Monday 2nd March 1903
The Standard Motor Company was registered by Reginald Maudslay. Although little known today, the Standard Motor Company was in the top six selling marques in pre-war Britain. It was founded in Coventry in 1903 by Reginald Walter Maudslay who is reputed to have said “I want my car to be composed purely of those components whose principles have been tried and tested and accepted as reliable standards, in fact, I will name my car the Standard car.” The fortunes of The Standard Motor Company were mixed to say the least. By 1924 the company had a share of the market comparable to Austin, but by the late 1920s profits had fallen dramatically due to heavy reinvestment, a failed export contract and poor sales of the larger cars. John Black joined the ailing company and by increasing productivity, masterminded the huge success of the company in the 1930’s. During the first half of this decade the most successful models were the ‘nine’ and ‘ten’ which addressed the low to mid range of the market. A new sleeker styling was introduced in 1934, together with a four speed gearbox with silent second and third gears, and, synchromesh on second third and top. These cars were attractively styled with a big car look, but competitively priced and easy to drive. If the handling of my 1935 nine is anything to go by, it must have been a revelation at £155! The quality of Standard running gear may have been a major factor which attracted William Lyons to use the smaller chassis and engines to produce up-market saloon cars, initially in the early ’30’s with Swallow bodywork, and later with his own body styling. This enterprise began marketing cars under the familiar name of Jaguar from 1936, but continued to use Standard chassis and engines for several years. It purchased Triumph in 1945 and in 1959 officially changed its name to Standard-Triumph International and began to put the Triumph brand name on all its products.For many years it manufactured Ferguson tractors powered by its Vanguard engine. All Standard’s tractor assets were sold to Massey-Ferguson as of 31 August 1959. As of 28 September 1959 Standard Motor Company was re-named Standard-Triumph International Limited. A new subsidiary took the name The Standard Motor Company Limited and took over the manufacture of the group’s products. The Standard name was last used in Britain in 1963, and in India in 1987.