Tyneside cars: Armstrong-Whitworth

Of course Vickers Armstrong played a big part in the North East motor industry. From 1902 to 1904 they produced Roots and Venables heavy-oil cars and vans - many of the latter used by the London GPO. From 1904 to 1906 they built Wilson Pilcher cars (Major Wilson, their designer, was the gearbox genius of the century inventing both the synchromesh and epicyclic versions. From 1902 to 1914 they also manufactured the Armstrong-Whitworth which was in the same class as the Rolls Royce in those days (the picture is of the one in the Discovery centre in Newcastle). The engines were made of battleship gunmetal and ran with legendary lack of wear or trouble. Mr Fred Turvey (whose father ran the first North garage in 1890) remembers them as "strong, sturdy and reliable". His father formed a consortium with J. Newton of Manchester and George Cox of Southsea to produce Lanchester cars which (surprisingly) were built in Paris. The Great War put an end to civilian manufacturing by Armstrongs, the name being transferred to Siddeley's of Coventry in 1918.

No comments:

Post a Comment