Gables Service Station
30 June 2005
1911 SWIFT 10-12HP TWO SEATER
Registration No. Tba
Chassis No. 3648
Engine No. 3733
Red with black interior
Engine: two cylinder vertical, 4 x 4 3/8 ins. bore & stroke, 1,815cc, water-cooled, pressure lubrication, coil ignition; Gearbox: three speed and reverse, cone clutch, shaft-drive to bevel back axle; Suspension: front and rear, semi-elliptic leaf springs; Brakes: rear-wheel and transmission brakes. Right hand drive.
Few motorcar makers of Coventry did not have a background in the cycle trade, and Swift was no exception. The near obligatory motor tricycles appeared in 1898 and the first voiturettes were made two years later. In 1902 the Swift Motor Company was formed and car production was moved from the old cycle works to a new factory at Cheylesmore, south of the city centre.
A range of conventional cars was built over the years and some of these performed well in production car reliability trials, particularly the Scottish Trials of 1906 to 1908 where Swift received a Gold Medal three years in a row. This prompted advertising copy that stated: 'Swift all British cars - their past guarantees their future'.
The 10-12 hp was marketed from 1909 to 1912 and was at the expensive end of the scale for two-cylinder cars, costing £230. The chassis had a comparatively short seven-foot wheelbase and this gave the cars a rather chubby appearance, but they sold steadily so that ordinary shareholders received a 5 dividend in 1910 - satisfactory enough in an era of zero inflation.
This car carried a London registration from the summer of 1911 and has been known in veteran car circles for over fifty years. It was one of the mobile 'props' that provided realistic background for the 1965 film Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines. During its period of long-term museum display the car has been kept in good cosmetic condition and it appears overall to be in correct and complete order.
Contact Client Service
New York +1 212 636 2000
London +44 (0)20 7839 9060
Asia +852 2760 1766
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.
Looking back on a week of auctions featuring masterworks representing some of the greatest collections assembled in the United States
Explore key British artists from the 19th century to the present day, to be offered across four sales of Modern British Art and British Impressionism this November at Christie’s London.