1899 Star 3½hp Single-cylinder Vis-à-Vis
Chassis number: 38
Registration number: Y204
A very early UK veteran car with known history since new. The car was delivered in 1899 on the day the siege of Mafeking was lifted, to its first owner - the Reverend H Carpenter, Vicar of Compton Bishop, near Cheddar in Somerset.
From the early 1930s until 1975, the Star was owned by the late Percy Allen of Desiree, Lympsham, Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset, who was a VCC member and regularly used the car on London to Brighton runs. He also took the Star to the 1956 Le Mans 24 Hours Race and completed two parade laps of the circuit (see press cutting on file). Also on file is a copy of an article in Veteran & Vintage magazine (June 1961 edition), in which the Star is pictured ascending the Prescott hill climb course, Gloucestershire.
Following Mr Allen's death, the Star was sold on the instructions of his executors by Palmers Auctioneers of Weston-Super-Mare, who advertised it in the Sunday Times. The car was bought by Peter Griffin of Telford, who was at that time a member of the VCC Midland Committee.
In 1985, 'Y 204' was bought at auction by noted VCC member and collector Robin Loder, from whom it was purchased in 1990 by Derek Light, of Bath. The vendor purchased the Star in 1995 and it formed part of his collection of early veteran motor cars. Regularly campaigned on numerous VCC events, Brighton Runs and more often his chosen steed to visit local hostelries.
The car is in wonderfully original condition. It starts easily running off a trembler coil & is simplicity in itself to drive. A crawler gear is fitted allowing the car to be inched out of its garage or into parking spaces etc with absolute precision. In more normal use the two speeds are more abrupt in their belt drive take-up affording speeds up to 20 MPH or so.
The body is original as detailed in assorted photographs & reminiscing correspondence from the offspring & relatives of the original owner. The body number is visible stamped upon the timbers of the coachwork. The engine is a copy of the Benz single cylinder built under license from Benz. A sprag is fitted to stop rearward motion when pulling up on hills. A heel mounted klaxon is also fitted to warn pedestrians of the apparition about to appear.
Correspondence coming with the car alludes to villagers taking shelter whom never having seen a car thought that the Devil himself was after them. It was used for the first owners honeymoon; a tour of Exmoor, the dust apparently being terrific due to the unmetalled surfaces of the road.
This car has done the London to Brighton run on numerous occasions & being of such early manufacture qualifies as one of the first few cars to start. It runs to Brighton with aplomb being well able to cope with the hills en route. It is a vehicle in delightful original order with impeccable London to Brighton credentials & a fine investment opportunity. A wealth of correspondence & paperwork comes with this well known car attesting to its provenance.
A Handy assortment of spare belts, lubricants & tools comes with the car. We are happy to provide instruction in its correct running starting & driving procedures.
A gallery of large high-resolution pictures may be viewed on our website.
Office 01375 379719
Richard Biddulph 07967 260673
Christoff Cowens 07772188037
We accept Credit/Debit Cards.
Part Exchange welcome.
Weekend & evening viewings OK.
Viewings by appointment :
9 Globe Industrial Estate,
Grays, Essex, RM17 6ST
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