Not to be confused with other Invicta car manufacturing ventures: Finchley, London, 1900–1905 or Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, 1913–1914. Invicta is a British automobile manufacturer; the brand has been available intermittently through successive decades. The manufacturer was based in Cobham, England from 1925 to 1933 in Chelsea, England from 1933 to 1938 and in Virginia Water, England from 1946 to 1950. More the name was revived for the Invicta S1 sports car produced between 2004 and 2012; this manufacturer was founded by Noel Macklin with Oliver Lyle of the sugar family providing finance. Assembly took place in Macklin's garage at his home at Fairmile Cottage on the main London to Portsmouth road in Cobham, Surrey. Macklin had tried car making with Eric-Campbell & Co Limited and his own Silver Hawk Motor Company Limited The Invicta cars were designed to combine flexibility, the ability to accelerate from virtual standstill in top gear, with sporting performance. With the assistance of William Watson, his mechanic from pre-World War I racing days, a prototype was built on a Bayliss-Thomas frame with Coventry Simplex engine in the stables of Macklin's house on the western side of Cobham.
The first production car, the 1925 2½ litre used a Meadows straight six, overhead-valve engine and four-speed gearbox in a chassis with semi elliptical springs all round and cost from £595. Two different chassis lengths were available, 9 feet 4 inches SC and 10 feet LC to cater for the customer's choice of bodywork; as demand grew a lot of the construction work went to Lenaerts and Dolphens in Barnes, London but final assembly and test remained at Fairmile. The engine grew to 3 litres in 1926 and 4½ litres in late 1928; the larger engine was used in the William Watson designed 1929 4½ litre NLC chassis available in short 9 feet 10 inches or long 10 feet 6 inches versions, but the less expensive A Type replaced the NLC in 1930. In 1930 the S-type was launched at the London Motor Show. Still using the 4½ litre Meadows engine but in a low chassis slung under the rear axle. About 75 were made. In an attempt to widen the market appeal the 1½ litre straight-six overhead-cam Blackburne engined 12/45 L-type was announced in 1932.
It was a large car with its 9 feet 10 inches wheelbase and proved too heavy for the available power needing a 6:1 rear axle ratio. It was available with a preselector gearbox as most had coachwork by Carbodies; the supercharged 12/90 of 1933 increased the available power from 45 to 90 bhp but few were made and a proposed twin-cam 12/100 never got beyond a prototype. Sporting success for Invicta came via Violette Cordery, Noel Macklin's sister-in-law, she won the half mile sprint at the West Kent Motor Club meeting at Brooklands in 1925 driving a 2.7 litre. In March 1926 Cordery was part of a team of six drivers that set multiple long distance records at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza in Italy, they covered 10,000 miles at 56.47 mph, 15,000 miles at 55.76 mph. In July 1926 at the Autodrome de Linas-Montlhéry track, they covered 5000 miles at 70.7 mph, taking over 70 hours of day and night driving, supervised by the Royal Automobile Club. Cordery was twice awarded the Dewar Trophy, latterly in 1929 for driving 30,000 miles in 30,000 minutes at Brooklands, averaging 61.57 mph.
Between February and July 1927 Cordery drove an Invicta around the world, accompanied by a nurse, a mechanic, an RAC observer. They covered 10,266 miles in five months at 24.6 mph, crossing Europe, India, the United States and Canada. In 1930 Donald Healey gained a class win in the Monte Carlo Rally, won the event outright in 1931 with an S Type, having startedfrom Stavanger. S. C. H. "Sammy" Davis had a spectacular accident in an S-type at Brooklands in 1931. Raymond Mays held the Brooklands Mountain Circuit Class Record in 1931 and 1932, the outright Shelsley Walsh Sports Car Record in the latter year. Car production seems to have finished in 1935. Noel Macklin went on to found Railton, who used the Cobham buildings to make their cars after Invicta moved to Chelsea in 1933. An attempted revival using Delage and Darracq components failed to get off the ground. Following the collapse of an attempted sale the court made an order for the compulsory winding up of Invicta Cars Limited on 3 May 1938.
