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.

Rice & Co
The Korte was produced by Rice & Co. Ltd (1903 - 1905) of Low Hall Mills Holbeck. Details of the 1903 Motor Show held at Crystal Pallace show "Stand No. 32. RICE & CO. (Leeds) Ltd., Engineers and Motor Car Manufacturers. One 12 h.p. Korte car, a four-seated tonneau, double cylinder, four speeds, engine 12 h.p., double cylinder type, fitted with half compression cams, transmission by gear and chain drive, four speeds and reverse, high tension ignition with commutator fitted on dash board with stationary wires, pump, gear driven, fitted with electric indicator, showing any stoppage in circulation. One Korte convertible Tonneau Brougham."

Korte Car

Above - Korte car image (Photo - Graces Guide).
The works building survives to this day and is included in the Holbeck today walking tour.
Below - The Low Hall Mill building in recent times (Photo - Kris Ward)

Low Hall Mill, Holbeck

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.