Chater-Lea car history
Hertfordshire. & Banner Street ,London UK
Chater-Lea was a British bicycle, car and motor cycle maker with a nine-storey factory in Banner Street in the City of London and, from 1928, premises at Letchworth, Hertfordshire.
It was founded by William Chater-Lea in 1890 to make bicycle components. It made cars between 1907 and 1922 and motorcycles from 1903 to 1935. William died in 1927 and the business was taken over by his sons John and Bernard. After vehicle production finished, the company remained trading as a component maker until 1987.
The first car was the Carette of 1907, a two-seater with a 6 horsepower (4.5 kW) air-cooled V-twin engine with chain drive to one of the rear wheels. It was still advertised in 1908 but few seem to have been made.
A more serious entry into the car market was made in 1913 with an 8 horsepower (6.0 kW) 1094 cc, water-cooled 4-cylinder model with shaft drive. The engine was of its own manufacture. Some may have had the earlier V-twin engine fitted. After the First World War, in 1921, it was re-released as a 10 horsepower (7.5 kW) with a 1315 cc engine and three-speed gearbox. The two-seater version cost £350, later falling to £300. A few hundred were produced with the last made in 1922.
There was a proposal to take over manufacture by Gillyard of Bakerend Road, Bradford, Yorkshire, but this did not come about although a prototype may have been made