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In 1900, cousins Frank and Alwyn Smith began building motorcycles in Wolverhampton and had great success producing motorcycles with sidecars for the army prior to and during WWI. By 1922, 'Clyno Engineering Company Ltd' built its first motor car using the Coventry Climax engine. The 10.8 model was designed as direct competition for Morris and had initial success as it was reliable and cheap in comparison. Around 35,000 Clyno 10.8's were built over six years in various body styles and the Company built a larger plant in 1927 becoming the third biggest manufacturer in Britain. Soon the recession was to take affect and by 1929 Clyno were out of business. Clyno entered a price cutting war with rival Morris but unfortunately the firm was forced to close. Several other models had been introduced in an attempt to broaden the Clyno range, several of these being powered by their own 1496cc engine. The rather basic 10.8 did however remain the most popular model right to the end and today there are very few known survivors.
This very honest, useable two seat tourer with dickey seat has recently been in Cumbria with one of our regular customers. During recent ownership the Clyno has been treated to a full service, improved and tidied wiring, some re-trimming work and discreet indicators have been fitted. The Clyno has come to us in good, useable condition and can be driven with confidence having coped well on the roads in rural Cumbria. The car drives very well, it runs and steers superbly and stops very well. It is good fun to drive but the right hand gear change and central accelerator do take some getting used to. The Clyno is surprisingly squeak and rattle free with no unusual noises to be concerned with. The engine performs very well, as does the gearbox and the car feels strong and robust.
Prior to recent ownership, the Clyno was with one family in York for 57 years and it was subject of a restoration during the 1960's. It was used as a round town runabout in York for many years and whilst it covered very little mileage in later years, it was meticulously maintained and work included new brake shoes, engine rebuild, new hood and new tyres. The Clyno has a charming presence and true patina. The paintwork has aged but looks honest, genuine and in our opinion shouldn't be touched. The Clyno is ideal for shows, rallies, the War Weekend but is also a collector's piece that may eventually find its way to a museum or private collection.