The name was revived in 1946 by an organisation calling themselves Invicta Cars of Virginia Water Surrey who began making the Black Prince. Meadows engines were again used, this time a twin overhead camshaft 3-litre six with three carburettors giving 120 bhp; the aluminium-bodied cars – steel supplies were non-existent for new businesses in Britain's new centrally planned economy – were complex and expensive with a torque converter replacing the gearbox. The torque converter was controlled by a small switch with reverse positions. Suspension was independent using torsion bars and there were built-in electric jacks. Other innovative luxury items included a trickle-charger to charge the battery from the domestic mains, an immersion heater in the engine, interior heating of the body and a built-in radio. About 16 were made, 12 of; the new company lasted until 1950, when it was bought by AFN Ltd.. Invicta Cars Ltd. Company No. 02342199 was registered again in 1989 by Christopher Browning, an Invicta enthusiast, involved in the restoration and running of Invicta cars designed between 1925 and 1935.
The purpose of the company was – and still is today – to record and preserve the heritage of the company name and provide a reference point for all the Invicta cars th
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, public service outside the civil service. It was established on 4 June 1917 by King George V and comprises five classes across both civil and military divisions, the most senior two of which make the recipient either a knight if male or dame if female. There is the related British Empire Medal, whose recipients are affiliated with, but not members of, the order. Recommendations for appointments to the Order of the British Empire were made on the nomination of the United Kingdom, the self-governing Dominions of the Empire and the Viceroy of India. Nominations continue today from Commonwealth countries that participate in recommending British honours. Most Commonwealth countries ceased recommendations for appointments to the Order of the British Empire when they created their own honours; the five classes of appointment to the Order are, in descending order of precedence: Knight Grand Cross or Dame Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire Knight Commander or Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire The senior two ranks of Knight or Dame Grand Cross, Knight or Dame Commander, entitle their members to use the title of Sir for men and Dame for women before their forename.
Most members are citizens of the United Kingdom or the Commonwealth realms that use the Imperial system of honours and awards. Honorary knighthoods are appointed to citizens of nations where the Queen is not head of state, may permit use of post-nominal letters but not the title of Sir or Dame. Honorary appointees are, referred to as Sir or Dame – Bob Geldof, for example. Honorary appointees who become a citizen of a Commonwealth realm can convert their appointment from honorary to substantive enjoy all privileges of membership of the order, including use of the title of Sir and Dame for the senior two ranks of the Order. An example is Irish broadcaster Terry Wogan, appointed an honorary Knight Commander of the Order in 2005, on successful application for British citizenship, held alongside his Irish citizenship, was made a substantive member and subsequently styled as Sir Terry Wogan. King George V founded the Order to fill gaps in the British honours system: The Orders of the Garter, of St Patrick honoured royals, peers and eminent military commanders.
In particular, King George V wished to create an Order to honour many thousands of those who had served in a variety of non-combatant roles during the First World War. When first established, the Order had only one division. However, in 1918, soon after its foundation, it was formally divided into Military and Civil Divisions; the Order's motto is For the Empire. At the foundation of the Order, the'Medal of the Order of the British Empire' was instituted, to serve as a lower award granting recipients affiliation but not membership. In 1922, this was renamed the'British Empire Medal', it stopped being awarded by the United Kingdom as part of the 1993 reforms to the honours system, but was again awarded beginning in 2012, starting with 293 BEMs awarded for Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee. In addition, the BEM is awarded by some other Commonwealth nations. In 2004, a report entitled "A Matter of Honour: Reforming Our Honours System" by a Commons committee recommended to phase out the Order of the British Empire, as its title was "now considered to be unacceptable, being thought to embody values that are no longer shared by many of the country's population".
