The Tamplin was an English Automobile manufactured by Tamplin Motors from 1919 to 1923 in Kingston Road, Staines, Middlesex and from 1924 to 1925 in Malden Road, Cheam, Surrey.
Edward A Tamplin, a member of the Sussex brewing family but with no direct involvement in the business, ran the Railway Garage in Staines and was an agent for the Carden cyclecar and in 1919, after contracting to take the entire output, purchased the rights to manufacture it.
The car was powered by a 980 cc JAP V-twin, air-cooled engine mounted on the side of the body and coupled by chain drive to a Sturmey-Archer three-speed-and-reverse gearbox and then by an exposed belt to the rear wheels.
To avoid the need for a differential drive was to the left side rear wheel. The engine was started by a kick starter from the driver’s seat.
The clutch pedal, when fully depressed operated the brakes. The wheels were close together giving the car a very narrow track.
Front suspension was independent by coil springs and the rear had quarter elliptical leaf springs. Some cars were fitted with Blackburne engines.
The open body was made of fibreboard made waterproof by soaking it in linseed oil and seated two people one behind the other.
The body tub also acted as the chassis.
In 1924 a new, more conventional, version was announced with the engine front mounted and the car much wider allowing side by side seating. A chain mounted centrally replaced the belt drive to the rear axle.
The car now also had a separate chassis
Total production of Tamplins is uncertain with Tamplin himself claiming 1896 were made, but this is not supported by known chassis numbers.
At the busiest times up to 14 cars a week may have been made.
By 1925 the market for cyclecars was effectively over and Tamplin returned to the garage business becoming a truck dealer.
This smart 1921 Tamplin Cyclecar was in a British car collection for the last few decades and was only occasionally shown at vintage gatherings. This Tamplin two-seater is a very well equipped cyclecar with complete acetylene lighting, a Bonniksen 50mph Speedometer, hand operated “ahooha” horn, a folding wind screen, convertible hood, 26 x 2 ½ Dunlop beaded edge tyres and two V-belt pulley brakes to the rear wheels. Only a handful of these Tamplins survived.
One other very handsome example can be seen in the Louwman Collection in The Hague, Netherlands. http://www.louwmanmuseum.nl
A period press description :
‘A four-wheeled vehicle which created a great deal of interest outside the car and motor cycle shows is the Tamplin tandem-seated cycle car, which, in spite of its curious appearance, is possessed of many pleasing features.
‘An 8 h.p. air-cooled J.A.P. engine is located at the front end of the frame, the drive being transmitted, through a universal joint, to a chain sprocket on the near and outer side of the body, and thence through a standard Sturmey Archer gear box to a single belt pulley on the live rear axle, which is mounted on large Skefko ball bearings, enabling the single belt to drive both rear wheels.
‘The Tamplin on the road requires careful handling during the first few miles of initiation, as the direct steering gear necessitates a very light touch on the wheel. Later, however, we found the control to be most satisfactory, and in dense traffic the narrow track and quick response to the steering wheel enable the driver to gain much advantage over larger vehicles.
The comfort provided for the driver is excellent, but the accommodation for the passenger is not over roomy.
When fitted with a windscreen and hood, the Tamplin should be of great utility.
‘The price of this machine, less accessories, is £150, and it is manufactured by Messrs. Tamplin, Railway Garage, Staines.’