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Homepage. This page: Great old advertising relating to vintage motorcars

Old Advertisements - how motoring has changed

A flashback to how motoring has changed since WW2

Parsons snow chains
My plan is to feature a wide selection of old advertisements that relate to motoring back in the 1940s and 1950s, when many of the classic cars now owned were brand new vehicles.

Some of the larger automobile accessory and tool companies back then still survive today, and their advertising can often be found at vintage shows, autojumbles, and so on. Here I'd like to focus on period advertising from the less well known companies, or names that have long since disappeared, either through mergers in later years or just the natural passage of time.

To my mind, the study of old motoring literature and advertising gives some real clues to how motoring was back then, how tough it was just to keep on top of the rigorous maintenance schedules that most cars needed, and the actual cost of driving a motorcar back when it was not assumed that everyone would have one, two or even three cars outside their home.

Wingard windscreen wiper blades
Park Batteries
After the war for instance, motoring was not the relatively painless experience that it is now. Fuel rationing was still big news, and much of the postwar new car production was destined for overseas markets until well into the 1950s, simply to get cash flowing into the country following the devastation of WW2. Many of the car manufacturers from before hostilities didn't make it into postwar Britain, others did, but had to merge with other concerns simply to keep afloat. Rootes and BMC were classic examples of how some one-time independent car makers had to join forces, the former comprising companies such as Hillman, Humber, Singer and Sunbeam, the latter pulling such grand marques as Riley, Austin, Morris, Wolseley and MG under one roof, so to speak.

Freol
Supplying the owners of these motorcars was a huge network of small businesses, many employing engineering skills learnt during the war and applying them to the running, maintenance, and improvement, of the automobile. Many pre-war cars were simply dusted off and pressed back into regular service, this often requiring a great deal of the 'make do and mend' philosophy to keep them running, as funds to buy a brand spanking new car were not always to hand. Nowadays many see it as a 'right' to be able to buy a new car, and get swallowed up in a mountain of credit and debt to fulfil this so called need. But sixty years ago there was no such easy credit, and, in fact, it was often looked upon as an act of ludicrous extravagance to borrow cash simply to buy a new set of wheels.

Back then owner drivers had to really work at keeping their old cars on the road, often keeping them roadworthy well beyond their natural design life.

And it is for such hands-on motorists that companies up and down the land supplied a mind-boggling array of accessories, garage equipment, luxury gadgets, and routine service items, to aid them in their bid to keep a car on the road and in decent fettle.

Gallery of period motoring and garage advertisements:
(Also see Page 2 showing yet more old car and lorry advertising)