The British monarch is Sovereign of the Order, appoints all other members of the Order. The next most senior member is the Grand Master, of whom there have been three: Prince Edward, the Prince of Wales; the Order is limited to 300 Knights and Dames Grand Cross, 845 Knights and Dames Commander, 8,960 Commanders. There are no limits applied to the total number of members of the fourth and fifth classes, but no more than 858 Officers and 1,464 Members may be appointed per year. Foreign appointees, as honorary members, do not contribute to the numbers restricted to the Order as full members do. Although the Order of the British Empire has by far the highest number of members of the British Orders of Chivalry, with over 100,000 living members worldwide, there are fewer appointments to knighthoods than in other orders. Though men can be knighted separately from an order of chivalry, women cannot, so the rank of Knight/Dame Commander of the Order is the lowest rank of damehood, second-lowest of knighthood.
Because of this, an appointment as Dame Commander is made in circumstances in which a man would be created a Knight Bachelor. For example, by convention, female judges of the High Court of Justice are created Dames Commander after appointment, while male judges
Triumph Motor Company
The Triumph Motor Company was a British car and motor manufacturing company in the 19th and 20th centuries. The marque had its origins in 1885 when Siegfried Bettmann of Nuremberg formed S. Bettmann & Co. and started importing bicycles from Europe and selling them under his own trade name in London. The trade name became "Triumph" the following year, in 1887 Bettmann was joined by a partner, Moritz Schulte from Germany. In 1889, the businessmen started producing their own bicycles in England; the company was acquired by Leyland Motors in 1960 becoming part of the giant conglomerate British Leyland in 1968, where the Triumph brand was absorbed into BL's Specialist Division alongside former Leyland stablemates Rover and Jaguar. Triumph-badged vehicles were produced by BL until 1984 when the Triumph marque was retired, where it remained dormant under the auspices of BL's successor company Rover Group; the rights to the Triumph marque are owned by BMW, who purchased the Rover Group in 1994. The company was renamed the Triumph Cycle Co. Ltd. in 1897.
In 1902 they began producing Triumph motorcycles at their works in Coventry on Much Park Street. At first, they used engines purchased from another company, but the business prospered and they soon started making their own engines. In 1907 they purchased the premises of a spinning mill on Priory Street to develop a new factory. Major orders for the 550 cc Model H were placed by the British Army during the First World War. In 1921 Bettmann was persuaded by his general manager Claude Holbrook, who had joined the company in 1919, to acquire the assets and Clay Lane premises of the Dawson Car Company and start producing a car and 1.4-litre engine type named the Triumph 10/20 designed for them by Lea-Francis, to whom they paid a royalty for every car sold. Production of this car and its immediate successors was moderate, but this changed with the introduction in 1927 of the Triumph Super 7, which sold in large numbers until 1934. In 1930 the company's name was changed to Triumph Motor Company. Holbrook realized he could not compete with the larger car companies for the mass market, so he decided to produce expensive cars, introduced the models Southern Cross and Gloria.
At first they used engines made by Triumph but designed by Coventry Climax, but in 1937 Triumph started to produce engines to their own designs by Donald Healey, who had become the company's experimental manager in 1934. The company encountered financial problems however, in 1936 the Triumph bicycle and motorcycle businesses were sold, the latter to Jack Sangster of Ariel to become Triumph Engineering Co Ltd. Healey purchased an Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 and developed a new car model with an Alfa inspired straight-8 engine type named the Triumph Dolomite. Three of these cars were made in 1934, one of, used in competition and destroyed in an accident; the Dolomites manufactured from 1937 to 1940 were unrelated to these prototypes. In July 1939 the Triumph Motor Company went into receivership and the factory and goodwill were offered for sale; the Thos W Ward scrapping company purchased Triumph, placed Healey in charge as general manager, but the effects of the Second World War again stopped the production of cars.
