Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 128,469 pages of information and 202,900 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
Who’s Who in Light Cars
On coming to deal with the light car trade, it is surprising to find what a large number of men who, having made their names in the sport and trade of cycling, are now engaged in the making, selling or driving of light cars. A lengthy connection with wheel sport and trade enables us to call to mind the following:—
S. F. Edge the enthusiast; enthusiastic over whatever may be the matter in hand; doing nothing by halves. Hence, probably, his success in business. A cyclist from the early days; winner of the first Westerham Hill Climb, and a one-mile tricycle championship of the National Cyclists' Union. The man who scored in ten open races at 100 miles — his favourite distance. Now director of S. F. Edge, Ltd; director of De Dion Bouton, Ltd; the United Motor Industries, and other concerns connected with the motor trade. Winner, for the A.C.G.B. and I., of the great Gordon-Bennett Cup race last year — a success which we hope he will repeat in 1903.
J. H. Adams the man who won more N.C.U. Championships than any other rider, having passed the post first in ten of these classic events. The man who began his cycling career by going for 24 hour records on the road, and finished up ten years later by winning a half-mile track race. Known to all his friends as "Johnny," but christened by his parents "Joseph." To-day he controls the destinies (as far as this country is concerned) of the Germain cars.
F. R. Goodwin, winner of a Cuca 24 hours race at Herne Hill; in the palmy days, hero of many a hard-fought race on road and path. Afterwards salesman in the ill-fated Griffiths Cycle Corporation; now manager of the Star Motor Co.'s London Depot. A trip with Goodwin on a car is at once enjoyable and instructive;
Opel, the German, who came to London with August Lehr in 1890, and competed in the 25 miles high bicycle championship at Paddington that year. Now largely interested in the manufacture of the Opel car, one of the best in Germany.
Farman, one of the finest drivers of a racing car in France. The Brothers Farman are now as prominent in the motor world as they were in the cycling firmament a decade ago. They were almost invincible on a tandem bicycle, and have also had some adventures in mid-air, ballooning being amongst their other hobbies.
W. Williamson, speed-man on a bicycle; winner of two Catford hill climbs; successful seller of cycles. Now managing director of the Rex Motor Manufacturing Co, of Coventry. A fine motor driver, and as keen on the new sport as he used to be on cycling.
S. D. Begbie. What old cyclist does not remember the "Hadley" bicycle made by the firm of Snelling, Begbie and Twentyman? — a popular mount with the speed division. This is the same "Syd" Begbie who, having passed through the trial and turmoil of cycle making and record breaking, has settled down to the quiet and more congenial occupation of making motorcars. He is manager of the Century Motor Co, of Willesden, makers of the Century tandems.
H. T. Arnott, once captain of the famous Bath Road Club; a cyclist of the old school; also a cycle trader of long standing, having run a depot in Newgate Street ten years ago. Now the leading light in the Princeps Autocar Co, Northampton.
G. W. Houk. To admit that you don't know George "Washington" Houk is to confess yourself unknown. The man who introduced the Morrow hub to the English trade; a typical Yankee, smart as they make 'em. Now pushing American steam cars over here, particularly the Prescott.
H. Wait, a well-known man in the provinces; designer of the Clyde voiturette, and manager of the Clyde Cycle and Motor Co, Leicester. A clever mechanic, and an old cyclist. Passed his novitiate in the workshops and drawing office of Humbers at Weston.
J. W. Stocks. What a wealth of memories the name brings back! The Hull youth, invincible on the high bicycle, especially on grass, and a popular star at all the East Riding race meets. When the safety came in, Stocks took to it readily; won an N.C.U. championship at 25 miles. Spent his holidays in London, training for and beating the hour record. Settled in London permanently, pushing Ariel bicycles; won the 100 kilos World's Championship at Glasgow in 1897. Started motoring; did some wonderful day and night rides on a motor-tricycle. Recently drove from Land's End to John o'Groat's on a De Dion car. Is manager of the De Dion Bouton Co in England.
Charles Friswell first came into prominence as a racing cyclist in the old Paddington days. Afterwards he went into the cycle trade; thence into the motor business; and now he pushes that popular little car, the Baby Peugeot, and runs the enormous Garage outside Portland Road Station, where you can store your car free.
R. Burns, the much-travelled manager of the Swift Motor Co. We remember the day when he first flashed across the racing horizon. It was at a meeting on the old Crystal Palace cinder track. There was a two-miles scratch race, the favourites for which were S. F. Edge and H. H. Sansom but public form was upset — R. Burns, hitherto unknown, was the winner; also winning the handicap. Was with the Wenham Cycle Co, and has twice been to Africa.
W. Munn, well known in cycling circles south of the Thames. An old Bath Road man who, after selling Ritter road skates, pushed the Lamplugh saddles with considerable vigour. Has now found his natural level in the motor trade, being Secretary of De Dion Bouton, Ltd. Is quite an authority on style and method in advertising.
H. H. Sturmey, a schoolmaster by profession, but a cycling journalist by inclination; a mechanical genius of great ability, but ponderous tone. Universally respected by his confreres of the Press, from which he has now retired to interest himself in the Duryea car, in which he has great faith.
W. M. Letts. One of the early birds in the motor trade, he has found the Locomobile worm. Was connected with one of the earliest motor depots on Holborn Viaduct; journeyed to America, and came back as London manager of the Locomobile Co.
A. Burgess, secretary of the Motor Manufacturing Co, has his headquarters on the Viaduct. Is a member of the Automobile Club, and drove one of his company's cars through the 1,000 miles trial of 1900.