Saturday, July 30, 2016

Wicliffe Motor Co Ltd of Stroud, Gloucester and Tewkesbury - Triumph Car Dealers 20

Number 20 in my series of articles about Triumph car dealers this article is about Wicliffe Motor Co Ltd.

Wicliffe Motor Co Ltd a short history

With it origins in a cycle shop in1907 the company was established 10 September 1917 and became a limited company in 1929. At first the business dealt with  both cycles and cars in equal measure.  From 1936 the building was updated and the separate bike shop was amalgamated in one larger single frontage. The building were updated again in 1954 at which time the stores were increased in size.

Wicliffe sold the locally produced Hampton cars.

Hampton 10HP
Frederick Smith,  with cigarette, the founder of Wicliffe Motor Co Ltd in a 10HP Hampton tackling a hillclimb in 1914.

The garage sold several marques of cars over the years. They sold both Austin and Morris until the time came in the late 1920's when the manufacturers insisted on exclusive agents Wicliffe dropped the Austin franchise and took on the other marques from the Nuffield group MG, Wolseley and Riley.

As at 1956 the company had bought or established other business: Morris House, Bath Road, Cheltenham in 1918; Wicliffe, Worcester Road, Gloucester in 1946; Western Garage, Cairncross in 1930; Gwent Motors, Newport in 1931.  The Cheltenham premises became the group HQ.

In parallel with the car business the firm developed and expanded its Morris Commercial vehicle operations.

Morris Commercial delivery van

From the Commercial Motor archive a 16 May 1958 article:
To ensure speedy delivery of Morris Commercial spares in Gloucester, the new premises of the Wicliffe Motor Co., Ltd., arc supplied by their Cheltenham. stock-control branch, who are in Telex communication with the Cowley works. Wicliffe are operating a special spares van which visits the vehicle factory every day to maintain the 140,000 stock at Cheltenham. They receive more than 3 tons of spares a week from Cowley.

The company are Morris-Commercial distributors for the Cheltenham, Gloucester and Stroud areas. Their extension at Mercia Street, Gloucester, covers 10,000 sq. ft., and the installation includes a double sunken workshop, fitted with a Wakefield waste-oil collection system, with movable draining pans which discharge into an outside tank.• This enables mechanics to combine work on two vehicles at floor level, whilst a third vehicle can be lifted on a 3-ton electrically operated machine.

Departments separate from the floor area comprise a welding shop, tool store. bulk-oil store, battery-charging room and an injection-testing bay. There is also a mess-room for the mechanics.

Service equipment includes a 50-ton hydraulic press, a mobile jib crane and mobile lubricator, a high-pressure washing machine and a paraffin cleaning tank.

1983 window sticker
The business employed at least 90 staff in 1994. Wicliffe Motor Co Ltd the company was dissolved 9 October 2012.

Dealer address info

My dealer directories cover the period from 1955 until 1974.  I have not been able to find when Wicliffe Motor Co Ltd got the Triumph franchise can you help?

Plea for information

If you have any more information or recollections about these garages, 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

Further information 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.

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.

I have a collection of Standard Triumph car dealer directories: http://vitessesteve.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/triumph-car-dealer-directories.html

Picture credits: window sticker Trigger on Flickr; Morris Commercial delivery van Commercial Motor; Hampton 10HP car a Classic Trails website; The images from the early history came Stroud Local History Society.
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