In November 1944 what was left of the Triumph Motor Company and the Triumph trade name were bought by the Standard Motor Company and a subsidiary "Triumph Motor Company Limited" was formed with production transferred to Standard's factory at Canley, on the outskirts of Coventry. Triumph's new owners had been supplying engines to Jaguar and its predecessor company since 1938. After an argument between Standard-Triumph Managing Director, Sir John Black, William Lyons, the creator and owner of Jaguar, Black's objective in acquiring the rights to the name and the remnants of the bankrupt Triumph business was to build a car to compete with the soon to be launched post-war Jaguars; the pre-war Triumph models were not revived and in 1946 a new range of Triumphs was announced, starting with the Triumph Roadster. The Roadster had an aluminium body because steel was in short supply and surplus aluminium from aircraft production was plentiful; the same engine was used for the 1800 Town and Country saloon named the Triumph Renown, notable for the styling chosen by Standard-Triumph's managing director Sir John Black.
A similar style was used for the subsequent Triumph Mayflower light saloon. All three of these models prominently sported the "globe" badge, used on pre-war models; when Sir John was forced to retire from the company this range of cars was discontinued without being replaced directly, sheet aluminium having by now become a prohibitively expensive alternative to sheet steel for most auto-industry purposes. In the early 1950s it was decided to use the Triumph name for sporting cars and the Standard name for saloons and in 1953 the Triumph TR2 was initiated, the first of the TR series of sports cars that were produced until 1981. Curiously, the TR2 had the Triumph globe on its hubcaps. Standard had been making a range of small saloons named the Standard Eight and Ten, had been working on their replacements; the success of the TR range meant that Triumph was considered a more marketable name than Standard, the new car was introduced in 1959 as the Triumph Herald. The last Standard car to be made in the UK was replaced in 1963 by the Triumph 2000.
Standard-Triumph was bought by Leyland Motors Ltd. in December 1960. In 1968 Leyland merged with British Motor Holdings (created out of the merger o
Triumph Dolomite (1934–40)
The Triumph Dolomite is a car, produced by Triumph Motor Company from 1934 to 1940. It first appeared in 1934 as a sports car and the name was used from 1937 on a series of sporting saloons and open cars until 1939 when the company went into receivership. A number were still sold and registered in 1940, though it is uncertain whether the receiver or new owner turned out cars from spare parts, or sold off completed cars. All except the Straight 8 featured a "waterfall" grille styled by Walter Belgrove, versions of the saloons with conventional grilles were sold as Continental models; the first use of the "Dolomite" name was in 1934, when it was used for an eight-cylinder sports car which resembled the Alfa Romeo 8C. However this car did not make production, with only three being made; the engine was of 1,990 cc capacity with twin overhead camshafts and fitted with a Roots-type supercharger. The engine output was 140 bhp at 5,500 rpm, giving the car a top speed of over 110 mph when tested at Brooklands.
Lockheed hydraulic brakes with large 16 in elektron drums were fitted. The channel-section pressed steel chassis was conventional with a beam front axle and half-elliptic springs all round. One of the cars was entered in the 1935 Monte Carlo Rally driven by Donald Healey but was withdrawn after being written off in a collision with a railway train on a level crossing in Denmark; because of the financial troubles of the company, the car never went into production. Some spare engines and chassis were assembled into complete cars by a London company called High Speed Motors. A car as described above was displayed on Stand 135 at the Olympia Motor Show in October 1934 equipped with an Armstrong Siddeley-Wilson preselective gearbox; the wheelbase was eight feet track was four feet six inches. It was priced at 1,000 guineas. A new small Ford was available for £100; the Dolomite name was again used from 1937 to 1940. The car this time had a 1,767 cc four-cylinder saloon body; the design was overseen by Donald Healey and featured a striking new design of radiator grille by Walter Belgrove.
The cars were marketed as "the finest in all the land" and targeted directly at the luxury sporting saloon market. Triumph had been moving progressively upmarket during the 1930s, the 1938 Dolomites were well equipped, with winding windows in the doors, automatic chassis lubrication, a leather-bound steering wheel adjustable for rake and reach, dual hydraulic brake circuits, twin trumpet horns, spot lamps included in the price. There was a tray of fitted tools slotted beneath the driver's seat cushion, for an extra 18 guineas buyers could specify a radio; the body was aluminium over a rot-proofed ash frame. Like many Triumphs of that time, the car followed the American trend of concealing its radiator behind a flamboyant shining metal grill; the British market as now, was in many ways a conservative one, and, before Dolomite production was suspended Triumph had time to introduce a "Vitesse"-branded version of the Dolomite on which the grill had been removed and the car's own radiator was exposed in the traditional manner.
