Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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David Brown Corporation

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June 1953.
September 1954.
1957. Winder Drives.
1958. David Brown Corporation (Sales) Ltd

1951 The David Brown Corporation was formed as parent for all the companies in the David Brown group[1], which were in 2 groups:

Early 1950s, formed David Brown Construction Equipment

1955 The company acquired Tickford, builders of car bodies, and moved the car companies to their site.

1955 David Brown Industries was formed to rationalise the manufacturing operations in the UK

1958 Concentrated on a single range of high-performance sports cars, the Aston Martin DB series; production of Lagondas ceased.

1959 The Aston Martin team, led by Stirling Moss, won at Le Mans.

1960 Ownership of the gear, foundry, and tool divisions was transferred to a new company, David Brown and Sons (Huddersfield) Ltd.

1960 Withdrew from sports car racing and grand prix racing, to concentrate on production cars for sale.

1961 Listed as David Brown Industries with 7,000 employees. Works at Huddersfield, London, Coventry, Manchester and Salford. Engineers and metal founders, manufacturers and dealers in gears, agricultural machines and implements, tractors and motor cars.[2]

1963 Employed 7,600 workers in 11 factories[3]

1964 The main products of the Corporation were[4]:

  • Industrial Gears and Gear Units
  • Radicon Speed Reducers
  • Vehicle Gear Boxes
  • Aston Martin cars
  • Lagonda cars
  • Tractors and Agricultural Implements
  • Machine Tools and Tools
  • Steel, Bronze, Aircraft and Precision castings
  • Centrifugal and Gear Pumps

1964 David Brown acquired controlling interest in Vosper from Minerals Separation[5]; acquired Radyne[6]; tried but failed to acquire the largest maker of gears in the USA[7]

1966 Queens Award for export achievement by David Brown Tractors Ltd., Radyne Ltd. and Vosper Ltd. ; and for technological innovation in boat building and design by Vosper[8].

Early 1970s the David Brown Corporation was in financial difficulties.

1971 David Brown was removed from executive control of the company

1972 The Aston Martin-Lagonda car companies were sold to Company Developments Ltd which was later owned by the Ford Motor Company.

1972 Sold David Brown Tractors to Tenneco Inc[9], becoming affiliates of J. I. Case. The company was then centred on David Brown Gear Industries and the controlling interest in Vosper[10]

1978 After Vosper Thornycroft was nationalized, Sir David Brown resigned from the chairmanship.

Late 1980s: David Brown Group was a specialist gears, transmissions and pumps company

1990 The family disposed of its stake to the management; recruitment of new joint chief executives.

1993 The David Brown Group was floated[11]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times Mar 12, 1951
  2. 1961 Guide to Key British Enterprises: Motor, Motor-Cycle and Commercial Vehicle Manufacturers
  3. The Times, Jan 15, 1963
  4. The Times, Jan 16, 1964
  5. The Times, 22 May 1964
  6. The Times, Aug 28, 1964
  7. The Times, Feb 24, 1965
  8. London Gazette 15 April 1966
  9. The Times, 18 April 1973
  10. The Times, Jul 08, 1972
  11. The Times, March 31, 1993