Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,374 pages of information and 233,849 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Aster Engineering Co

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February 1905
September 1905.
March 1906.
November 1906.
1909. 50 hp motor.
November 1909.
November 1909.
July 1910.
January 1912.
November 1912.
1914. 20hp. Type 43HFV5
June 1923.
1923. 18 hp.

Engine makers and car manufacturers, of Wembley.

1899 Begbie Manufacturing Co of Wembley, in north London, became British licensees of the French Aster company, making mainly stationary engines.

1910 Made Green's Engine under contract (as Aster Engineering Co Ltd)

1910 Making the B2 (1.5 hp), B3 (3 hp) and B9 (9 hp) engines

1913-1917 For a list of the models and prices of Marine Motors see the 1917 Red Book

1913 the company became Aster Engineering Co (1913) Ltd

WWI made aircraft engines.

1922 The first Aster cars were made in 1922 with the luxurious 18/50, which had a 2618 cc six cylinder overhead valve engine driving the rear wheels through a four speed gearbox. The 126 inch wheelbase chassis had semi elliptic springing at the front and cantilevered springs at the rear with four wheel brakes as an early option.

1923 The car was listed at £850 in 1923 and about 50 were made

1924 the engine was enlarged to 2890 cc by increasing its bore from 69.5 to 73 mm in the 20/55 model. One was bought by the Duke of York. About another 50 of the larger cars were made.

1926 the engine was further bored out to 75 mm, the stroke stayed at 115 mm throughout, making the 3042 cc 21/60.

1927 The largest car they made was the 1927 24/70 with a 147 inch wheelbase, a foot longer than the 21/60. The 3042 cc engine for this was created by boring the engine a further 5 mm to 80 mm and fitting Burt-McCollum single sleeve valves which were also fitted to the 21/60 engine from that year. The top of the range 39 cwt Landaulette cost £1,300. Probably about 70 were made.

1927 merged with Arrol-Johnston to form Arrol-Johnston and Aster Engineering Co, following which production moved to Dumfries, Scotland; the cars became known as Arrol-Asters. The Wembley premises were kept as a service depot eventually being sold to Singer. The 21/60 and 24/70 were kept in production and were joined by a straight eight 2,760 cc sleeve valved engine 23/70 and 17/50 six which was also available with Cozette supercharger.

1929 The late 1920s were not a good time for luxury car makers and the receivers arrived in 1929. Limited production continued until 1931 when the factory finally closed.

French Aster Car Company

The French Aster car company based in Saint-Denis operated between 1900 and 1910. They mainly made engines and gearboxes but could have also produced some complete cars as a 12 hp Aster was exhibited at the 1903 Crystal Palace Motor Show. A range of Aster cars was sold in Britain between 1905 and 1907 and are most likely to have been French Ariès cars which used Aster engines.

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Sources of Information