A 14/60 four-door four-light saloon was road tested by The Times. Head clearance was described as moderate but it was felt there was good width and leg room for two persons in the back seat and the doorways gave "reasonable entrance". Interior fittings included three electric lights, two-way visors, a sliding roof, three ashtrays, an instrument board with large dial clock and speedometer, a telescopic spring steering wheel, wholly automatic chassis lubrication, a jacking system and a windscreen which could be wound out to give a direct view. At the front the equipment included a stabilizing bumper, two wind horns, two fog lights, two large headlamps and small side lamps on the wings, it was noted that the modernistic front to the radiator was a die casting and not a tinny assembly. Testers described driving the car as giving the impression of a fine feel of control and with an engine to match that. Smooth enough to be thought of as a six the engine had "high mettle" and did not mind being called upon for speed affording "sportslike" pickup.
The gearchange was considered "a delight" with a well located small remote control lever and excellent syncromesh. Steering was not too heavy; the driver was given a good view ahead and behind though the view through the back windows was rather small. The steering and suspension were rated as "adequate", back passengers they said "travel with comfort", top speed was found to be about 75 miles an hour. Price as tested was £348. In April 1938 an increased compression ratio and mild further engine tuning justified a changed designation from 14/60 to 14/65; this is an open version of the 14/65, announced 29 March 1938, with seating for three people on a single bench seat and "two additional outside seats in the tail, reminiscent of the dickey seat, at one time common" for two more people behind. The hood folded into the body to give the appearance of an open sports car; the car was announced with the 1,767 cc engine with twin SU carburettors. In July 1938 a longer wheelbase version powered by a 1,991 cc engine fed by triple SUs joined the range while the saloon version featuring the same 1,991 cc engine still made do with just two SU carburettors.
No power output figure was quoted by the manufacturers for the 1,991 cc Dolomite. The cars received excellent reviews from the period motoring press. 2-litre Foursome drophead coupé, sports saloon and roadster drophead coupé In 1939, less than a month after Britain declared war on Germany, before civilian automobile avail
Kingston upon Thames
Kingston upon Thames known as Kingston, is an area of southwest London, England, 10 miles southwest of Charing Cross. It is the administrative centre of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, identified as a major metropolitan centre in the London Plan. Kingston is about 33 feet above sea level, it is notable as the ancient market town. Kingston was part of a large ancient parish in the county of Surrey and the town was an ancient borough, reformed in 1835. Since 1965 Kingston has been a part of Greater London, it has been the location of Surrey County Hall from 1893, extraterritorially in terms of local government administration. Most of the town centre is part of the KT1 postcode area, but some areas north of Kingston railway station have the postcode KT2 instead; the 2011 Census recorded the population of the town itself, comprising the four wards of Canbury, Grove and Tudor, as 43,013. Kingston was called Cyninges tun in AD 838, Chingestune in 1086, Kingeston in 1164, Kyngeston super Tamisiam in 1321 and Kingestowne upon Thames in 1589.
The name means ` the king's manor or estate' from the Old English words tun. It was the earliest royal borough; the first surviving record of Kingston is from AD 838 as the site of a meeting between King Egbert of Wessex and Ceolnoth, Archbishop of Canterbury. Kingston lay on the boundary between the ancient kingdoms of Wessex and Mercia, until in the early tenth century when King Athelstan united both to create the kingdom of England; because of the town's symbolic location, several tenth-century kings were crowned in Kingston, Æthelstan in 925, Eadred in 946 and Æthelred in 978. Other kings who may have been crowned there are Edward the Elder in 902, Edmund in 939, Eadwig in 956, Edgar in about 960 and Edward the Martyr in 975, it was thought that the coronations were conducted in the chapel of St Mary, which collapsed in 1730, a large stone recovered from the ruins has been regarded since the 18th century as the Coronation Stone. It was used as a mounting block, but in 1850 it was moved to a more dignified place in the market before being moved to its current location in the grounds of the guildhall.
