1914 Argyll 15/30


Early Motor Cars Edwardian 1904-1915

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The image you see is a scan which may show some slight distortion of line, fill, colour or text when you expand it. The prints themselves have no distortions.

The Argyll Motor Works, also today known as the Torpedo, is the old factory in Alexandria near Dumbarton in Scotland. Opened by Lord Beaulieu in 1906 it produced 800 units the following year. In 1909 the company became interested in the single-sleeve valve which had been demonstrated to him by its inventor, Peter Burt, a Glasgow engineer. Superior to the poppet valve in general use, it proved difficult and costly to produce. The idea was ahead of its time. A Canadian engineer had patented a similar design, and the two men met and worked out a design between them that was patented in 1909 as the Burt-McCollum single-sleeve valve engine. Around the same time, Daimler had adopted the Knight patent for a sleeve-valve engine. It took 2 years of development by Argyll’s Henri Perrot before the first cars appeared with the new engines, which were judged to be very sound and practical. From 1911 to 1914 all new Argyll cars had the new engine plus many other refinements and continued to set new records for performance. In 1913 an Argyll 15/30 ran for 14 hours at Brooklands at an average speed of 76 miles per hour. In 1911 Daimler took legal action against Argyll Motors Limited over patent infringements. Argyll contested and won the subsequent appeal, but the litigation cost them over £50,000. In 1914 they went into liquidation.

Additional information

Dimensions 47.5 × 34.5 cm