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technically more advanced than their British counterparts and at the time US supplied engines carried a heavy UK import duty so the British-made versions could be sold up to 40% cheaper than the American-made originals. Mechanical reliability problems soon meant Perkins had sold the rights to the Rootes car making group of companies (Sunbeam/ Humber/Hillman) who sold them through their car dealerships with the Rootes nameplate. However marketing confusion with car salesmen unfamiliar with outboards and service engineers likewise brought about another short tenure. British Anzani bought the parts, jigs and tools in 1964 but despite some design changes failed to cure the unreliability problems and production ceased in 1967. The engines were marketed as the Anzani 65, 180 and 400 models. Anzani went into lawnmower production in the late 50’s with a range of equipment of mostly larger scale 14”, 16” and 24” mowers for professional purposes. Production went on until the late 1960’s from their new factory in Aylesford in Kent. The range included the Lawnrider (a 150cc 4 stroke sit-on mower in 18” and 24” widths), the Ridamow (another sit-on mower with a detachable seat for self propelled operation, 150cc 4 stroke 24” width), the Powermow (a self propelled 24” width mower) and for smaller areas the Easimow, (a 14” self propelled 4-stroke 48cc machine). All the petrol driven mowers included the Heli-Strand flexible drive power take-off system which provided a range of additional tools that could be driven directly from the mower. These included a chain saw, hedge cutter, log saw, pruning saw and rotary grass cutter. The range also saw the Company’s first electric mower the Whispamow, a 14” two-speed battery driven machine with built-in charger. They
produced add-ons too for a descendant of the Iron Horse: the Honda F30 tractor. The Heli-Swift 30 was a 20” grasscutting attachment belt driven from the tractor costing £35 15s 0d. The Foldakart was a heavy duty wheelbarrow designed to compliment the mower range. In 1961 British Anzani had bought a company called the Maidstone Sack & Metal Company which was owned by the entrepreneurial Faull Bros. (Gerald and Stanley) who then completed a take-over in reverse by buying out British Anzani and turning themselves into the British Anzani Group. The new company expanded into not only scrap metal but paper conversion, quarrying, civil engineering, contracting and fatally, property development and warehousing. For a time they were very successful and employed over 200 people but the high interest rates and depressed property market of the late 1970’s brought the property rich company down. By 1973 (around which time it is believed Charles Harrison died) the remaining British Anzani outboard production had been taken over by Boxley Engineering of Maidstone in Kent who continued to manufacture the Pilot 3hp ‘30’ model and the 5hp Super Single ‘50’. By 1979 however production of these last remaining Anzani engines had ceased completely. The British Anzani Group finally went into liquidation in 1980.
British Anzani Lawnrider British Anzani Powermow The last remnant of the BA marque is this office block in Felixstowe shortly to be made into apartments.