All the Makes: Vauxhall to Wolseley

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(1903 - present)

Derived from the Vauxhall Iron Works, who began to manufacture marine engines in 1857, and manufactured its first car in 1903. Gained a stellar reputation amoung the well heeled on the release of the 30/98 Prince Henry manufactured between 1913 and 1928. GM took ownership in 1926 when the company was experiencing financial problems.

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(1900 - 1913)


(1919 - 1939)

Company founded by Gabriel Voisin who was more interested in aircraft manufacture. Built Belgian Imperia cars under licence in the early 1930's, but the company is better remembered for the prototypes developed by Voisin himself, such as a front-wheel-drive V8 and a straight 12, this latter car having the final 2 cylinders protruding into the cockpit.


(1936 - present)

Born from the KdF-Wagen, the Beetle would make Volkswagen the worlds most popular car. The 5 millionth Beetle was made in 1961, with over a million being manufactured each year after that. Slowly diversified, with the introduction of the Transporter in 1950 and Karmann cabriolet in 1949.

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(1927 - present)

Founded by Assar Gabrielsson and Gustav Larson with the intention of building vehicles better able to handle the harsh Scandinavian climate. Both came from SKF bearings, this company funding the first production of 1000 cars in 1927. The P120 Amazon established its enviable global reputation for quality and safety.

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(1982 - present)

Kit car manufacturer from the UK, from 1982 building Lotus Eleven replica's, and from 1984 replica's of the Lotus Seven.


(1900 - 1918)

Went from roller skates and sewing machine manufacturer to steam car manufacture under Rollin H. White's direction, being able to utilise the factory and equipment owned by his father. Went on to become one of a precious few that were able to make the transition from steam to petrol car manufacture. Concentrated on the manufacture of commercial vehicles after 1918.



(1907 - 1963)

Founded by John North Willys in 1907 after he purchased the Standard Wheel Company. Went from making small runabouts powered by single and twin cylinder engines, to development of the "Overland", the USA's best selling car of 1914 and even overtaking sales of Ford's Model T. Best known for the manufacture of the US military Jeep, for many years the companies only product.

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(1897 - 1924)

Founded by one Alexander Winton (from Scotland) who had experience with bicycles and had experimented with automobile manufacture. From 1912 the company began the manufacture of marine deisel engines and stationary engines, and in 1924 automobile manufacture ceased.


(1896 - 1975)

Established in 1896, Wolseley was one of England’s first carmakers, quickly garnering a reputation for building quality vehicles. The first iteration was actually built by Herbert Austin who was, at the time, the companies General Manager. This simple three-wheeler would quickly morph into a four-wheeler, as did so many at the time, and by 1901 there was even a four cylinder five speed racer in the modest 3 model lineup.

Over the years Wolseley’s would become increasingly larger and more refined, and by 1906 the J. D. Siddeley designed Wolseley-Siddeley boasted a 3.3 liter 201ci engine. After World War 1 the Wolseley lineup would swell to include the 7, the 10 (which was later replaced by the 11/22), and the 15 (which was later replaced by the 16/35 types).

However the company never fully recovered after the war, and was taken over by Nuffield in 1927. Unfortunately it ever so slowly lost its identity over the following decades, particularly when ownership was assumed by BMC, who would simply "re-badge" the same model. There were a few highlights along the way though, such as the Morris Isis derived 21/60 of 1929 which boasted a six cylinder engine and hydraulic brakes.

In 1930 came the 1.3 liter Hornet, the six cylinder engine being small in capacity but proving itself to be delightfully smooth and powerful. Through the 1930’s the company adopted the use of the famous “illuminated” Wolseley logo on the radiators, a feature that would remain a part of all Wolseley’s until the companies eventual demise.

Following World War 2 there was the Eight, Ten and Twenty-Five, and by 1949 2 completely new models were released, the four cylinder 4/60 and the six cylinder 6/80, both engines being of overhead cam design. But as rationalization spread through the British car industry, the Wolseley name became ever increasingly a badge over a brand.

The last Wolseley appeared in 1975, then a re-badged Morris 1100, but when Leyland took control they re-named the car the Princess, and the Wolseley name was lost forever.

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