Chater - Lea was a British motorcycle, car and bicycle manufacturer based in central London.
The company was founded by William Chater - Lea 1900 to produce components for bicycles. It was in a nine-story building in Banner Street in the City of London resident since 1928 and in buildings in Letchworth, Hertfordshire.
Cars built Chater - Lea 1907-1922 and motorcycles from 1903 until 1935. William died in 1927, and the company was continued by his sons John and Bernard. After the end of vehicle production, the company was represented for components in the vehicle market as a manufacturer and dealer.
First car was the Carette of 1907, a two-seater with an air-cooled 6- PS -V2- cylinder engine with a chain drive to the rear wheels. By 1908, the vehicle appeared in advertising, but it seems only a few copies to have been produced.
A more serious appearance on the car market came in 1913 with the water-cooled 8- PS- 1094- cc four-cylinder model with propeller shaft. The engine came from our own design. Some cars may initially have had the V2 engine.
After the First World War, he came in 1921 as a 10 -horsepower car reissue, with a 1315 cc engine and three-speed gearbox. The two-seater cost 350 British pounds, later the price dropped to 300 pounds. Some hundreds were produced until 1922.
Chater - Lea had present an offer to take over the Gillyard factory in Bakerend Road. Ultimately, however, it was not perceived, though seemingly a prototype was made.
The company produced since 1900 frame for bicycles and offered soon motors for mounting on bicycles. Complete motorcycles were manufactured since 1903, and in 1908 there were applications to the Tourist Trophy race on the Isle of Man.
The peace -time production began again in 1919 with a two-cylinder model, the later large single-cylinder models followed. 1925 began the construction of their own engines. The last motorcycles were manufactured in 1936. Chater - Lea had temporarily the fastest 350cc production motorcycle in the world in production.