Sunday, October 29, 2017

Charles Clark - Triumph car dealer 48

This article is about Charles Clark and is number 48 in my continuing series about Standard Triumph car dealers.
Charles Clark window sticker
Charles Clark window sticker
Charles Clark Wolverhampton window sticker

Charles Clark operated over a number of different sites. I have listed the subsidiary companies as they were in 1981 later in this article.
the Charles Clark Group window sticker
the Charles Clark Group window sticker
The company branding has changed over the years. Sometimes known as Charles Clark, the Charles Clark Group and later as Hartwell Charles Clark.
Hartwell Charles Clark window sticker
Hartwell Charles Clark window sticker

Currently there is a business trading as Charles Clark.
Charles Clark modern logo
Charles Clark modern logo

Coach builder

Early in their history the company was a coach builder. This Rolls-Royce Phantom II was sold for around £1 million in 1986 and subsquently auctioned by Bonhams.
The 1926 Phantom I has frescoes on the ceiling, a drinks cabinet and rear seats which took more than nine months to create.

Commissioned by Clarence Gasque – a financial director of Woolworth’s – as a surprise gift for his wife Maude, it has been described as a palace on wheels.

Gasque, a London-based American, bought the chassis and drivetrain from Rolls-Royce for £1,600, and ended up spending a further £5,000 on the project, creating the world’s most expensive car.

He gave it to coachbuilder Charles Clark of Wolverhampton with the demand the car’s design must be French.
Craftsmen from Aubusson, France, spent nine months working on the tapestry for the rear seats, costing £500 – the same price as the average home at the time.

As passengers sit on the back seat they gaze upwards at the naked cherubs painted on the ceiling.

Charles Clark Woverhampton

Charles Clark, Wolverhampton Rover Group advert
Charles Clark, Wolverhampton Rover Group advert

Charls Clark Merridale Road Wolverhampton
Charls Clark Merridale Road Wolverhampton
Whilst the Wolverhampton branch on Merridale Road, Chapel Ash stood empty the building was damaged. The local authority served notice for work to be done to protect both the building and land in 2005. The company failed to comply and was fined £2000 with £600 costs.

Rally support

Austin Westminster rally barge

Austin Westminster rally barge image 2
A Charles Clark Group sponsored Austin Westminster estate car was used as rally service support vehicle.

Subsidary companies

The Charles Group consisted of business at many different locations. In the company accounts for Charles Clark & Son Limited for the year to 31 December 1981: Alexander Finance Company Limited, Charles Clark Commercial Vehicles Limited, Charles Clark Drive Hire Limited,
Charles Clark Group Fleet Limited, Charles Clark Newtown Limited, Charles Clark Shrewsbury Limited, Charles Clark Stafford Limited, Charles Clark Telford Limited, Charles Clark Walsall Limited, Charles Clark West Bromwich Limited, Charles Clark & Son (West Bromwich) Limited
Charles Clark Woverhampton Limited, Dartmouth Contract Hire Limited, Dulac Garages Limited,
Enterprise Garage Bridgenorth Limited, Enterprise Garage Chester Limited, Meiron Motors Limited.

Plea for information

If you have any more information or recollections about the Charles Clark group, 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

Further information and sources

Link to the other articles in this series.

Link to face book page: Triumph Car Dealers.

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

I have a collection of Standard Triumph car dealer directories:

Picture credits:Charles Clark Wolverhampton window sticker David Rumens; Charls Clark Merridale Road Wolverhampton by Robert Francis facebook; Rolls Royce images from Bonhams ;Austin Westminster rally barge image 2 Aaron Gee on flickr; Charles Clark, Wolverhampton Rover Group advert; Charles Clark modern logo from Charles Clark website;
Post a Comment