Socket sets and tools from  Abingdon King Dick Ltd   Auto Cables from  Aerialite Ltd   Suspension damper from  Andre Components Ltd   Tyres from  Bergougnan Tyre Co. Ltd   Number plates from  Bluemels  
Duco battery from  Brown Brothers   Lubricating equipment from  Buck and Hickman Ltd Garage Equipment   Exhaust silencers from  Burgess Products Co. Ltd   Beemee Tyreflator from  Burtonwood Engineering Co. Ltd   Wakefield Lubrequipment from  C.C. Wakefield and Co. Ltd  
Exide Double-Life batteries from  Chloride Electrical Storage Co. Ltd   Fuels and service from  Cleveland   Rayon Cord tyres from  Courtaulds   Van seat from  Cox and Co (Watford) Ltd   DRH Car radio from  Delco-Remy-Hyatt  
DRH Motor Radio from  Delco-Remy-Hyatt   Tyres from  Dominion Rubber Company Ltd   Garage equipment from  Dunlop   Car radio from  E.K. Cole Ltd   13ft Caravan from  Eccles (Birmingham) Ltd  
Farm Filtrate tractor oils from  Edward Joy and Sons Ltd   Engine valves from  Farnborough Engineering Co.   Tranco valves from  Farnborough Engineering Co.   Penetrating fluid from  Fletcher Miller Ltd   Sparking Plugs from  Forward Plug Co. Ltd  
battery from  GNU Accumulators   Brake and Clutch linings from  Hall and Nielsen Ltd   Reconditioned engines from  Hamilton Motors Ltd   controlled flexible bearings from  Howard Clayton-Wright Ltd   Payen were well known for their gasket manufacture in days gone by. The advert is targeting people who demand quality in the engine gaskets they buy. As with many period advertisements there is an element of humour incorporating within the artwork of this ad. J. Payen Ltd were located on Berwick Avenue in Slough. from  J. Payen Ltd  
Lucas ignition components from  Joseph Lucas Ltd   Coachwork polish from  Kerrys Great Britain Ltd   Spark Plugs from  Lodge Plugs Ltd   Breakdown cranes from  Mann Egerton and Co. Ltd   Diesel lorries from  Morris Commercial Cars Ltd  
Petrol from  National Benzole   fog and driving lamps from  Notek   Oldham heavy duty battery from  Oldham and Son Ltd   Contact grinder from  Paget   Batteries from  Park Bros Ltd  
battery from  Park Bros Ltd   Crankshaft repair from  Phoenix   Dry starter batteries from  Rapid Services (Ldn) Ltd.   Cranes and Jacks from  Richard C. Gibbings and Co. Ltd.   Vulcaniser from  Romac Industries Ltd  
Permanent fuses from  S. Guiterman and Co. Ltd.   KLG Plug recommendation chart from  Smiths Motor Accessories   Motor oils from  Speedwell Motor Oils   Freol Penetrating Oil from  Stenor Ltd   Tyre pressure gauge from  Stenor Ltd  
Pedal rubbers from  Surridges Patents Ltd   Pistons from  Sylicum Pistons Ltd   Holospar Refrigerated bodies from  T. Coleborn and Sons   Oil filter elements from  Tecalemit Brentford Essex   Tyres from  The Regent Tyre and Rubber Co. Ltd  
15cwt van from  Trojan   Remould tyres from  Union Tyre Suppliers (Gt. Britain) Ltd   Upper cylinder lubricant from  United Lubricants Ltd   Tri-van and By-Van LDV from  University Motors Ltd   Wax spray polish from  Valay Industries  
Batteries from  W. Gill and Co. Ltd   Cellulose finishes from  W.H.Palmer and Co. Ltd   Foot pump from  Walters and Dobson Ltd   Accessories from  Wilcot (Parent) Co. Ltd   Driving mirror from  Wingard  
Licence holders from  Wingard   wing mirrors from  Wingard  
Abingdon King Dick Ltd   Aerialite Ltd   Andre Components Ltd   Bergougnan Tyre Co. Ltd   Bluemels   Brown Brothers   Buck and Hickman Ltd Garage Equipment   Burgess Products Co. Ltd   Burtonwood Engineering Co. Ltd   C.C. Wakefield and Co. Ltd   Chloride Electrical Storage Co. Ltd   Cleveland   Courtaulds   Cox and Co (Watford) Ltd   Delco-Remy-Hyatt   Delco-Remy-Hyatt   Dominion Rubber Company Ltd   Dunlop   E.K. Cole Ltd   Eccles (Birmingham) Ltd   Edward Joy and Sons Ltd   Farnborough Engineering Co.   Farnborough Engineering Co.   Fletcher Miller Ltd   Forward Plug Co. Ltd   GNU Accumulators   Hall and Nielsen Ltd   Hamilton Motors Ltd   Howard Clayton-Wright Ltd   J. Payen Ltd   Joseph Lucas Ltd   Kerrys Great Britain Ltd   Lodge Plugs Ltd   Mann Egerton and Co. Ltd   Morris Commercial Cars Ltd   National Benzole   Notek   Oldham and Son Ltd   Paget   Park Bros Ltd   Park Bros Ltd   Phoenix   Rapid Services (Ldn) Ltd.   Richard C. Gibbings and Co. Ltd.   Romac Industries Ltd   S. Guiterman and Co. Ltd.   Smiths Motor Accessories   Speedwell Motor Oils   Stenor Ltd   Stenor Ltd   Surridges Patents Ltd   Sylicum Pistons Ltd   T. Coleborn and Sons   Tecalemit Brentford Essex   The Regent Tyre and Rubber Co. Ltd   Trojan   Union Tyre Suppliers (Gt. Britain) Ltd   United Lubricants Ltd   University Motors Ltd   Valay Industries   W. Gill and Co. Ltd   W.H.Palmer and Co. Ltd   Walters and Dobson Ltd   Wilcot (Parent) Co. Ltd   Wingard   Wingard   Wingard  

If you're also interested in the types of publications that these adverts may have appeared in, take a look at the old car magazines section!

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