Hanomag Railway Engine built in 1932
The company dates back to 1835 when Georg Egestorff founded a company called Eisen-Giesserei und Maschinenfabrik Hannover to build small steam engines. They soon started making farm machinery and in 1846 built their first railway locomotive for the Hannover State Railways. By 1870 they had made 500 locomotives and in 1871 changed their name to Hannoversche Maschinenbau AG. Road vehicles followed when in 1905 they received a contract for steam waggons for the German army.
Petrol engined vehicles followed in 1912 with a line of farm tractors.
Hanomag 2/10PS "Kommissbrot"
Hanomag 1.5 Litre "Rekord"
By the 1920s, the market for steam road vehicles was in terminal decline and Hanomag looked to cars as the future, particularly economy models. In 1925, they launched the Hanomag 2/10, a 370 kg (816 lb) open two seater with a rear-mounted 500cc single-cylinder water cooled engine. Named Zweisitzer Limousine (two-seat limousine) by the company, its rounded front and rear gained it the nickname Kommissbrot for its resemblance to a loaf of Army bread. Although made in large numbers, 15,775 in total, it did not make much money for the company and in the late 1920s the railway locomotive division was sold to Henschel & Son of Kassel.
A more conventional car, the 3/16PS, and the first diesel engined tractors, came in 1928, taking the company back into profit. Hanomag were badly hurt by the drop in trade in 1929 and built a large stock of unsold vehicles. Things improved in 1930 and the company got 14 per cent of the domestic car market, second place behind Opel, but in 1931 a new crisis came when the banks called a loan. The factory was mortgaged to Hannover City and the Vereinigte Stahlwerke trust and the company relaunched as Hanomag Automobil und Schlepperbau GmbH.
For 1932, a new small car, the 1.1 Litre, renamed the Garant in 1934, was announced and sold well allowing two shift working to be introduced and it was joined by the larger 1.5 litre Rekord (a name later used by Opel) in 1933 with independent front suspension. A diesel Rekord was shown at the 1936 Berlin Motor Show.
During World War II, the car plant made military vehicle engines, a military version of their heavy tractor renamed the SS-100, and half track troop carriers. Hanomag 20 B, a 4-wheel-drive Small Unit-Personnel Carrier was produced 1937-1940 (ca. 2000) under the parentage of Stoewer. Capacity problems by Stoewer resulted in co-production by both BMW and Hanomag. Together the three manufacturers made ca. 10.000 units. The special 4-wheel-steering system was fitted on most models. Operating a "lock-level" between the front seats made the steerable rear axle turn sideways to a certain angle.
The single most important and iconic military vehicle to be designed and built by Hanomag during World War II was the Sd.Kfz. 251 half-track (commonly called simply "the Hanomag") with a total production numbering just over 15,000. Built to …
Belem, Lisbon, Portugal
Riley was a British motorcar and bicycle manufacturer from 1890. The company became part of the Nuffield Organisation in 1938 and was later merged into British Leyland: late in 1969 British Leyland announced their discontinuance of Riley production, although 1969 was a difficult year for the UK auto industry and so a number of cars from the company’s inventory are likely to have been first registered only in 1970.
Today, the Riley trademark is owned by BMW.
Riley Cycle Company
Riley began as the Bonnick Cycle Company of Coventry, England. During the pedal cycle craze that swept Britain at the end of the nineteenth century, in 1890, William Riley Jr. purchased the company and in 1896 renamed it the Riley Cycle Company. Later, cycle gear maker Sturmey Archer was added to the portfolio. Riley’s younger son, Percy, left school in the same year and soon began to dabble in automobiles. He built his first car at 16, in 1898, secretly, because his father did not approve. It featured the first mechanically operated inlet valve. By 1899, Percy Riley moved from producing motorcycles to his first prototype four-wheeled quadricycle. Little is known about Percy Riley’s very first "motor-car". It is, however, well attested that the engine featured mechanically operated cylinder valves at a time when other engines depended on the vacuum effect of the descending piston to suck the inlet valve(s) open. That was demonstrated some years later when Benz developed and patented a mechanically operated inlet valve process of their own but were unable to collect royalties on their system from British companies; the courts were persuaded that the system used by British auto-makers was based the one pioneered by Percy, which had comfortably anticipated equivalent developments in Germany. In 1900, Riley sold a single three-wheeled automobile. Meanwhile the elder of the Riley brothers, Victor Riley, although supportive of his brother’s embryonic motor-car enterprise, devoted his energies at this stage to the core bicycle business.
Company founder William Riley remained resolutely opposed to diverting the resources of his bicycle business into motor cars, and in 1902 three of his sons, Victor, Percy and younger brother Alan Riley pooled resources, borrowed a necessary balancing amount from their mother and in 1903 established the separate Riley Engine Company, also in Coventry. A few years later the other two Riley brothers, Stanley and Cecil, having left school joined their elder brothers in the business. At first, the Riley Engine Company simply supplied engines for Riley motorcycles and also to Singer, a newly emerging motor cycle manufacturer in the area, but the Riley Engine Company company soon began to focus on four-wheeled automobiles. Their Vee-Twin Tourer prototype, produced in 1905, can be considered the first proper Riley car. The Engine Company expanded the next year. William Riley reversed his former opposition to his sons’ preference for motorised vehicles and Riley Cycle halted motorcycle production in 1907 to focus on automobiles. Bicycle production also ceased in 1911.
In 1912, the …