Leeds Engine:Histories: Car Makers

Hunslet Engine built Scootacar
Scootacar made by Hunslet Engine Co (Photo - Andrew Johnson)

A Brief History of Car Manufacturing in Leeds

All | Appleyard of Leeds | Blackburn Aeroplane and Motor Co | Day - Leeds | Dougill's Engineering | Electromobile (Leeds) | Ginetta | Glover's Motors | Greenwood & Batley | Hunslet Engine Co | Rice & Co | Rodley | Sterling Engineering | West Leeds Motor Co

Were there any cars made in Leeds? The simple answer to this is YES. It gets rather more complex as the majority of the vehicle makers in Leeds were involved with commercial and military vehicles. In the early days of motoring we also find several small firms in little back street garages that might once have been the local smithy turning their hands to vehicle production. In some cases there is little more than a reference in an old trade directory to tell of these firms and below we list some of the firms found in the directories available online through the Graces Guide website.

Dougill's Engineering
Dougill's Engineering built the Loidis [The name Leeds derives from the Latin "Loidis"] between 1898 and 1904. They also built cars and commercial vehicles under the Frick name. Engines were supplied by De Dion Bouton, a French company with a UK office in London.
Extract from the Motorists from Motoring Annual and Motorist's Year Book 1904: "DOUGILL, ALFRED W., Longclose Ironworks, Leeds, drives an 8-horse and to-horse Loidis. Desires to see motors more successfully used in public service and commercial work. Is not in favour of the Scott-Montagu numbering proposal. Is the active secretary of the Yorkshire Automobile Club." The firm was fairly short lived though, being wound up in 1907

Internal Website Links
If road vehicles is your thing, the next size up on our site is our page on bus making in Leeds
As well as the Hunslet vehicle used in the Alien film we have a list of Leeds built items in films

External Website Links
Much of the information on this site was found in Graces Guide online material on Britain's industial heritage.
Scootacar Register
The Leodis website has several images relating to Appleyard of Leeds
Ginetta's website

This article was produced by Kris Ward and Andrew Johnson, any feedback or contributions about the Leeds engine making industry would be greatly appreciated.