Quite an impressive number of Vintage Standard Nines swell the ranks of the
survivors of this model. A fair number are in regular use in events in the summer months and there
is one example in East Sussex that is in almost daily use. The model played an important part
in the history of the Company, since it was designed and introduced in some haste to save the Company from Bankruptcy.
The General Strike of 1926 and the
Wall Street Crash had far reaching effects on almost all of British Industry and the Standard Motor Company was no exception.
1927 began with the continued production of the well-tried V4 model (rated at 14/28 H.P.), which was in reality an
updated version of the popular SLO4 model that had been introduced in 1922. The rather rash decision
was also taken to introduced the first post Great War, 6-cylinder model, the 18/36 H.P. 6V model.
Many car manufacturers were feeling the effects of
the stock market slump, and the Standard Motor Company was struggling to remain buoyant – in fact the situation got
so bad that Barclays Bank was ready to liquidate the Company, and was it not for the intervention of William Morris, threatening
to withdraw his own substantial deposits from the same Bankers, then the Company may well of ended there and then.
In September 1927, ‘The Autocar’
was able to announce that ‘an entirely new light car rated at 8.9 H.P. will be introduced at Olympia’.
The design had been laid out on the Directors’ Board Room floor, and it was running in prototype in six months.
Despite its hasty evolution, the new fabric saloon, which was known as the ‘Falmouth’ model, selling at
£198 10s. 0d., was an immediate success and proved a satisfactory vehicle from the outset.
The two prototypes were driven day and night none-stop
for a month round a stiff 150 mile route in the Cotswolds, the only servicing permitted being a ten-minute pause every six
hours for greasing, fuelling and any other necessary adjustments. After 18,000 miles of this treatment
only £5 worth of spares were needed to restore the cars to first class condition and they averaged 26 m.p.h. and between
37 – 40 m.p.g.
engine of the new car, had a bore and stroke of 60 x 102 mm (1,159 c.c.) The wheelbase was 7’ ft. 7 ½ in.
An even cheaper ‘Fulham’ fabric saloon, and two open cars, a four-seater ‘Selby’ tourer and
a two seater ‘Coleshill’ model joined the Falmouth. The chassis was also made available to Gordon England, who
produced special two-seater saloon and sports cars on the chassis. This model was also available
with the option of a super charger, which guaranteed 70 m.p.h. for £75 extra.
in 1928 a LWB version was introduced ready for the 1929 season. This had a wheelbase of 8 ft 3 in. the
bodies took on more rounded lines, and the bore of the side-valve engine was increased to 63 ½ mm,
therefore increased the cubic capacity to 1287 cc. A very popular model was the four door, four light,
‘Teignmouth’ fabric saloon. This was later joined by a six-light steel-bodied coach built saloon
which was also called the ‘Teignmouth’, this was joined in the range by the ‘Selby’ tourer, and the
continental looking, two door, four seater, fabric bodied tourist coupe. A contemporary
road test of the ‘Teignmouth’ saloon, then priced at £215, showed a top speed of 52 m.p.h., 10 – 30
m.p.h. in middle gear in ten seconds, and petrol consumption of 32 – 34 m.p.g. The gear ratios were
5.0, 9.3 and 20.0 to 1. The chassis was also made available to the Jensen brothers who designed
two-seater sports cars for Avon and also to the Swallow coach building concern – the company co-founded and owned by
In August, the new Standards
were announced for the season and with them came the ‘Big Nine’ with its
coil ignition, spiral bevel axle and its new radiator shape which saw the demise of the distinctive shouldered radiator and
Union jack badge which, since 1908, had carried the words ‘Standard Coventry’ to the four corners of the globe.
Over 9,000 of the worm-driven Nines had been produced in the two-year period 1929-1930 and this first attempt at mass
–production continued with the ‘Big Nine’.