Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,136 pages of information and 245,598 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Pressed Steel Co

From Graces Guide
October 1931. Hillman Wizard with a body by Pressed Steel Co
October 1931.
October 1936.
October 1937.
January 1939.
May 1939.
Sept 1940.
April 1943.
November 1943.
June 1944.
Dec 1945.
October 1951.
November 1954.
October 1956.
1959. Name plate on railway truck.
Oct 1960.
October 1962.
February 1962.
February 1962. Prestacold
Oct 1962.

The Pressed Steel Company (PSC) of Cowley, Oxford was a British car body manufacturing company who later diversified into other products including refrigerators.

Today, at what was the company's Swindon plant, the BMW subsidiary Swindon Pressings has been established

Car Body

1926 Established as a joint venture (public company) between William Morris, the Budd Corporation and an American bank. Morris had seen the potential of pressed steel car bodies being developed at Budd in the U.S. The new venture started up by supplying car bodies to Morris's Morris Motor Company, with its plant being located alongside.

1935 Budd had withdrawn and the company was fully independent, and also producing car bodies for competitors of MMC.

1936 April: Most of the shares were offered for sale to the public[1].

1950s The company was making bodies for most of the major car companies in the UK including Rolls-Royce, Rootes, and the Standard Motor Co.

1956 The Pressed Steel Co opened a new plant in Swindon to provide extra capacity.

1959 M. A. H. Bellhouse was deputy chairman and J. R. Edwards was managing director. E. G. Rowledge was senior director of the Prestcold Division.[2]

1961 Main works at Cowley. Branches at Theale, Paisley, Swindon and Swansea. Employs 22,170.

1961 They opened their Linwood, Scotland plant alongside the new Rootes Linwood plant to provide bodies for the new Hillman Imp being produced there.

1961 Designers, manufacturers and assemblers of steel car bodies.

1963 Motor Show exhibitor. Showed car bodies.[3]

1966 Pressed Steel Co came together with Jaguar and the British Motor Corporation (BMC) to form British Motor Holdings (BMH).

1968 BMH merged with the Leyland Motor Corporation to form the British Leyland Motor Corporation (BLMC). By this time PSC had become the world's largest independent car body and car body tool manufacturer, and supplied bodies and tools not only for the British motor industry but for Volvo, Alfa Romeo and Hindustan Motors also.

Under BLMC the business of the old BMC body making subsidiary Fisher and Ludlow was merged with that of PSC to form the Pressed Steel Fisher.

1994 When BMW acquired Rover Group, they became owners of the former PSC's Swindon pressing plant. Although BMW disposed of much of Rover Group's assets in 2000, they retained the Swindon pressings plant and set up a subsidiary, Swindon Pressings Limited (SPL), there in 2000. SPL now provides most of the body panels and body sub-assemblies for the MINI models produced by BMW's MINI subsidiary in Cowley.


1947 A factory in Linwood, Scotland, was acquired by PSC in 1947 where they manufactured railway rolling stock.

1961 Designers, manufacturers and assemblers of railway carriages and wagons.


1939 See Aircraft Industry Suppliers

Pressed Steel owned and operated aircraft for business purposes from Oxford Airport at Kidlington

1960 Acquired Auster Aircraft Co of Rearsby airfield; formed British Executive and General Aviation (BEAGLE) as a subsidiary for the manufacture of aircraft; it would have technical and manufacturing support from F. G. Miles of Shoreham-by-Sea. The company stated that this diversification was a logical extension into other fields of transport and would make use of the company's knowledge in production methods[4]


Ditto Address: Telephone: 7134. Telegraphic Address: "Presings, Cowley". (1937)

1935 The Pressed Steel Co was making Prestcold refrigerators

1936 Private company formed, Refigeration (Birmingham) Ltd to make the refrigerators

1937 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Automatic Electric Domestic Refrigerators in several sizes. cold Storage Rooms and Service Cabinets for commercial use, operated automatically. Ice Cream making and Storage Cabinets. Equipment suitable for Milk cooling, etc. (Stand No. Cb.721).[5]

See Prestcold

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, 7 September 1936
  2. Company programme 1959
  3. * 1963 Motor Show
  4. The Times, Oct 07, 1960
  5. * 1937 British Industries Fair p403