Chater-Lea – founded in 1890, dormant since 1987 – returns

The bicycle-to-car brand Chater-Lea is to return to its roots and will produce British made cycle parts. The company was founded in 1890, later went on to make motor cars and also produced high-quality cycle components, including bottom brackets and chainsets. The company ceased trading in 1987.

“With the advent of advanced manufacturing the opportunity to once again build beautiful, world-class products in the UK is opening up in ways few imagined,” said a statement from Chater-Lea, echoing what Pashley CEO Adrian Williams said in a recent BikeBiz interview.

Chater-Lea has been teasing its reintroduction on a Twitter feed.

It’s good to see the reintroduction of such a brand. Here’s what I wrote about it in my book, Roads Were Not Built for Cars:

“London based Chater-Lea Manufacturing Company made motor cars from 1907 to 1922 and motorbikes from 1900 to 1936. The firm was founded in 1890 by cycle racer William Chater-Lea, who had been an engineer with Linley and Biggs, amkes of the Whippet cycle. Chater-Lea’s firm started out making bicycle parts, progressing to bicycle frames and then parts for motorbikes and finally full machines. The firm’s first car was the two-seater Carette of 1907.”

Chater-Lea halted bicycle and auto-parts manufacturing during World War II to support the war effort – it made parts for the Mosquito fighter-bomber – and relaunched in 1946 with a bottom bracket.

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