1915 CALTHORPE MINOR 10HP TWO SEATER
Registration No. LX 4722
Engine No. 2253/3357
Grey-Green with black interior
Engine: four cylinder monobloc, 62 x 90mm bore and stroke, 1,086cc, side-valve, water-cooled, with magneto ignition and Zenith carburettor; Gearbox: three speed and reverse, Hele-Shaw multi-plate clutch, shaft-drive to bevel back axle; Suspension: front and rear, semi-elliptic leaf springs; Brakes: rear-wheel and transmission. Sankey-detachable wheels. Right hand drive.
The Calthorpe Minor started as it meant to go on, winning on formula the cyclecar class at Shelsley Walsh hill climb in June 1913, a month before it went on sale to the public. Although it was classified as a cyclecar, it was quite clearly a light car, and with its entirely orthodox specification the 'big car in miniature' label often bestowed upon it was quite legitimate.
Produced by the Calthorpe Motor Company of Birmingham the Minor was largely made 'in-house', although bodies came from the next-door Mulliner factory, and in an extremely competitive market it was, as much as anything ever is, an overnight success. This was undoubtedly aided by its price of £160 Guineas, undercutting that of rivals in the quality light car class such as AC, Calcott, Morris and Singer. But the frequent achievements in various types of competitive events also played an important part in gaining public recognition for the car. In November 1913 Calthorpe was advertising a whole string of endurance record achievements at Brooklands with average speeds around the 65 mph mark, whilst in the summer of 1914 a Minor won a gold medal and attained maximum marks in the English Six-Days Trial for light cars.
'LX 4722' was originally registered in London with the second re-registration laws in 1921. Its log book from this period shows road duty stampings through the 1920s, after which some history is charted through a successive log book which places the car in the ownership of Colin Moon of Wilmington, Kent in 1958. In his ownership as confirmed by various badges on the car, it competed in a number of Veteran Car Club events, such as one at Crystal Palace in 1964, and one at Bristol the same year. Last taxed in 1964, within the decade after this the car was purchased by the Sharpe Family.
Today the Calthorpe presents well and although stored for many years, the conditions have been sympathetic and the car allowed to age rather than deteriorate. It is running and should therefore be a straightforward proposition for re-commissioning and return to the road.