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Standard would start out in 1903 producing single cylinder cars, and like most other manufacturers these would quickly evolve into two, three and four cylinder iterations. During World War 1 the company would manufacture a variety of planes, including the much lauded Sopwith Pup and Bristol F.2-B. After the war the company started the manufacture of small domestic cars, for a time locked in combat with Austin; by 1924 Standard had manufactured over 10,000 automobiles. Its fortunes would take a turn for the worse when, after committing significant investment into increasing their production capacity, the expected export contract would not eventuate. Captain John Black joined the board from Hillman, he encouraging the supply of Standard chassis to other manufacturers such as Jensen, Avon and Swallow (later Jaguar).

Better times would come in the 1930’s with the Standard Nine and Standard Ten models, and the 1935 Flying Standards with their semi-streamlined bodies were somewhat of a sensation. During World War 2 the company would again turn to aircraft manufacture, this time producing the Mosquito, Bristol Mercury VIII engines and Bristol Beaufighter fuselages. Following the war Standard resumed production of the Eight and Twelve models, and acquired the Triumph Motor Company. The car for which the company is best known in Australia, the Vanguard, was the result of a “one model policy” adopted in 1948. Standard’s global production facilities would not only include Australia, but Canada, India and South Africa.

As for the name "Standard", it was adopted by founder R.W. Maudslay to represent the very forefront of excellence. It referred, literally, to the standard, or flag, that traditionally leads an army into battle. The company used similar flag-related names such as 'Ensign', 'Flying Standard' and 'Vanguard' (the leading soldiers in a battle-field charge). It was the eventual debasement of the word "Standard" in general usage that led, 60 years after the company was founded, to the name being dropped by the parent company. It no longer meant what it once did. Standard was taken over by Leyland Motors in 1960, the last UK Standard being manufactured in 1963.

Standard Vanguard

Standard Vanguard

1947 - 1958
There is little known today about the Standard Vanguard - a car that seems to have been forgotten by just about everyone. Nonetheless many Australians owned one - it just seems not many can remember much about them! More >>
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