Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Carrs AutoSales Ltd of Croydon - Triumph car dealers 1

Carrs Auto Sales  Ltd Croydon metal supplier badge
Carrs Auto Sales  Ltd Croydon metal supplier badge
I recently got a copy of a booklet that lists all the Triumph car dealers and distributors in the UK in 1969/1970.  When I mentioned this online people have shared some images etc about dealers.

Mark Hammond a fellow Club Triumph forum member said 11-11-2015
Frank Carr of Carrs Auto Sales Croydon was a well known Triumph Dealer back in the 50's, 60's and 70's.  He was well known to Triumph top brass and as we all know the the Herald was named after the boat the Alec Dick owned at the time, well it was Frank Carr who sold him the boat!  I'm not sure whether Frank is still Alive, if he is, he'd be terribly old now.

Carrs Auto Sales sill plate
Carrs Auto Sales sill plate original

Carrs Auto Sales sill plate restored
Carrs Auto Sales sill plate restored
Dan16V, also on Club Triumph forum member, shared pictures of his sill plates said a nearby garage had told him 11-11-2015:
 Yes Carrs were a Triumph dealer next door to us. Superb prewar style showroom, parquet wood flooring, red carpets between the vehicles and unusually the showroom had “Concave “ glass windows so that you could view the vehicles without reflections. Salesmen wore three piece suits and were terribly deferential in a most charming manner.

They had a small three pump petrol forecourt National Benzol I think.

They later became Fiat dealer however the site was sold for development during the late 70s or possibly early 80s.
Carrs Auto Sales sill plate version 2
Carrs Auto Sales sill plate version 2
An alternative version of the Carrs Auto Sales sill plate - image from Nassos Sarris on facebook.

Here is version 3 as sent to me via facebook from Flavien Vidal in Canada on his friends Vitesse which is in Japan. What a amasing connected world we live in.

Carrs Auto Sales plate screwed to door card on 1958 TR3A
Carrs Auto Sales plate
Carrs Auto Sales supplier plate screwed to door card on 1958 TR3A belonging to Andrew Smith
Carrs Auto Sales new garage building

Carrs garage Croydon started out as a Hudson and Standard dealer. The company Carrs Auto Sales Limited was established 4 December 1946. In 1954 they were selling the Swallow Doretti as well. In 1962 they were selling Jaguars. At another point in its history it sold Fiat cars but the building still displayed the Standard House name.

Swallow Doretti advert from Motor 13 October 1954
Swallow Doretti advert from Motor 13 October 1954
 Advert from Motor 25-07-1962
During my searches I found an image of a 1926 advertisement for Carr's Garage, Purley High Street, Croydon.
1926 advertisement for Carr's Garage, Purley High Street, Croydon.
1926 advertisement for Carr's Garage

Standard Vanguard liveried van

Standard Vanguard van in Cars Auto Sales livery
Standard Vanguard van in Cars Auto Sales livery
I found this image on flickr.  If this is your van I would be pleased to hear from you.

A family controlled business

It was reported in June 1963 Standard Triumph Review that Mr. Arthur Bernard Carr had resigned his appointment as Joint Managing Director with Mr. Frank W. Carr, of Carrs Auto Sales Ltd., and retired from the Company, with a view to turning his interests more actively to to the running and development of the Hotel side of the family interests.
Mr. Leslie G. Smith, who had held the position of Director and General Manager for many years, and had been with the Company for some 30 years, was appointed Deputy Managing Director. The constitution of the Board then being:-
Frank W. Carr, Chairman and Managing Director
Leslie G. Smith, Deputy Managing Director
Mrs. Peggy D. Carr, Director

A boat called Herald

There is well known story that: Frank Carr (owner of Carrs Auto Services) was a personal friend of Alec Dick the MD of Standard Triumph. Frank Carr sold Alec Dick his boat called 'Herald', and when Alec Dick was looking for a name for their newly designed car, he thought his new boat name would ideally fit the bill ...... and so came about the naming of the 'Triumph Herald'.

Triumph dealers in the Croydon area

There were many garages selling Standard and Triumph cars in 1954 as shown in this advert from Autocar 22 October 1954.
Standard Triumph dealers in and near Croydon 1954
Standard Triumph dealers in and near Croydon 1954
In 1955:
Carrs Auto Sales Ltd., Standard House, South End, Croydon.- listed as distributor
and these other business listed as Triumph dealers:
Burns, A. N., & Co. Ltd., 281 High Street.
Central Garage (Croydon) Ltd., Fell Road.
K. & T. Services Limited, 274 Wickham Road, Shirley.
Leathwoods Garages Ltd., 3 Selhurst Road, South Norwood.
Moore's Presto Motor Works Ltd., Tamworth Road.
Neill, Norman, Ltd., Park Hill Garage, 11 Addiscombe Grove.
Ratcliffes (Purley Way) Ltd., Purley Way.

In 1969: Carrs Auto Sales Ltd, Standard House, 2 South End, Croydon are listed as a distributor and Carrs Auto Services Ltd Tamworth Road Service Station, Tamworth Road, are listed as a dealer.

In the Standard Triumph Review for June 1968 they are listed as the distributor for Surrey and Kent.

By 1972:
Henlys Ltd, 399/403 London Road, West Croydon CR9 3BY are listed as disributor and
Trirov Ltd, Tamworth Road Service Station, 73 Tamworth Road, Croydon CRO 1XX are listed as a dealer.

Plea for information

If you have any more information or recollections about this garage, photos of window stickers, dealer badges or sill plates etc please let me know.  I can be contacted via the comments to this post or on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/stephen.weblin

Links and sources


Link to the other articles in this series.

Link to my Triumph Car Dealers Flickr gallery of images I have found on Flickr.

This is the first in an occasional series about Triumph car dealers.  You can download a copy of the Triumph Sales and Service Directory 1968-69 which started me off on the search for info about Triumph car dealers.

Picture credits:  Carrs Auto Sales supplier plate - Andrew Smith on the TR Register forum;  Carrs Auto Sales sill plate - Dan16V on the Club Triumph forum; Carrs Auto Sales sill plate version 2; Sill plate version 3 is from Rie Kurahashi in Canada; Standard Vanguard van in Cars Auto Sales livery is from Kentishphil on flickr.
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