London,The Jack Barclay Showroom
16 June 2003
1904 STAR 7HP FOUR SEATER TONNEAU
Registration No. AF 3870
Chassis No. 124
Engine No. 114
Two tone green with black leather upholstery
Engine: two cylinder side valve, 1.5 litre, 7 h.p.; Gearbox: three speed manual with reverse; Suspension: Semi-elliptic leaf spring front and rear; Brakes: contracting band on rear wheels and transmission. Right hand drive.
The Star concern was one of the best known and longest lived of the many makes of car from Wolverhampton, and was founded by the Lisle family who started making bicycles under the Sharratt & Lisle name. As their reputation grew, this was changed in 1896 to the Star Cycle Co. Ltd, and two years later to the Star Motor Co. when car production started. The evolution from bicycle to car manufacturer was common within the industry as was inspiration from other existing designs of machine. Early Star cars consequently evolved with the times initially owing much to the Benz velo, but later followed by two De Dion engined models, and then three Panhard inspired types.
The first Panhard type 7 hp twin cylinder Star model was introduced early in 1902, and had a bore and stroke of 3½ by 4½ inches. An example was supplied in that year to the Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland for driver instruction use, it thus sometimes became known as the AC model. Two years later, a new 7hp twin was exhibited at the Agricultural Hall show in March 1904, this car has been identified as being of that type. The specification and ease of use of these cars ensured that they were at the top end of the market, being priced at £320, just £20 less than its Panhard equivalent and when a comparable Darracq was a modest £255.
The early history of this car is not known until it was dated by the Veteran Car Club in 1952 when in the ownership of a Mr Johnston. Five years later it was purchased by VCC member Geoffrey Edwards who kept the car for nearly 30 years regularly using it on the London to Brighton, until it was sold by Christie's in 1985. During his ownership it saw active club use as well as maintenance and restoration, but when last offered by ourselves it was clearly in need of some cosmetic attention. At the time its bodywork presumed to be the original consisted of the slightly impractical arrangement of two main seats behind which there was a fold-away two seat bench. However, in the last decade the body has been sympathetically revised to provide more commodious seating for four persons, the rear tonneau being accessed by lowering the front passenger seat (as illustrated). Its subsequent changes of owner have all been within club circles and the car has been actively campaigned on a variety of VCC events, and more recently the French Teuf-Teuf club Rallye des Ancêtres in 2001. It is naturally also eligible for the RAC London to Brighton run, which it completed successfully last year.
The Star is immaculately presented, and comprehensively equipped with brass accessories including high quality Rotax front lights and Lucas rear lights as well as a full tonneau cover, the driver's part of which is removable. It has also recently received a full service and been rewired with a new distributor and trembler coils fitted.
On a recent test run the car started promptly and performed well. It clearly demonstrated the benefits of its advanced user friendly design of conventional pedal layout and side gear lever operating the three speed 'box, which much simplify the Veteran motoring experience. As such the Star offers a very usable family entry for the growing number of Veteran events.
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No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis
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