Calthorpe Motor Co
From Graces Guide
Calthorpe Motor Co of Cherrywood Road, Bordesley Green, Birmingham made cars and motorcycles from 1904 to 1932.
See also -
1897 Became the Bard Cycle Manufacturing Co
1901 Became the Minstrel Cycle Co
1904 Hands made his first motor cars, a 10 hp four cylinder model. They briefly made some larger types but it was in the light car field that they specialised using proprietary White and Poppe engines. The cars were successfully raced in France in the Coupe de l'Auto series.
1913-1917 For a list of the models and prices of cars see the 1917 Red Book
1913-1917 For a list of the models and prices of motorcycles see the 1917 Red Book
1913 A small car was announced in 1913 for the 1914 season with the 10 hp Minor which proved to be a real large car in miniature with three-speed gearbox and shaft drive.
WWI The factory was turned over to making hand grenades
1919 After the war, the large cars were dropped but the Minor re-appeared with a slightly larger engine of 1,261cc.
1920 A Mr J. Mathews was in charge of production and a target of making 50 cars a week was set. The cars continued to have excellent coachwork made by the Calthorpe subsidiary company of Mulliners (acquired in 1917) who had an adjacent factory. Sporting activity continued with Woolf Barnatto, amongst others, racing at Brooklands. Hands briefly left the company in 1922 to set up his own Hands make of cars in the Calthorpe motorcycle factory in Barn Street, Birmingham, but returned in 1924. Whilst away he developed the six cylinder overhead camshaft engine that was fitted for a short time to the 12/20. The Hands cars seem to have used Dorman engines.
The days of the high quality light car were coming to an end by the late 1920s and sales of the fairly expensive Calthorpe were declining. A receiver had to be appointed in 1924 but he kept production going for a while.
1925 A final fling with the 1925 15/45 six cylinder 2 litre car was really too late and production of the cars had virtually ceased by 1928. About 5,000 cars were made in the post-war period, pre-war production is uncertain. Very few cars have survived.
There was also a range of Calthorpe Motorcycles (see below) and these carried on being made after car production had ended.
Sources of Information
- Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Tuesday 05 November 1912
- The British Motorcycle Directory - Over 1,100 Marques from 1888 - by Roy Bacon and Ken Hallworth. Pub: The Crowood Press 2004 ISBN 1 86126 674 X
- Miller’s Price Guide to Classic Motorcycles
-  Wikipedia
- The Encyclopedia of the Motorcycle by Peter Henshaw. Published 2007. ISBN 978 1 8401 3967 9