Coventry-Victor

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Coventry-Victor
Industry Manufacturing and engineering
Successor AN Weaver (Coventry Victor) Ltd.
Founded 1911
Headquarters Coventry UK
Products Aero engines, motorcycles and cars

Coventry-Victor was a British motorcycle and car manufacturer. Originally Morton & Weaver, a proprietary engine manufacturer in Hillfields, Coventry, founded in 1904, the company changed its name to Coventry-Victor in 1911. The company still exists as AN Weaver (Coventry Victor) Ltd.

Coventry-Victor aero engines[edit]

The company started manufacturing horizontally opposed engines in 1904, and on 17 May 1910 one powered the experimental Weaver Ornithoplane, designed by W. A. Weaver, one of the partners in the company. In a series of four tests the Ornithoplane achieved a steady flight for a quarter of a mile, becoming the first monoplane to fly in Britain.[1]

In 1955 Major W.A. Weaver, then managing director of the company, converted one of the company's air-cooled flat four industrial engines for aircraft use and a Piper Cub fitted with the engine completed 50 hours flight trials at Southend in July 1955.[2] The engine, referred to as the 'Flying Neptune', was found to be a little heavy and a little low on power, but otherwise performed admirably.

Coventry-Victor motorcycles[edit]

In 1919 Coventry-Victor, using their 688 cc flat-twin engine, started making motor cycle and sidecar combinations many of which were used as commercial outfits and became one of England's leading producers of horizontally opposed twins.[3] The 1927 Coventry-Victor Silent Six has today become a sought after classic motorcycle. The company also supplied engines to many motor cycle and cyclecar makers, especially Grahame-White. Motorcycle production ended in 1936.[4]

Coventry-Victor cars[edit]

Coventry-Victor 3-Wheeler 1933

By 1926, the company found a new scope of activity: they launched their own design two-seater, three-wheeler car with the single wheel at the rear. There were four versions, the Standard, the Sports, the De-luxe, and the Parcelcar; prices started at £75. It used their own horizontal twin-cylinder engines of 688 cc at first, later enlarged to 749 cc, 850 cc and finally 998 cc. Drive was to the rear wheel via a two speed gearbox and chain drive. Early cars had a single brake. There was an updating in 1932 with styling by C F Beauvais and called the Luxury Sports with three-speed gearbox and costing from £110. The previous models remained available. Car production survived until 1938. After the Second World War, a prototype codenamed Venus was made with flat-four 747 cc engine never reached production.[5] There were six reported Venus Prototypes all of which were ordered to be destroyed but one still exists at the Coventry Transport Museum. Little is known about the vehicle but it was found and recovered from a farm in the West Country in the 1980s

Other products[edit]

Maintaining their preference for the opposed twin cylinder design, Coventry Victor Motor Co built a twin cylinder diesel in the early 1930s known as the Cub. The design of the engine was illustrated in a GB patent by W.A. Weaver, M. Hamilton-Fletcher, and Victor Oil Engine Co in 1933.[6] Bristol Tractor pictured a Cub-engined version of their tractor in 1933, though they fitted several different engines and its not clear how many tractors were produced with the Cub engine. In 1935 the Coventry Victor Cub engine was available as the 19.5 hp Cub and 22 hp Cub Senior (10HP and 12HP nominal rating), and was described as originally having been designed for marine work.[7] In 1938 Bristol Tractor re-introduced the Bristol 10 tractor with the Coventry Victor Cub diesel engine in the model "D", with production continuing to 1942.

The two Cub engines were in production in 1942[8] though the company advert[9] states the company making them had recently changed its name from Victor Oil Engines (Coventry) Ltd to Oil Engines (Coventry) Ltd, with the works being Atlantic Works, Harefield Rd, Coventry whereas in 1935 the Cubs were listed as made by Coventry Victor Motor Co Ltd of Cox Street, Coventry. Victor Oil Engines (Coventry) Ltd was a subsidiary of Coventry Victor Motor Co Ltd formed in 1933.[10] By 1949 the production of the Cub engine has changed again, to Cub Oil Engines Ltd, Atlantic Works, Wishaw, Scotland.[11] The Cox Street address still appeared in later adverts for Coventry Victor Motor Co Ltd.[12]

In 1946 The Engineer magazine reported [13] that Coventry Victor had added two new small flat twin petrol engines to their range, of 285cc and 340cc, known as the "Midget" - the two models only differing in the cylinder bore (55 and 60mm respectively). The crankcases, cylinder heads, and pistons were all of aluminium alloy. The camshaft and crankshaft ran in ball bearings. These were available air cooled (with added fan and cowling for stationary use), and as water cooled units for marine use which included outboard motors.

After the war Coventry Victor Motor Co produced a range of diesel engines for marine and industrial use. These included air and water cooled vertical single cylinder units (AD1, AD2, AD3 and WD1, WD2, WD3 models respectively), twin cylinder air-cooled HDA model, and water-cooled HDW models (also known as the Vixen). They also produced a flat-four air-cooled petrol engine (the AC4 or 'Neptune'), one use of which was in aircraft pressure test trolleys made by Sir George Godfrey & Partners. Major W.A. Weaver (managing director of the Coventry Victor Motor Co) converted one of these in 1955 for use in a Piper Cub aircraft, naming it the 'Flying Neptune'.[14] Coventry Victor engines were also used in airfield pumping sets and to operate hydraulic ramps such as the Hylo Mk II mobile lifter made by Aviation Traders (Engineering) Ltd in the 1960s.[15]

Present day[edit]

The Coventry Victor Motor Company Ltd was wound up voluntarily in January 1971.[16] A.N. Weaver (Coventry Victor) Ltd. was formed in July 1971 to provide spares and offer a service to maintain existing engines.[17]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A new Coventry Aeroplane". Retrieved 2008-11-15. 
  2. ^ British Engine for Ultra-Lights, Flight, 15 July 1955, p106
  3. ^ Tragatsch, Erwin (2000). The New Illustrated Encyclopedia of Motorcycles. London: Quantum Publishing. p. 560. ISBN 1861603428. 
  4. ^ "Coventry-Victor motorcycles". Retrieved 2008-11-15. 
  5. ^ "Coventry Victor". Retrieved 2008-11-15. 
  6. ^ Lubrication arrangements for compression-ignition internal combustion engines, GB430333, Priority Date 11 Oct 1933
  7. ^ The Modern Diesel, Third Edition, Iliffe & Sons, 1935, p150, p215
  8. ^ The Modern Diesel, Seventh Edition, Iliffe & Sons, 1942, p150
  9. ^ The Modern Diesel, Seventh Edition, Iliffe & Sons, 1942, p xvi
  10. ^ Automotive History Sources in Coventry Archives
  11. ^ The Modern Diesel, Eleventh Edition, Iliffe & Sons, 1949, p227
  12. ^ 1946 Coventry Victor Engine advert
  13. ^ "A small petrol engine", The Engineer, May 3rd, 1946, p412-413
  14. ^ Coventry Victor Flying Neptune, Flight, 27 September 1957, p510
  15. ^ Ground Equipment at Geneva, Flight International, 27 June 1963, pp1027-1028
  16. ^ The London Gazette, 29th January 1971, p1048
  17. ^ "Coventry Victor Industrial and marine Engines". Retrieved 2008-11-15. 

External links[edit]