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Britain falls in love with the motorcar 
Frederick Lanchester's unusual design
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Lanchester Petrol-Electric Mark 7 Prototype Car

Lanchester Petrol-Electric Mark 7 Prototype Car | © Thinktank Trust | Come and see it in the Move It gallery at Thinktank

While most early cars were imported, Frederick Lanchester built the first British car in Saltley, Birmingham in 1896. He designed it from scratch to avoid paying to use patents registered by European inventors like Benz.
Frederick was most famous for designing luxury cars but in the 1920s he began designing a budget car with his brother George. Things did not go to plan and instead a new concept emerged - a petrol-electric car. However, its radical design meant it never went into production. Another engineer, Herbert Austin had more success with budget cars... 
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Who was Frederick Lanchester?
Dr Frederick William Lanchester (1868-1946)
The engine was in the rear compartment of the car


What was the Petrol-Electric car like to drive?

Listen to the words of George Lanchester explaining how the project evolved

Listen to the words of George Lanchester explaining how the project evolved

Classic_or_clanger

Play the game: Classic or Clanger?
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