Russian Automotive manufacture St Petersburg,Russia From 1904 to 1910
This St Petersburg manufacturer produced assorted vehicles .From post office vans to prime ministers cars,in the early part of the 20th century.
By 1904 Grigory Lessner had built his first Daimler licensed unit, a fire-fighting unit, the chassis was identical to the 1901 Milnes-Daimlers that were sold in Great Britain by G. E Milnes & Co. Ltd. of Wellington, Shropshire.
The following year, 1905, the Lessner firm received its first series order, from the St. Petersburg post office; this request was for a batch of 14 Mail Vans. These vans were made along passenger car lines and were fitted with 5hp twin-cylinder water-cooled engines, sliding pinion gearboxes and final drive by sprockets and chains; the vehicles were capable of a maximum speed of about 18mph. These vans remained in service with the postal authorities for a number Of years and they were reported to have been reliable.
Lessner Russian Automotive Mail Vans from 1905
At the 1st International Automobile Exhibition held in St. Petersburg in 1907, Lessner showed four vehicles a mail van, a truck and two passenger cars, one With a 32hp power unit and one with a six-cylinder 90hp engine. The bodies for the Lessner cars were supplied by the St. Petersburg carriage builder Breitigham.
In total. Lessner motor vehicles. offered a total of 13 models from 1906 to 1909.
Cars with 12, 22, 32 and 90hp engines The Lessner-90 was similar in appearance to the Lessner- 22 and 32, but it was a much larger vehicle, and was unusual for the time that it had a six-cylinder, twin-block, power unit installed.
Lessner-32 open body car
It appears that the most popular Lessner passenger car was the Lessner-32 fitted with a open body style, and the car had a distinctive period Mercedes appearance of the time. whilst they used Mercedes technology, the vehicles were not exact copies of the German cars. The Lessner-32 was very slmilar in appearance to the Simplex-50 but the engine ratings were different to each other and to those of
Lessner Milnes-Daimlers chassis
11/4 and 2-ton trucks.The 11/4-tonners had chain drive and the 2-ton models had shaft drive. the fire engine made on the 5-ton chassis in 1904 was probably unique, but in 1907 a 2-ton sided truck model was offered to the Russian public, and this machine was shaft-driven unlike other Lessner products, and it had an engine of 15hp. In the following year a van model was added to the range it was designed to carry a payload of 1200kg and was supplied with a smaller power unit of 10hp.
Unfortunately, the economic climate that prevailed in Russia before World War I made motor vehicle building a costly business with uncertain rewards,and with low cost foreign imports, it was impossible for them to continue operations, and consequently the motor vehicle division was closed at the end of the 1909.