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British Industrial History

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Argyll Motors

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1905. Argyll engine 20-35 h.p. with poppet valves. Exhibit at Glasgow Museum of Transport.
February 1905. 24 h.p.
September 1905.
September 1905.
July 1906.
Published in 1906.
November 1906.
February 1907. Advert for 14-16 h.p.
March 1907. 16-20 h.p. 20 cwt. lorry.
March 1907. Advert for 12-14 h.p. and 16-20 h.p. cars.
April 1907.
November 1907. 40 h.p.
November 1907. 40 h.p.
April 1907.
June 1909. 14-16 h.p.
November 1909.
November 1909. Advert for 10 h.p., 12-14 h.p., 15 h.p., 14-16 h.p., 20 h.p. and 30 h.p. models.
November 1911.
November 1911.
February 1912.
February 1912.
January 1920.
January 1920.
January 1920.
February 1921.
June 1923.
October 1923.
August 1926.

Argyll was a Scottish motor car marque manufactured from 1899 to 1932.

  • 1899-1905 Hozier Engineering Co of Bridgeton, Glasgow
  • 1905-1909 Argyll Motors Ltd of Alexandria, Dumbartonshire
  • 1909-1914 Argyll Ltd of Alexandria, Dumbartonshire

See also Argyll: Cars

1905 March 11th. Argyll Motors was registered to take over as a going concern the Hozier Engineering Co. [1]

1905 October. Advertisement shows Eustace H. Watson as chairman and managing director of Argylls, London Ltd.[2]

1905 Opened large factory at Alexandria[3] and retained the old Bridgton premises as a repair and service depot under A. Morris Thomson.

1906 August. Report of a drive from Glasgow to London in an Argyll by Eustace H. Watson.[4]

The Alexandria factory was never used to capacity, and the company began to decline after Alex Govan's death in 1907 and then went into liquidation in 1908.

1908 November. Details of the proposed reconstruction scheme.[5]

1909 January 19th. New company registered as Argylls Ltd with Thomas Dence (CHairman) and John Smart Matthew as Managing Director

1910 Production restarted with a new range of cars including the famed "Flying Fifteen", and a six-cylinder model. The 12/14 was widely sold as a taxi even being exported to New York. Four-wheel brakes designed by J. M. Rubury of Argyll and patented on 18th March 1910 by Henri Perrot and John Meredith Rubury (Patent number 6807) were available from 1911 on.

1910 Listed as 'Argylls, Ltd., Alexandria; showrooms, 92-94 Mitchell st, city; repair works and garage, Graham st, Bridgton.' under 'Motor car Agents'.[6]

1911 Motor Show. Showed four-stroke sleeve-valve engine. [7]

The Knight and Kilbourne Patents Co brought a case against Argylls for infringement of their original 1905 patent. This patent described an engine with a single moving sleeve. As part of the litigation an engine was built according to the 1905 specification and developed no more than a fraction of the rated RAC horsepower. This fact coupled with other legal and technical arguments led the judge to rule, at the end of July 1912, that the holders of the original Knight patent could not be supported in their claim that it gave them master rights encompassing the Argyll design. It is reported that litigation by the owners of the Knight patents cost Argyll ₤50,000, perhaps one of the reasons for the temporary shutdown of their plant.

1912 The single Sleeve valve engine designed by company director Peter Burt and James Harry Keighly McCollum began production; the entire range featured the Burt-McCollum engines by 1914.

1914 R. W. Blackwell is Chairman

1914 Argyll changed hands and the Alexandria factory was sold to the Royal Navy for torpedo production.

Car production was resumed on a small scale in the original Bridgeton works under the control of John Brimlow who had previously run the repair department. The first product from the new company was a revival of the pre-war 15·9 hp model, now with electric starter but few were sold.

1914 Listed as motor car manufacturers. Specialities: high-class automobiles for private or industrial purposes. Employees 1,650. [8]

1927 The company made a final appearance at the London Motor Show and the last cars were probably made in 1928.

1932 Mention of J. D. Brimlow of Argyll Motors.[9]

The company though still advertised until Argyll closed in 1932.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  2. The Graphic - Saturday 14 October 1905
  3. The Autocar 1906/06/30
  4. Automotor Journal 1906/08/18
  5. The Autocar 1908/11/28
  6. 1910/11 Post Office Directory of Glasgow
  7. The Engineer 1911/11/03 p466
  8. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  9. Motherwell Times - Friday 01 January 1932