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Dickinson

The Dickinson Morette was first manufactured in 1903 in Aston Brook Lane, Birmingham, (UK) by B.E. Dickinson Toledo Engineering Works. The single seater machine was powered by a 1.5 hp engine whilst the “sociable” two seater was powered by either  a 2.5 hp or a 4 hp 2-cylinder engine.  Both variations provided power to the front wheel by chain.  Despite being very high the car was unique for its day in that it could be started from the drivers seat by means of a flexible chord that fitted into a groove in the flywheel.  When pulled this would then fire up the engine.  A pulley on the crank shaft was then brought into frictional driving contact with a rubber covered wheel on a lay shaft by lowering the steering tiller.  This gave the Morette a top speed of around 12 - 15 mph.  Lifting the tiller would lift the engine out of action whilst braking applied a double brake and cut off the fuel supply to the engine.

The body and seat of the Morette are constructed from steel tubing whilst the floor of the vehicle was made from wood carried across the steel tubes.  The wheels are all the same size and so are completely interchangeable and they featured “specially thickened driver tyres” that helped prevent the risk of punctures and prolong the life of the tyre. The Morette was 3ft 9” wide with a wheel base of 5ft 6”.

Production of the Dickinson Morette stopped in 1905.

The 1903 Dickinson Morette. (My thanks go to Richard Friedman for this photograph of his vehicle believed to be the only one in existence)

The Dickinson “petrol saver”.  This enabled petrol to be forced out of an ordinary 2-gallon container by air pressure.  By means of a basic tyre pump air was forced into the can sending the displaced petrol  into the vehicle. The tank contained enough petrol for 70 miles. (My thanks got to Richard Friedman for this photograph and for providing much of the data on this page)

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