Today in Motorcycle History

Princeps Autocar Co

Princeps motorcycles were produced between 1902 and 1905 by J. E. Hutton of Northampton, agents for Panhard and Mercedes.

The choice of belt or chain drive was offered to customers, and the range comprised a 2¼ hp single and a 4hp V-twin, plus a forecar.

There was talk of a five-speed gear and free-engine metal-to-metal clutch, but the slump in trade soon put an end to the make.

It was thought that Hutton's Princeps was based on the Werner, and a comparison of images of the two marques lends credence to this.

However, Kees Koster has kindly supplied an image demonstrating that the 1902 Princeps is in fact a 1902 Bruneau.

This page indicates that the brothers E.H. and Frank Hadfield Arnott worked on the developing the Princeps at Hutton in 1902: Arnott

In 1906 the address for J. E. Hutton was 81-83 Shaftsbury Avenue, London. After the firm's closure he went on to become the director of Ariel Motors

Stand 126. The Princeps Autocar Co., Northampton. The whole machine is of different design and construction to that lately made by this firm. The single cylinder is of 2 h.p., and is cast in one piece, with top radiators going to the centre to effect the greatest amount of cooling. The crank chamber is bolted to the frame by tee-shaped feet, having four bolts in each, thus making the frame and engine very rigid. A special form of combined float feed carburetter and regulator is fitted. An entire absence of wiring and levers render this machine extremely pleasing to the eye. A slight movement of the front lever serves to break the current.

The engine drives either by belting (Lincona) or by chain gear. This firm is also showing a twin engine of 4 h.p., fitted vertically in a similar manner to the single engine, with the advantage of its occupying no more space than the single type. It also shows an expanding form of a motor pulley of the V type. By pressing together of the sides of the V the belt is forced outwards, thus giving an increased speed of some 25 per cent. as a maximum; it also gives a free engine. In the chain-driven type a spring compensating wheel is used to take up the jar of starting and a friction clutch to give a free engine. The inlet valves are either fitted to work mechanically or automatically, according to the desire of the purchaser.

Report from the Stanley Show 1902
Motor Cycling, 26th November 1902

The Princeps Motor Bicycle.

The Princeps motor bicycles and forecarriages that are being exhibited at the Stanley Show by Messrs. J. E. Hutton, Ltd., 8i, 83, Shaftesbury Avenue, will be in four models, comprising 2¼ h.p. single cylinder belt driven, 2¼ h.p. single cylinder chain driven, 4 h.p. twin cylinder belt driven, 4 h.p. twin cylinder chain driven, and a Princeps forecarriage.

The Motor Cycle, November 18th, 1903. Page 798
Stanley Show 1903

1902 Princeps Articles

Sources: Graces Guide, et al.