For much of the 20th century, Kingston was a major military aircraft manufacturing centre specialising in fighter aircraft – first with Sopwith Aviation, H G Hawker Engineering Hawker Aircraft, Hawker Siddeley and British Aerospace. The renowned Sopwith Camel, Hawker Fury, Hurricane and Harrier were all designed and built in the town and examples of all of these aircraft can be seen today at the nearby Brooklands Museum in Weybridge. Well known aviation personalities Sydney Camm, Harry Hawker and Tommy Sopwith were responsible for much of Kingston's achievements in aviation. British Aerospace closed its Lower Ham Road factory in 1992; the growth and development of Kingston Polytechnic and its transformation into Kingston University has made Kingston a university town. Kingston upon Thames formed an ancient parish in the Kingston hundred of Surrey; the parish of Kingston upon Thames covered a large area including Hook, New Malden, Richmond, Thames Ditton and East Molesey. The town of Kingston was granted a charter by King John in 1200, but the oldest one to survive is from 1208 and this document is housed in the town's archives.
Other charters were issued by kings, including Edward IV's charter that gave the town the status of a borough in 1481. The borough covered a much smaller area than the ancient parish, although as new parishes were split off the borough and parish became identical in 1894; the borough was reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835, becoming the Municipal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames. It had been known as a Royal borough through custom and the right to the title was confirmed by George V in 1927. Kingston upon Thames has been the seat of Surrey County Council since it moved from Newington in 1893. In 1965 the local government of Greater London was reorganised and the municipal borough was abolished, its former area was merged with that of the Municipal Borough of Surbiton and the Municipal Borough of Malden and Coombe, to form the London Borough of Kingston upon Thames. At the request of Kingston upon Thames London Borough Council another Royal Charter was granted by Queen Elizabeth II entitling it to continue using the title "Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames" for the new borough.
Kingston was built at the first crossing point of the Thames upstream from London Bridge and a bridge still exists at the same site. It was this ` great bridge'. Kingston was occupied by the Romans, it was either a royal residence or a royal demesne. There is a record of a council held there in 838, at which Egbert of Wessex, King of Wessex, his son Ethelwulf of Wessex were present. In the Domesday Book it was held by William the Conqueror, its domesday assets were: a church, five mills, four fisheries worth 10s, 27 ploughs, 40 acres of meadow, woodland worth six hogs. It rendered £31 10s. In 1730 the chapel containing the royal effigies collapsed, burying the sexton, digging a grave, the sexton's daughter and another person; the daughter was her father's successor as sexton. Kingston sent members to early Parliaments, until a petition by the inhabitants prayed to be relieved from the burden. Another chapel, the collegiate chapel of St Mary Magdalene, The Lovekyn Chapel, still exists, it was founded in 1309 by a former mayor of London, Ed
Nash Motors Company was an American automobile manufacturer based in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in the United States from 1916 to 1937. From 1937 to 1954, Nash Motors was the automotive division of the Nash-Kelvinator Corporation. Nash production continued from 1954 to 1957 after the creation of American Motors Corporation. Nash pioneered some important innovations. Nash Motors was founded in 1916 by former General Motors president Charles W. Nash who acquired the Thomas B. Jeffery Company. Jeffery's best-known automobile was the Rambler whose mass production from a plant in Kenosha, Wisconsin began in 1902; the 1917 Nash Model 671 was the first vehicle produced to bear the name of the new company's founder. Nash enjoyed decades of success by focusing its efforts to build cars "embodying honest worth... a price level which held out possibilities of a wide market."The four-wheel drive Jeffery Quad truck became an important product for Nash. 11,500 Quads were built between 1913 and 1919. They served to move material during World War I under severe conditions.
