Scootacar made by Hunslet Engine Co (Photo - Andrew Johnson)
A Brief History of Car Manufacturing in LeedsAll | Appleyard of Leeds | Blackburn Aeroplane and Motor Co | Day - Leeds | Dougill's Engineering | Electromobile (Leeds) | Ginetta | Glover's Motors | Greenwood & Batley | Hunslet Engine Co | Rice & Co | Rodley | Sterling Engineering | West Leeds Motor Co
Were there any cars made in Leeds? The simple answer to this is YES. It gets rather more complex as the majority of the vehicle makers in Leeds were involved with commercial and military vehicles. In the early days of motoring we also find several small firms in little back street garages that might once have been the local smithy turning their hands to vehicle production. In some cases there is little more than a reference in an old trade directory to tell of these firms and below we list some of the firms found in the directories available online through the Graces Guide website.
Racing car manufacturers Ginetta were established by the Walklett brothers in 1958 and have over the years operated from a few UK sites. In 2005 Ginetta was acquired by LNT Automotive, a company run by racing car driver, engineer and businessman Lawrence Tomlinson. A couple of years later the firm moved to a new factory at Garforth near Leeds. The company's website boasts "Every car is produced in a state-of-the-art, 75,000 sq. ft. factory just outside of Leeds. With many components hand-crafted on site, Ginetta employs some of the UK's brightest engineering and manufacturing talent to bring to life the product range, from initial concept, right the way through to customer delivery."
Below - Video tour of Ginetta's Garforth factory
Internal Website Links
If road vehicles is your thing, the next size up on our site is our page on bus making in Leeds
As well as the Hunslet vehicle used in the Alien film we have a list of Leeds built items in films
External Website Links
Much of the information on this site was found in Graces Guide online material on Britain's industial heritage.
The Leodis website has several images relating to Appleyard of Leeds
This article was produced by Kris Ward and Andrew Johnson, any feedback or contributions about the Leeds engine making industry would be greatly appreciated.