1946 Lancherster LD 10 Advert My Lanchester L. D. 10  


Driving a Car With a Wilson Pre-Selector Gearbox
In common with many Daimler and Lanchester cars from the mid 20th century, the L. D. 10 is fitted with a semi-automatic Wilson pre-selector gear-change. This offers some advantages over conventional manual and automatic gear change systems. Using a fluid flywheel in place of a clutch means that it is virtually impossible to stall the car, gear changes can be achieved very smoothly and quickly and there is no clutch plate or thrust bearing to wear out. But unlike a fully automatic system, all gears must be selected by the driver so you get all the interactive fun of driving a manual car.
The one fly in the ointment is that people who are used to conventional transmissions can get into difficulties by trying use the floor pedals as they would in their usual car. Bearing in mind the 'torquey' nature of the Lanchester, the results will be anything but smooth and they may dismiss the pre-selector system as awful.
PedalsAlthough the Lanchester has three conventional looking floor pedals, the one on the left is not a clutch pedal but a gear change pedal roughly analogous to the hand gear lever found in most cars. To change gear, the pedal must be pushed quickly in and out which can be counterintuitive for many new drivers. It should not be held half way down as if you were riding a clutch, after all positive results would not be expected if a conventional gear lever was held half way between gears.
To change gear, first you must pre-select it using the lever on the steering column and then engage it by pressing the gear change pedal. 
For a first time driver, I would suggest engaging top gear with the handbrake on. You will find that the car continues to run quite happily! Then let off the brake and apply a little pressure to the accelerator, the car will creep forward. Repeat with all gears till you get the feel of it.
When moving up through the gears, the accelerator should be released just before the gear change lever is pressed. When changing down,  for example when climbing a hill, the accelerator should remain depressed. With practice this will result in very smooth gear changes.
If rapid engine braking is required, the accelerator should be released as the gears are changed down.
The recommended speeds for gear changes are shown in the table below
For Maximum Economy
1st to 2nd gear 5 miles per hour
2nd to 3rd gear 15 miles per hour
3rd to Top gear 25 miles per hour
For Maximum Acceleration
1st to 2nd gear 10  miles per hour
2nd to 3rd gear 22 miles per hour
3rd to Top gear 35 miles per hour
Maximum Speed for a given gear (Don't blow your engine!)
1st gear 12  miles per hour
2nd gear 25 miles per hour
3rd gear 40 miles per hour
Click on this logo to go to the
Official L. D. 10 Club Website

home button maintenance driving a preselector button photos and videos button  spares and repairs button  buyers guide button 

“I am an amateur ‘owner enthusiast’ and have produced this site for my own and your entertainment. So please don’t expect 100% accuracy and seek professional advice before carrying out any work to your car. I think ‘Lanchester’ is currently a registered trademark of Tata Motors.” Website produced using SharePoint 2007 ©Microsoft, HTML The Missing Manual and Gimp image editor. Photographs, videos and site design © Catherine Jones 2015.