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Standard Ten Deluxe

By Roger Dealtry

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This is the story of my 1934 Standard “ten” deluxe.

The “ten” was the result of some major re-styling Standard performed for the 1934 season and was intended as the replacement for the 1933 “big nine”. The ten saloon was available initially in three forms, standard, special and deluxe and later in ten/twelve form with the larger “twelve” engine in the ten body. Each form having a higher level specification. The de luxe seems to be most prevalent today.

It has a 1343cc side valve engine developing 32 bhp at 3600 rpm giving it a peak power to weight ratio of 34.6 bhp per ton. For comparison a 1964 Morris minor 1000 has 64 bhp per ton. Taxation rules in the 30s favoured engines with relatively small cylinder bores. In order to achieve higher capacity manufacturers made long stroke engines with relatively low maximum revs. It has an advertised top speed of 60 mph but the engine feels a bit busy over 40 mph.

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This ten was originally sold to Dorothy Walker, a teacher in Bournemouth by Stanbourne Motor Co. Ltd. in July 1934 when she traded in her Austin 7. It was “condor grey” with a brown interior. While doing some work a few years ago I found a hat pin and emery board in the recesses of a rear glove pocket. I know from census records that Dorothy Walker never married and lived with her cousin almost her entire life. Who knows if the items I found belonged to them. Having already been driving in 1934 she would have been exempt from taking the driving test when it was introduced in 1935. The car was in her ownership and taxed until 1965, at which point she was 75. Perhaps she gave up driving then and it was put on blocks, I can only speculate. She died in 1980 at the age of 90.

The next time the car appears is when Dr. I.N.L. Johnston of Lymmington joins the Standard Motor Club with it in 1982. By this time it has been painted cream. It then enters a mysterious phase between 1988 and 1992 when it was owned by Gordon Hamilton of Turniff in Scotland, but there are receipts for work done in the south of England including being repainted in its current colours in 1991. The club has a record that it was sold at Southerby’s auction, but I can find no proof of this. In 1992 it found a new owner in Eastleigh only a few hundred yards from where I was working but I never saw it.

Something must have happened to the owner and it was rescued from a tumble-down garage in 2002 by a club member in Hampshire. The engine was seized but they brought the car back to life. Much to my delight in 2015 they offered to sell it to me. I have tried to bring it up to tip-top mechanical condition and its running really well.

The eagle eyed among you will notice the blue triangle sticker in the windscreen. In 1960 a basic roadworthiness test was introduced for all cars over 10 years old and became known as the “ten year test”. Its introduction caused many old cars to be scrapped. The sticker indicates that the Standard was lucky enough to pass its 10 year test. It was 26 years old at the time! The test evolved into what we now know as the MOT. So this old standard has seen the introduction of two tests; one for the driver and one for the car!

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