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Author Topic: Lancia history  (Read 3185 times)
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lee69
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« on: 08 February, 2011, 08:28:24 PM »

While looking for something on the net, I stumbled across this webpage http://www.sportscars.tv/Newfiles/histlancia.html with a history of Lancia, written in 1965. There are some pictures I've never seen before and the interesting fact that UK sales of Lancia rose by 600% between 1961 and 1965. A figure Fiat could nowadays only dream of.

Does anyone know where in Albemarle St, Lancia's London showroom was located?
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JohnMillham
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« Reply #1 on: 09 February, 2011, 09:27:24 AM »

While looking for something on the net, I stumbled across this webpage http://www.sportscars.tv/Newfiles/histlancia.html with a history of Lancia, written in 1965. There are some pictures I've never seen before and the interesting fact that UK sales of Lancia rose by 600% between 1961 and 1965. A figure Fiat could nowadays only dream of.

Does anyone know where in Albemarle St, Lancia's London showroom was located?
It's interesting, but there are many errors.
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ColinMarr
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« Reply #2 on: 09 February, 2011, 10:05:31 AM »

In answer to Lee's question - it was based at 26 Albemarle Street. See photo below of letter dated 1914 on W L Stewart, Lancia headed paper. This comes from some of the research done with Jack on W L Stewart and the early years.

Colin


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fay66
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« Reply #3 on: 09 February, 2011, 11:09:21 AM »

I looked up something on the net last night and googled Albermarle Street London, I found a reference to Fiat's HQ, which was in Albermarle Street in the 1920's.

Brian
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Richard Fridd
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« Reply #4 on: 09 February, 2011, 11:15:19 AM »

no.26 is now sumosan restaurant i think.i will have a look when i am passing.best regards richard
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Richard Nevison Fridd
ColinMarr
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« Reply #5 on: 09 February, 2011, 12:38:57 PM »

Whereas, up to 1911 W L Stewart, then trading as Lancia Cars was located at 166 – 168 Shaftsbury Avenue. See photo below.

Colin


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fay66
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« Reply #6 on: 09 February, 2011, 01:33:53 PM »

Whereas, up to 1911 W L Stewart, then trading as Lancia Cars was located at 166 – 168 Shaftsbury Avenue. See photo below.

Colin


Fascinating Colin,
Where do you find it?

Brian
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1999 Suzuki Wagon R+ GL, now my daughters
2006 Renault Megane 1 5 Dci Sports Tourer
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JohnMillham
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« Reply #7 on: 09 February, 2011, 04:13:29 PM »

Whereas, up to 1911 W L Stewart, then trading as Lancia Cars was located at 166 – 168 Shaftsbury Avenue. See photo below.

Colin

I'm not so sure that they were trading as Lancia Cars. It looks to me like that was just an advert on their headed notepaper. I think the firm remained titled W L Stewart & Co. Ltd.
 Regards, John
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ColinMarr
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« Reply #8 on: 09 February, 2011, 07:38:52 PM »

John,

I think you are right, W L was probably always trading officially in his own name, but it’s interesting that his choice of the Lancia logo changes in this period from ‘Lancia cars’ to ‘Lancia’. I guess this might have been that by 1914 he was also involved with commercial vehicle too.

Brian,

These photos are the result of two days spent searching the National Archives at Kew that include the depleted remains of Companies House data on UK companies. I was with Jack for one of the days when we found the W L Stewart stuff.

Another day’s searching didn’t produce much, but the photos below show the letter-heading used by Lancia England in 1928 by which the time it was established at Alperton. This letter is one of several that covers what looks like a desperate and ultimately unsuccessful attempt by the manager Heavy Vehicles Department to secure a deal to sell an Omicron chassis to Southern Rail.  – poor guy.

Colin


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« Last Edit: 09 February, 2011, 08:42:18 PM by ColinMarr » Logged
Richard Fridd
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« Reply #9 on: 09 February, 2011, 07:45:11 PM »

fantastic finds Colin.best regards richard
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Richard Nevison Fridd
fay66
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« Reply #10 on: 10 February, 2011, 01:22:04 AM »

John,

I think you are right, W L was probably always trading officially in his own name, but it’s interesting that his choice of the Lancia logo changes in this period from ‘Lancia cars’ to ‘Lancia’. I guess this might have been that by 1914 he was also involved with commercial vehicle too.

Brian,

These photos are the result of two days spent searching the National Archives at Kew that include the depleted remains of Companies House data on UK companies. I was with Jack for one of the days when we found the W L Stewart stuff.

Another day’s searching didn’t produce much, but the photos below show the letter-heading used by Lancia England in 1928 by which the time it was established at Alperton. This letter is one of several that covers what looks like a desperate and ultimately unsuccessful attempt by the manager Heavy Vehicles Department to secure a deal to sell an Omicron chassis to Southern Rail.  – poor guy.

Colin

Thanks Colin,
Great stuff, but it does make you wonder what they wanted the chassis for, I know the immediate thought would be for a road vehicle, but perhaps not always the case, do you know of the "Selsey Tram" that used to run from Chichester to Selsey, this was renowned for it's odd collection of rolling stock and often bought locomotives 2nd 3rd and even 4th hand, but in 1923 the introduced a Ford vehicle that was more a less a bus with an engine at either end, and sounds like the sort of use that the Lancia chassis might have been put to.
Also by that point Southern Railway had a finger in the pie.
Here's a picture of the front cover of the book which shows  the Ford vehicle.
If you like transport books it's also a good read.

Brian
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« Last Edit: 10 February, 2011, 01:26:23 AM by fay66 » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: 11 February, 2011, 06:30:31 PM »

Brian,

It’s an interesting idea that Southern Railway might have been interested in the Omicron for rail use, but that seems not to have been the case. The correspondence about it makes it clear that the interest was in “passenger carrying vehicles for road use”. The letters to and fro between Lancia England and Southern Railway are interesting with lots of details about the amazing Omicron and I’ll write more about it for posting under a different heading – ‘Omicron’ perhaps! Although they refer to it as a “chassis”, it was more like a complete and driveable lorry, but without bodywork.

It is worth commenting here on some of the frustrations of trying to research company information like this at the National Archive. In the archive at Kew they are supposed to have all the historic information on companies collected together from all the regional offices. The sad fact is that so much stuff has either been dumped or lost so what remains at Kew is only a skeleton of what you might expect to find.

Looking into the early stuff on W L Stewart was really interesting and promising – I know Jack will be using a lot of this in the book. But there’s not much after 1911 and a huge gap until a single trivial document dated 1921. I had high hopes that a search on Lancia England would produce lots more useful information. Sadly, there is absolutely nothing at all – it is as if the company never existed! All that I managed to find were odd references to Lancia in the files of companies with which they had some association and there are very few of these. The file on Southern Railway for 1928 – 1929 is about the best you get, and that is only related to one attempt to sell them one Omicron!

More later under another heading.

Colin


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DavidLaver
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« Reply #12 on: 12 February, 2011, 11:34:24 AM »

If only we could have a Lancia as the rail replacement bus service for the D.L.R...  

One snippet from the recent Portillo railway journey series is that there's a statutary committment to provide a replacement service.  If anyone saw it I wonder how that would be achieved on that Scottish west coast route through the Highlands?  Trains of mules?

David
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David Laver, Lewisham.
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