Hull – Streetlife Museum (Lanchester Open Tourer)

There’s something quite romantic about old cars, as it must have been an exciting time to have one. Not perhaps those drivers who toured the cities getting irritated by pedestrians and driving over horse deposits, but to explore the country road with few obstacles. Although, back then of course there were no Greggs drive-thrus, so it’s important to remember that the grass isn’t always greener.

Anyway, I don’t know anything about old cars, so I have to read the information panel in a bid to understand the heap of metal in front of me. This is a Lanchester Open Tourer from around 1906, a car manufacturer from Birmingham which later moved to the romantic dreamlands of Coventry, where apparently they were “Coventry’s answer to Rolls Royce”. The company had a little issue in 1930 when they went a bit bankrupt, but the transport angels of Birmingham Small Arms Company (which sounds like a gang) bought them out.

Birmingham Small Arms Company sold their business to Jaguar in 1960, alongside the Daimler brand which they also owned. It was all a bit over for Lanchester by then, as their last car had been made into a prototype in 1956, but it was never produced.