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Star Motor Company

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Defunct
The Star Motor Company was a British car and commercial vehicle maker based in Wolverhampton and active from 1898 to 1932.

Star was founded by the Lisle family who like many other vehicle makers started by making bicycles, in their case in 1893 as Sharratt and Lisle. In 1896 this was changed to the Star Cycle Company<ref name=Beaulieu>Template:Citation/core{{#if:|}}</ref>. The first car was made in 1898 and a separate company, the Star Motor Company was registered as a wholly owned subsidiary of Star Engineering Ltd. The early vehicles were heavily influenced by existing car makers and the 1898 3.5 was essentially a single cylinder Benz and often called the Star-Benz. One a week was being made in 1899<ref name=Beaulieu/>. Two cylinder models followed in 1901 with the 7 and 10 with De Dion engines and in 1902 a four cylinder 20hp appeared. From 1904 only four cylinder models were made.

The Star Cycle Company run by Edward Lisle's son, also called Edward, had continued in business and in 1905 entered the car industry in its own right and produced a two seater called the Starling. To avoid confusion a new company, the Briton Motor Company was formed in 1909 and the products were badged as Britons. Manufacture continued until 1928.

The main Star company continued to make well engineered models up to the outbreak of war in 1914 adding a range of vans and trucks to the output and became one of the six largest British car makers<ref name=Beaulieu/>.

During World War 1 the company made a large number of lorries for the army and did some work on aircraft engines.

Post-war car production resumed in 1919 with the pre-war 3014 cc 15.9hp and 3815 cc 20.1hp models and in the early 1920s they were making 1000 cars a year<ref name=Beaulieu/> from their cramped workshops.

In 1928 Edward Lisle sold the company to Guy Motors who were also based in Wolverhampton who wanted to add a range of cars to their heavy vehicle production. Production was moved to a new plant in Bushbury on the Wolverhampton northern outskirts near to the Clyno factory but profits were elusive and production was stopped in 1932.

Star cars (main models)

Type Year Approx Production Engine Notes
3.5 1898-1902 1296 cc single cylinder <ref name=Culshaw>Template:Citation/core{{#if:|}}</ref>
7hp 1900-1904 1104 cc twin cylinder De Dion engine. <ref name=Culshaw/>
10hp 1902-1903 2588 cc twin cylinder 12 bhp at 800 rpm.<ref name=Culshaw/>
20hp 1902-1903 5176 cc four cylinder 24 bhp at 800 rpm.<ref name=Culshaw/>
12hp 1904 2830 cc four cylinder 16 bhp at 1000 rpm.<ref name=Culshaw/>
18hp 1904-1908 4170 cc four cylinder <ref name=Culshaw/>
24hp 1904 4815 cc four cylinder <ref name=Culshaw/>
15hp 1909-1913 2830/3160/3459 cc four cylinder 2830 cc in 1909. 121 inch (3.07 m) wheelbase. <ref name=Culshaw/>
30hp 1906 4740/6980 cc six cylinder 120 inch (3.04 m)wheelbase.<ref name=Culshaw/>
40hp 1907-11 6980 cc six cylinder 140 inch (3.55 m) wheelbase. <ref name=Culshaw/>
15.9 1913-1924 800 3012 cc four cylinder Four speed gearbox. In chassis only form cost between £750-825.<ref name=AZ1920>Template:Citation/core{{#if:|}}</ref>
20.1 1912-1923 100 3815 cc four cylinder Same engine as 15.9 but with larger bore.<ref name=AZ1920 />
11.9 1921-1923 2000 1795 cc four cylinder Three speed gearbox. Saloon version cost £750.<ref name=AZ1920 />
Six 1923-1927 250 2916 or 3265 cc six cylinder 18 and 20 hp versions. Four wheel brakes optional from 1924, standard from 1925. 70 mph top speed.<ref name=AZ1920 />
14/30 and 14/40 1924-1927 1000 2176 or 2120 cc four cylinder Four wheel brakes optional. Four speed gearbox.<ref name=AZ1920 />
12/25 and 12/40 1923-1928 2000 1945 cc four cylinder Four speed gearbox. 12/40 engine was the first Star to have overhead valves.<ref name=AZ1920 />
18/50 1926-1932 1000 2470/2920 cc six cylinder Named Jason for 1928 and Comet 18/50 from 1930 and Comet 18 in 1931.<ref name=AZ1920 />
20/60 1928-1932 175 3180/3620 cc six cylinder Named the Comet 20/60 and then the Planet 21.<ref name=AZ1930>Template:Citation/core{{#if:|}}</ref>
Planet 21 1928-1932 3180/3620 cc six cylinder The Planet 24 had the larger engine. Hector saloon and Perseus coupé and tourers.<ref name=AZ1930 />
Comet 14 1932 Few made. 2100 cc six cylinder Saloon or coupé. Bendix brakes. <ref name=AZ1930 />

for a complete list of surviving cars, see http://www.localhistory.scit.wlv.ac.uk/Museum/Transport/Cars/staregister/starreg00.htm