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British Industrial History

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Lorraine Dietrich

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April 1908.
July 1908.
September 1908. Selling agents are Charles Jarrott and Letts.
September 1908. 20 h.p model for Sir Nathaniel Dunlop.
November 1909.
November 1909.
July 1910.
December 1910. 12-16 hp engine.
December 1910. 12-16 hp engine.
1911. 5,700 cc 4-cylinder. Exhibit at the Franschhoek Motor Museum.
December 1911. Advert in French.

Lorraine-Dietrich, a French automobile and aircraft engine manufacturer.

1864 Railway locomotive manufacturer Société Lorraine des Anciens Etablissments de Dietrich and Cie (known as De Dietrich et Cie), was founded by Jean de Dietrich.

1896 Branched into the manufacture of automobiles.

1905 Name changed to Lorraine-Dietrich.

UK agents were Charles Jarrott and Letts and for a time Burlington Carriage Co.

1905 Make 12-15, 16-20, 24-30, 40-50 and 60 h.p. chain driven models. Made under the licence of Turcat-Mery. [1]

1909 Nine different models offered. The Dietrich company invested a great deal in racing. The racing cars had enormous engines and were specially designed for the purpose.

By 1911 the company was located at Argenteuil near Paris (see advert)

1913-1917 For a list of the models offered in the UK and prices see the 1917 Red Book

WWI The factory concentrated on aero-engines - see Lorraine

1919 The factory produced V12 engines.

1923 The company never produced small cars. The model with the smallest engine was the A4 10/12 CV type dating from 1923.

1923 London agents for Lorraine cars : Eustace Watkins

1931 Again produced V12 engines as prototype.

1934 Car production in France was stopped. The business focused once again on railway materials, and tank and aircraft engines.


British Operation

1907 The company acquired an English factory at Selly Oak, Birmingham in advance of the Patents and Design Act 1907 coming into force, to ensure it could work its patents in the UK (in the same way as was done by other French, German and American makers)[2]. See De Dietrich UK

1907 'LORRAINE-DIETRICH LTD., Selly Oak, Birmingham. One type of car made. Designed to suit English conditions'[3].

1908 Components Ltd saw little future in cars and decided to dispose of that side of its business (Ariels) to the French car company Societe Lorraine-Dietrich[4].

1908 Motor Show featured separate stands for English-built and French-built cars[5]. The English-built machines were made in Birmingham. One had a specially-designed Mulliner cabriolet body; the other had an entirely enclosed carriage body by Salmons and Sons[6]. N.B. Ariels were shown on their own separate stand.

1911 Receiver appointed to the British company.[7].

1911 Freehold engineering works at Selly Oak, formerly the automobile factory of Lorraine Dietrich Ltd, and machine tools, were to be auctioned on 12 December[8].

1914 Motorcar maker, address: Dale Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham[9].


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Automobile Vol. III. Edited by Paul N. Hasluck and published by Cassell and Co in 1906.
  2. The Times, 26 November 1908
  3. 1907 Motor Show (SMMT)
  4. The Birmingham Car Industry [1]
  5. 1908 Motor Show: A Review (3)
  6. 1908 Motor Show
  7. The World guide to automobile manufacturers, by Nick Baldwin, Brian Laban. 1987
  8. The Times, 6 December 1911
  9. Bennett's Business Directory for Warwickshire, 1914