This early motor car is believed to be a prototype built by the found of the Royal Automobile Club, Frederick Simms, who had a workshop located in a rented railway arch new Putney Bridge Station, west London.
Although no documentary evidence exists to confirm its exact age, construction suggests this ti is of pre-1900 manufacture. The vehicle is very primitive and probably did not run much when new, and with Simms moving on to his other projects, appears to have languished inoperative for many years.
It was cosmetically restored by the Simms Company in 1960, before it was taken over by Lucas. Following a period of loan to the London Musuem in 1961 for their special exhibition, Lucas decided that efforts should be made to get it running again and it was passed to the Club in good time for the Centenary celebrations.
With the original engine long since discarded the car is mated with a later Simms stationary engine of 1902 construction. The car carries a nominal 1900 dating certificate from the Veteran Car Club. It was first registered in October 1996 ahead of its first attempt at the Centenary London to brighton Run in November 1996.
On the open road the car is capable of approximately 15 mph, modest perhaps by today’s standards, but with solid tryres and tiller steering it’s quite a handful for the driver who also has to coax the best out of the engine. The passenger too is an active participant, having to dismount on the steeper hills and assist with the manoeuvring the car due to the absence of the a reverse gear.
For the technically minded, the engine is 780cc and rated at a nominal 6 horse power. Transmission is an axle hung two speed constant-mes gearbox / final drive unit which is chain driven from a countershaft.
Displayed ahead of the 2019 Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.