Sunbeam Mabley motor car, 1901.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This car was designed by Maxwell Maberley Smith and was the first to enter series production. The Sunbeam Mabley was remarkable in that its wheels were laid out in a diamond formation, this design feature was intended to prevent the car from skidding. The car's two middle wheels were the driven wheels while the two end wheels were for steering. The driver sat in the back, steering by means of a tiller. It was powered by a 2.75 hp de Dion engine, giving the car a top speed of 18 mph. The Mabley sold for £130 when it first went on sale and approximately 130 of the cars were built.