Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Marauder Car Co

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1950. From British Motor Cars 1950/51.
1950. From British Motor Cars 1950/51.

Marauder Car Company was a British car company founded by Rover engineers George Mackie and Peter Wilks. It built a sports car at premises initially in Dorridge, West Midlands and later in Kenilworth, Warwickshire between 1950 and 1952.

Initially called Wilks, Mackie and Co the name changed to the Marauder Car Company in 1951.

The design was largely the work of Peter Wilks and "Spen" King. Like Wilks, King was a nephew of brothers Spencer and Maurice Wilks who ran the Rover car company, and was later famous for his involvement in many Rover and Leyland Group designs.

The car named the "A", later joined by the "100", was based on the Rover P4 75 with the chassis shortened by 9 inches from 111 inches to 102 inches, the track remaining the same at 52 inches. The suspension was stiffened retaining the coil sprung independent front suspension and elliptical sprung live rear axle. The engine was moved back to allow for the fitting of 2/3 seater open coachwork with the Rover gearbox retained with optional overdrive instead of the Rover free wheel mechanism. The gear change moved from column to floor. One fixed head coupé was also made.

The first few bodies were made by Richard Mead in his Dorridge works and used some Rover panels but later ones were made by Abbey Panels of Coventry. The 6 cylinder, inlet over exhaust valve, 2,103 cc Rover engine was slightly modified with higher compression ratio to raise the output by about 5 bhp to 80 bhp whilst the 100 version was bored out to 2,392 cc and fitted with triple SU carburettors to give 105 bhp. The A was capable of 90 mph and the 100 100 mph.

About 15 cars were made including 2 of the 100s before rising costs and tax changes priced the cars out of the market. In 1950 the car cost £1,236 rising to over £2,000 in 1952.

1952 The firm closed, George Mackie, Peter Wilks, Spen King and Peter Middleton all rejoined Rover.




  • A/100 1950-52.

THE MARAUDER

  • The new firm of Wilks, Mackie and Co released details of their first car, the three-seat Marauder sports tourer, in August, 1950. This car is powered by a standard Rover '75' engine in which the compression ratio has been raised to 7.6 to 1. It develops 80 b.h.p. at 4,200 r.p.m.
  • The prototype Marauder was completed in late July, 1950, and immediately taken on a 2,000-mile tour on the Continent, during which it successfully withstood very severe treatment.
  • Complete all-weather equipment is provided and can be stowed neatly behind the seat squab, as will be seen from the photographs. Among the many interesting features of the Marauder is an adjustment for steering-column rake that can be made from the driver's seat.
  • Main details, apart from the engine, are:
    • PERFORMANCE. Maximum speed in excess of 90 m.p.h.
    • DIMENSIONS. Length: 13 ft. 10 ins. Height over hood: 4 ft. 9 ins. Width: 5 ft. 6 ns. Wheelbase: 8 ft. 6 ins. Track: 4 ft. 4 ins. (front); 4 ft. 3.5 ins. (rear). Fuel capacity: 11.5 gallons. Tyre size: 6.00 X 15.

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