1914 NAPIER TYPE T68 20HP TOURER
D. Napier & Son Limited was a British engineering company best known for its luxury motor cars in the Edwardian era and for its aero engines throughout the early to mid-20th century.
Napier was founded as a precision engineering company in 1808 and for nearly a century produced machinery for the financial, print and munitions industries. In the early 20th century it moved for a time into internal combustion engines and road vehicles before turning to aero engines. Its powerful Lion dominated the UK market in the 1920s and the Second World War era Sabre produced 3500 hp (2,600 kW) in its later versions. Many world speed records on land and water, as well as the Hawker Typhoon and Tempest fighter planes, were powered by Napier engines. During the Second World War, the company was taken over by English Electric and engine manufacture eventually ceased. Today, Napier Turbochargers is a subsidiary of the American company Wabtec.
When Napier was no longer in racing, its Lion aero engine was used by several land speed record contestants: Malcolm Campbell’s Napier-Campbell Blue Bird of 1927 and Campbell-Napier-Railton Blue Bird of 1931, Segrave’s Golden Arrow of 1929, and John Cobb’s Napier-Railton and Railton Mobil Special, which held the record from 1939–64.
This stunning Napier left the Acton Vale factory in the UK on the 4th of February 1914 and was shipped to Adelaide as a rolling chassis, as were many cars of this era.
The “Tornado” body was completed by Vivian Lewis Ltd of Gawler Place Adelaide. The chassis number is 11077 and appears on a brass plate attached to the firewall and also appears on the engine hood hinge and stamped on a floorboard timber. Engine number is 20114 and has the following specifications:-
E102 is a 4 cylinder
3.5″ bore with a 5′ stroke
Wheel base is 10’4″
Gear box has 4 forward gears and 1 reverse.
Tyre size is 875.105
The following words were printed in the Financial News dated 28th of May 1913 ” The fame earned by the Napier on the track has dimmed by it’s greater glory on the common road. Everywhere the car is now spoken of as being synonymous with the best that is produced in the motor world”
Source:- Vivian Lewis Ltd 1913 brochure for Napier cars.
Ownership history back as far as 1914 is sketchy, however we believe this is one of two Napier chassis’s that were imported to Adelaide that year.
From 1925, we know Mr Oswald (Ossie) Graham owned the car until 1955.
C.R. Hutchens of Tintinara (Naracoorte) owned it for one year 1957/1958
Gordon (William) Haverland owned it from 1955 to 1971. He may have sold it and bought it back from C.R. Hutchens.
Chris and Hamish Laurie owned it from 1971 until 2007
The car was then bought by its present owner in April 2007 and then he embarked on the most fastidious restoration to bring it to its present state.
He proudly entered the Bay to Birdwood Rally in Adelaide in 2010 and was judged the winner of the Concours d’Elegance.
This vehicle is outstanding in so many ways and is supported by countless receipts and photographs of its journey.
It will make the next owner very proud to own and enjoy as a true piece of motoring history.
Worthy of the best collection, it must be seen to be fully appreciated.
Currently Historically Registered in South Australia and no doubt, would enjoy similar benefits of registration anywhere in the world.
Don’t miss this on display for sale on our showroom floor in Adelaide.
We can arrange transport door to door worldwide.