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.

West Leeds Motor Co
Dennell were motorcycles produced from 1906 to 1908, by Herbert Dennell
In 1906 A machine was built for a J. W. Fawcett. It had an 8hp three-cylinder in-line sv JAP engine with the cylinders mounted on a round crankcase. Skew gears turned the drive to across the machine frame and from this two belts ran to the rear wheel, one on each side. It was fitted with rigid forks.
In 1908 A more conventional machine was built for a Mr Bates, with a 4.5hp V-twin Minerva engine in a Dennell frame with belt drive, Roc two-speed gear and braced forks. The frame was low-built and had straight tubes. Nothing further is recorded after that year.

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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