in the UK 1963. Triumphs continued when Leyland became British Leyland Motor Corporation in 1968.

Standard in India

However, the Standard name lasted into the 1980s in India, where they manufactured the Triumph Herald as the Standard Herald, but with additional four-door and five-door estate models.

In 1970, Standard in India split with British Leyland, and introduced a four-door version of the Herald called the Standard Gazel in 1971, using the same 948 cm³ engine. The Gazel was built in small numbers — it has been suggested that it did so to keep its manufacturer's licence — until 1977. Productions of Standards ceased until the Standard 2000 was launched in 1985, based on the Rover SD1. The car was modified — it rode higher and had an old 1991 cm³ Standard Vanguard unit — and was not successful. It ceased production in 1987 and was the last car to bear the Standard name.

British Car Models

Pre World War 1

Year Type Engine Production
1903 6 hp 1006 cc side valve single cylinder
1904-1905 12/15 1926 cc side valve 2 cylinder
1905 16 hp 3142 cc side valve 4 cylinder
1905-1908 18/20 4714 cc side valve 6 cylinder
1906 10 hp 631 cc side valve 2 cylinder
1906 16/20 3531 cc side valve 4 cylinder
1906 24/30 5232 cc side valve 6 cylinder
1906-1912 50 hp 11734 cc side valve 6 cylinder
1907 15 hp 1593 cc side valve 6 cylinder
1907-1908 30 hp 5297 cc side valve 6 cylinder
1908-1911 20 hp 4032 cc side valve 6 cylinder
1908-1911 40 hp 6167 cc side valve 6 cylinder
1909-1911 16 hp 2688 cc side valve 4 cylinder
1910-1911 12 hp 1656 cc side valve 4 cylinder
1911-1914 20 hp 3620 cc (3336 cc from 1913) side valve 6 cylinder
1911-1912 15 hp 2368 cc side valve 4 cylinder
1912 25 hp 4032 cc side valve 6 cylinder
1913-1918 9.5 hp Model S 1087 cc side valve 4 cylinder

1919-1939

Year Type Engine Production
1919-1921 9.5 hp Model SLS 1328 cc side valve 4 cylinder
1921-1923 8 hp 1087 cc side valve 4 cylinder
1921-1923 11.6 hp SLO 1598 cc ohv 4 cylinder
1922-1926 13.9 hp SLO-4 1307 cc ohv 4 cylinder
1923-1927 11.4 hp V3 1307 cc ohv 4 cylinder
1926-1928 13.9 hp V4 1944 cc ohv 4 cylinder
1927-1928 18/36 hp 2230 cc ohv 6 cylinder
1927-1930 9 hp 1153 or 1287 cc side valve 4 cylinder
1929-1933 15 hp 1930 or 2054 cc side valve 6 cylinder
1930-1933 9.9 hp Big Nine 1287 cc side valve 4 cylinder
1931-1935 20 hp Envoy 2552 cc side valve 6 cylinder
1932-1933 Little Nine 1006 cc side valve 4 cylinder
1932-1933 Little Twelve 1337 cc side valve 6 cylinder
1932-1933 Big Twelve 1497 cc side valve 6 cylinder
1934 12/6 1497 cc side valve 6 cylinder
1934-1935 10/12 Speed Model 1608 cc side valve 4 cylinder
1934-1936 Nine 1052 cc side valve 4 cylinder
1934-1936 Ten 1343 cc side valve 4 cylinder
1934-1936 Twelve 1608 cc side valve 4 cylinder
1934-1936 Sixteen 2143 cc side valve 6 cylinder
1935-1936 Twenty 2664 cc side valve 6 cylinder
1936-1937 20 hp 2686 cc side valve V8 cylinder
1937-1938 Flying Ten 1267 cc side valve 4 cylinder
1937-1940 Flying Twelve 1608 cc side valve 4 cylinder
19337-1940 Flying Nine 1131 cc side valve 4 cylinder
1937-1940 Flying Light Twelve 1343 cc side valve 4 cylinder
1937-1940 Flying Fourteen 1608 cc or 1776 cc side valve 4 cylinder
1937-1940 Flying Twenty 2143 cc side valve 6 cylinder
1938-1940 Flying Eight 1021 cc side valve 4 cylinder

