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.

Rodley
In 1953 Henry Brown designed and had built a micro car in Rodley. A production line was set up to make the Rodley but it proved to be not very successful and about 50 were made of which only one survives. It would appear the vehicle suffered from a cooling issue as a number were reported to have seriously overheated. Despite this setback Henry Brown went on to find a new backer at the Hunslet Engine Co and produce the Scootacar there.

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

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

Page last modified: 19 June 2021

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