A very rare high quality which features as Irish politician Michael Collins personal transport in the film bearing his name. (1921)




If you don’t already know about the Lanchester brothers and their remarkable motor cars I recommend that you try to find a copy of a book written by C. S. Clark entitled The Lanchester Legacy 1895 to 1931. This is a 279 page goldmine of information on Lanchester and you should be able to find a copy on the internet by searching for its name or its ISBN number which is 0905949307.
Up until the Great War Lanchester were known for producing very high quality and very individualistic cars with engines mounted midships and a cooling radiator located just in front of the passenger compartment.
However in 1914 they announced a new six cylinder car called the Sporting 40 which adopted the by now standard layout of a passenger compartment occupying the rear of the chassis and an engine (an in line six cylinder side valve) under a conventional bonnet with a radiator at the front. This was an expensive car capable of 70 mph which should have done well at the very top end of the market but probably only eight were made before the war put an end to the project.
After the war the basic design of the Sporting 40 was developed into the 40 HP model we have here. Being aimed directly at the Rolls-Royce Ghost market it was manufactured to the highest possible standard and priced accordingly. It is an advanced piece of machinery which merits being understood in detail and if you want to get all of the technical information you can either buy the C.S Clark book mentioned above or you can Google Jaguar Heritage Lanchester Forty which will lead you to a very useful and informative article on these cars.
In summary it came with a 6,177 cc six cylinder overhead cam engine producing just under 100 bhp at full engine revs giving a top speed of 78 mph which was very fast for a road car in 1919. It had a three speed and reverse epicyclic gearbox which was much easier to use than the usual non-synchromesh “crash” gearbox. To ensure a comfortable ride it had heavy duty elliptic springs at the front and Lanchester’s own cantilever rear suspension with the company making all of the components including the road springs to ensure they got the best possible quality.
I would describe this particular car as being in very sound, drivable condition and very presentable but not in concours winning condition though you could bring it up to that standard if you wanted to. It is an imposing car which combines great style and presence without being ostentatious as when it was new it was a conveyance for people who wanted the best but had no desire to show off! To put it into context Mr. Clark’s book tells us that in 1925 the Duke of York (later to be King George the Sixth) bought his first Lanchester with his daughter Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth) making her first public appearance in his 40 HP model with the Duke staying loyal to Lanchester cars throughout his life.
A fascinating part of this particular car's history is that it was selected to be Irish politician and soldier Michael Collins’ personal car in the 1996 film bearing his name and it appears in several key scenes including the drive up to and including the ambush during which he was shot and subsequently died. If you would like to see a clip of the car in action in the film I can email you an internet  link to an important few scenes from the film.    

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  • Year: 1921
  • Doors: 4
  • Body type: Convertible
  • Transmission type: Semi Automatic
  • Fuel type: Petrol
  • Colour: Cream


  • Engine layout: Front Engined
  • Aspiration: Normally Aspirated
  • Engine size (Litres): 6.2
  • Engine configuration: 6 cylinder
  • Cylinders: 6
  • Driven wheels: Rear Wheel Drive

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Gavin Mcguire's Fine Automobiles

East Sussex , United Kingdom

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