1945-1963

Year Type Engine Production
1945-1948 Eight 1021 cc side valve four cylinder 383,139
1945-1948 Twelve 1608 cc side valve 4 cylinder 9959
1945-1948 Fourteen 1776 cc side valve 4 cylinder 22,229
1947-1953 Vanguard Phase I 2088 cc ohv 4 cylinder 184,799
1953-1955 Vanguard Phase II 2088 cc ohv 4 cylinder
2092 cc ohv 4 cylinder diesel
81,074
1,973
1953-1957 Eight 803 cc ohv 4 cylinder 136,317
1954-1956 Ten 948 cc ohv 4 cylinder 172,500
1955-1958 Vanguard Phase III 2088 cc ohv 4 cylinder 37,194
1956-1957 Sportsman 2088 cc ohv 4 cylinder 901
1957-1961 Ensign 1670 cc ohv 4 cylinder
2092 cc ohv 4 cylinder diesel
18,852
1957-1959 Pennant 948 cc ohv 4 cylinder 42,910
1958-1961 Vanguard Vignale 2088 cc ohv 4 cylinder 26,276
1960-1963 Vanguard Six 1998 cc ohv 6 cylinder 9953
1962-1963 Ensign II 2138 cc ohv 4 cylinder 2318

Military and Commercial

Year Type Engine Production
1940-1943 Beaverette 1,776 cc side valve 4 cylinder
1940-1944 12 hp Light Utility 1,608 cc side valve 4 cylinder
1943 Jeep 1,608 cc side valve 4 cylinder
1947-1958 12cwt 2,088 cc ohv 4 cylinder
1954-62 6cwt 948 cc ohv 4 cylinder
1958-1962 10 hp Atlas 948 cc ohv 4 cylinder
1962-1963 Atlas Major 1,670 cc ohv 4 cylinder
1962-1965 7cwt 1,147 cc ohv 4 cylinder

See also

Automobiles made by BMC, BL and Rover Group companies
Austin | Austin-Healey | British Leyland | Jaguar | MG | Morris | Riley | Rover | MG Rover | Triumph | Vanden Plas | Wolseley
Austin models: A40 | Cambridge | Westminster | A35 | Mini | 1100/1300 | Mini Moke | 1800 | 3-Litre | Maxi | Allegro | Mini Metro | Maestro | Montego
Austin-Healey models: 100 | 3000 | Sprite
British Leyland models: Princess | P76 (Australia only)
Jaguar models: XJ6 | XJ12 | XJS
Morris models: Minor | Oxford | Cowley | Mini | 1100/1300 | 1800 | Marina/Ital
MG models: MGA | Magnette | Midget | Montego | MGB | MGC | 1100/1300 | MG RV8 | MG F/TF | MG ZT | MG ZR | MG ZS | MG SV
Riley models: Pathfinder | 2.6 | 1.5 | 4/68 | Elf | Kestrel
Rover models: P3 | P4 | P5 | P6 | SD1 | 25 | 75 (post-P4) | 45 | 400 | 200 | 100 (post-P4) | 800 | 600 | CityRover | Estoura | Streetwise
Triumph models: Herald | Spitfire | Vitesse | GT6 | Stag | TR7 | Toledo | 1300 |1500 | 2000 | 2.5 & 2500 | Dolomite | Acclaim
Vanden Plas models: Princess | 3-Litre | 1100/1300
Wolseley models: 4/44 | 6/90 | 15/50 | 1500 | 16/60 | 6/99 | 6/110 | Hornet | 1100/1300 | 18/85
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Jaguar SS Cars Jaguar Jaguar BMH British Leyland Jaguar Ford
Daimler Daimler BSA BSA
Lanchester Lanchester
Mini BMC Austin

Rover

BAe BMW BMW/MINI
Riley Riley Nuffield
Organisation
BMW
MG Morris Garages (MG) BMW MGR Nanjing
Morris Morris Morris
Wolseley Wolseley
Austin Austin Austin
Vanden Plas Vanden Plas Ford
Rover Rover Rover Rover BMW/MGR Ford
Land Rover Ford
Alvis Alvis BAE Systems
Standard Standard Standard Triumph Leyland BMW/Triumph
Triumph Dawson Triumph

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