In 1898, Montague Stanley Napier entered the automobile business with his first product being a vertical-twin engine with coil ignition. It was built for his friend Selwyn Francis Edge. One of the company's best customers was telephone magnate Charles Jasper Glidden of Massachusetts, who drove the Napier on a series of long-distance tours, one of which became the series carrying his name.
Napier became the world's first commercially-viable six-cylinder engine in 1904. The engine had five-liters and mechanical overhead intake valves; a racing version soon followed which displaced an impressive 15 liters.
The company introduced a five-liter L-head six-cylinder engine in 1908 which was mated to a three-speed gearbox and shaft drive.
During World War I, the company built aero engines to support the war effort. Their Napier 'Lion' became renowned in automotive circles as the powerplant for a succession of land-speed record cars.
The company adopted a one-model policy following the war. Their T75 model featured a single-overhead six-cylinder monobloc engine with steel cylinder liners and dual ignition. Production lasted from 1919 through 1924, with just 120 examples being built. By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2012