The Quad used Meuhl differentials with half-shafts mounted above the load-bearing dead axles to drive the hubs through hub-reduction gearing. In addition, it featured four-wheel steering; the Quad achieved the reputation of being the best four-wheel drive truck produced in the country. The newly formed Nash Motors became the largest producer of four-wheel drives. By 1918, capacity constraints at Nash meant the Paige-Detroit Motor Car Company began to assemble the Nash Quad under license and Nash patents. Nash became the leading producer of military trucks by the end of World War I. After the war ended, surplus Quads were used as heavy work trucks in fields such as construction and logging. Charles Nash convinced the chief engineer of GM's Oakland Division, Finnish-born Nils Eric Wahlberg, to move to Nash's new company; the first Nash engine introduced in 1917 by Wahlberg had overhead valves. Which Nash had learned about while working for Buick. Wahlberg is credited with helping to design flow-through ventilation, used today in nearly every motor vehicle.
Introduced in 1938, Nash's Weather Eye directed fresh, outside air into the car's fan-boosted, filtered ventilation system, where it was warmed, removed through rearward placed vents. The process helped to reduce humidity and equalize the slight pressure differential between the outside and inside of a moving vehicle. Another unique feature of Nash cars was the unequal wheel tracks; the front wheels were set narrower than the rear, thus adding stability and improving cornering. Wahlberg was an early proponent of wind tunnel testing for vehicles and during World War II worked with Theodore Ulrich in the development of Nash's radically styled Airflyte models. Nash's slogan from the late 1920s and 1930s was "Give the customer more than he has paid for" and the cars lived up to it. Innovations included a straight-eight engine with overhead valves, twin spark plugs, nine crankshaft bearings in 1930; the 1932 Ambassador Eight had synchromesh transmissions and free wheeling, automatic centralized chassis lubrication, a worm-drive rear end, its suspension was adjustable inside the car.
A long-time proponent of automotive safety, Nash was among the early mid- and low-priced cars to offer four-wheel brakes. The Nash was a success among consumers that meant for the company "selling for a long time has been 100% a production problem... month after month all the cars that could be produced were sold before they left the factory floor." For the 1925 model year, Nash introduced the entry-level marque Ajax. A car of exceptional quality for its price, the Ajax was produced in the newly acquired Mitchell Motor Car Company plant in Racine, Wisconsin. Mitchell was the manufacturer of Mitchell-brand automobiles between 1903 and 1923. Sales of Ajax automobiles, while quite respectable, were disappointing, it was believed. Thus the Ajax became the "Nash Light Six" in June, 1926 and sales did improve, just as expected. In an unusual move, Nash Motors offered all Ajax owners a kit to "convert" their Ajax into a Nash Light Six; this kit, supplied at no charge, included a set of new hubcaps, radiator badge, all other parts necessary to change the identity of an Ajax into that of a Nash Light Six.
This was done to protect Ajax owners from the inevitable drop in resale value when the Ajax marque was discontinued. In this way Nash Motors showed the high value they placed upon their customers' satisfaction and well-being. Most Ajax owners took advantage of this move, "unconverted" Ajax cars are quite rare today. LaFayette Motors was the producer of a large, expensive luxury car; the company started in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1920, moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The principal stockholder in LaFayette Motors was Nash Motors Company. Other major stockholders were friends and business associates; the high quality, high priced LaFayette cars did not sell well. In 1924, Nash converted its plant to produce Ajax automobiles; the LaFayette name was reintroduced in 1934 as a lower priced companion to Nash. LaFayette ceased to be an independent marque with the introduction of the 1937 models. From 1937 through 1940, the Nash LaFayette was the lowest priced Nash, was replaced by the new unibody Nash 600 for the 1941 model year.
