1910 Star 15hp Tourer
One of Britain's top six motor manufacturers prior to WWI, the Wolverhampton-based Star Motor Company produced its first automobile in 1898. A close neighbour of Sunbeam, the company had been founded by Edward Lisle Sr, proprietor of the Star Cycle Company that would later build its own Starling cars under the guidance of his son, Edward Jr. Progressing from that first single-cylinder Benz-based design, the firm added twin- and four-cylinder cars to a diverse and expanding range and built its first six in 1907. Although technically un-adventurous in its early years, Star built up a deserved reputation for building luxuriously appointed and well constructed cars, aided by the fact that it made most of its parts, chassis frames excepted, in house.
One of Star's most successful models of the late Edwardian period was the four-cylinder Fifteen, which was made with in variety of engine capacities of around 3-3½ litres between 1909 and 1916. In its later configuration the Fifteen's engine was rated at 15.9hp and in this from the model resumed production after WWI.
Four-wheel brakes - on the bigger sixes - and overhead valves - on the four-cylinder 12/40 - made their appearance in the early 1920s and then in 1927 came the first overhead-valve six - the 20/50hp PL2. The latter was soon superseded by the 20/60hp PL3 - a fine performer capable of 70mph. Guy Motors acquired Star in 1927 and the firm changed hands again in 1932, but by then the ongoing economic downturn was hitting luxury car manufacturers hard and by 1935 Star was gone.
Purchased in 2015 by the private vendor at Bonhams' Beaulieu auction (Lot 133), this car has had a thorough overhaul and check-over during the last three years. Noteworthy works and features include new maroon and black coach paintwork by Gerald Whittaker, rebuilt magneto, top-end sort out, new tyres, correct P&H headlamps, full and split tonneau covers, and various other tasks, all of which has returned the Star to its former glory after a number of years out of use. The Dynastart, operating from the 12-volt battery added some years ago, makes the car particularly easy to operate, while the four-speed gearbox gives direct drive on 3rd and an 'overdrive' 4th.
A 1921 logbook comes with the car together with details of its purchase from the famous A W Smith auction at Cross In Hand in the 1960s. Subsequent major rebuilds in the '70s and '80s, and enthusiastic use by members of the Veteran Car Club in the late 1990s and early 2000s is supported by documentation, restoration invoices, and a Veteran Car Club Dating Certificate.