Before retiring, Charlie Nash chose Kelvinator Corporation head George W. Mason to succeed him. Mason accepted, but placed one condition on the job: Nash would acquire controlling inter
Rally is a form of motorsport that takes place on public or private roads with modified production or specially built road-legal cars. It is distinguished by running not on a circuit, but instead in a point-to-point format in which participants and their co-drivers drive between set control points, leaving at regular intervals from one or more start points. Rallies may be won by pure speed within the stages or alternatively by driving to a predetermined ideal journey time within the stages; the term "rally", as a branch of motorsport dates from the first Monte Carlo Rally of January 1911. Until the late 1920s, few if any other events used the term. Rallying itself can be traced back to the 1894 Paris–Rouen Horseless Carriage Competition, sponsored by a Paris newspaper, Le Petit Journal, which attracted considerable public interest and entries from leading manufacturers. Prizes were awarded to the vehicles by a jury based on the reports of the observers who rode in each car; this event led directly to a period of city-to-city road races in France and other European countries, which introduced many of the features found in rallies: individual start times with cars running against the clock rather than head to head.
The first of these great races was the Paris–Bordeaux–Paris race of June 1895, won by Paul Koechlin in a Peugeot, despite arriving 11 hours after Émile Levassor in a Panhard et Levassor. Levassor's time for the 1,178 km course, running without a break, was 48 hours and 48 minutes, an average speed of 24 km/h. From 24 September-3 October 1895, the Automobile Club de France sponsored the longest race to date, a 1,710 km event, from Bordeaux to Agen and back; because it was held in ten stages, it can be considered the first rally. The first three places were taken by a Panhard, a Panhard, a three-wheeler De Dion-Bouton. In the Paris–Madrid race of May 1903, the Mors of Fernand Gabriel took just under five and a quarter hours for the 550 km to Bordeaux, an average of 105 km/h. Speeds had now far outstripped the safe limits of dusty highways thronged with spectators and open to other traffic and animals; the French government banned this style of event. From on, racing in Europe would be on closed circuits on long loops of public highway and in 1907, on the first purpose-built track, England's Brooklands.
Racing was going its own separate way. One of the earliest of road races, the Tour de France of 1899, was to have a long history, running 18 times as a reliability trial between 1906 and 1937, before being revived in 1951 by the Automobile Club de Nice. Italy had been running road competitions since 1895, when a reliability trial was run from Turin to Asti and back; the country's first true motor race was held in 1897 along the shore of Lake Maggiore, from Arona to Stresa and back. This led to a long tradition of road racing, including events like Sicily's Targa Florio and Giro di Sicilia, which went right round the island, both of which continued on and off until after World War II; the first Alpine event was held in 1898, the Austrian Touring Club's three-day Automobile Run through South Tyrol, which included the infamous Stelvio Pass. In Britain, the legal maximum speed of 12 mph precluded road racing, but in April and May 1900, the Automobile Club of Great Britain organised the Thousand Mile Trial, a 15-day event linking Britain's major cities, in order to promote this novel form of transport.
Seventy vehicles took part, the majority of them trade entries. They had to complete thirteen stages of route varying in length from 43 to 123 miles at average speeds of up to the legal limit of 12 mph, tackle six hillclimb or speed tests. On rest days and at lunch halts, the cars were shown to the public in exhibition halls; this was followed in 1901 by a five-day trial based in Glasgow The Scottish Automobile Club organised an annual Glasgow–London non-stop trial from 1902 to 1904 the Scottish Reliability Trial from 1905. The Motor Cycling Club allowed cars to enter its trials and runs from 1904. In 1908 the Royal Automobile Club held its 2,000 mi International Touring Car Trial, 1914 the important Light Car Trial for manufacturers of cars up to 1400 cc, to test comparative performances and improve the breed. In 1924, the exercise was repeated as the Small Car Trials. In Germany, the Herkomer Trophy was first held in 1905, again in 1906; this challenging five-day event attracted over 100 entrants to tackle its 1,000 km road section, a hillclimb and a speed trial, but sadly it was marred by poor organisation and confusing regulations.
One participant had been Prince Henry of Austria, inspired to do better, so he enlisted the aid of the Imperial Automobile Club of Germany to create the first Prinz Heinrich Fahrt in 1908. Another trial was held in 1910; these were successful, attracting top drivers and works cars from major teams – several manufacturers added "Prince Henry" models to their ranges. The first Alpine Trial was held in 1909, in Aus