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Homepage. This page: An original letter issued by a motor engineer, December 24th 1924.

1924 letter by A.J. White - Automobile Engineer, of Bruton, Somerset.

Not for Mr A.J. White a Christmas Eve of merriment and festive cheer in 1924, for it was on December 24th 1924 that he typed a disgruntled letter to a Mrs Marchant, of The Orchard, Westcombe, airing his displeasure over matters relating to the supply of a new Rover motor-car. The specific model of Rover isn't given, although it's quite likely that the car under discussion was a Rover 8, Rover's small car of the day.
Mr White's letterheading was particularly attractively-designed, incorporating a side-on illustration of a smart touring car of the vintage era. Not only was he a motor engineer, but we're told that he also had cars for hire, could supply accessories "of every description", and was also a "farm tractor expert", in addition to being a motor repairer and agent. No specific car manufacturers are listed on this letterheading, so presumably he'd endeavour to supply whatever his customer(s) required. Contact could be made by telephoning 7, within the small town of Bruton, or else a telegram sent to "White,Motors,Bruton" would also find him. No address is given, so perhaps he operated from home, on a mobile basis, rather than being fully established as a garage-owner, with commercial premises, a showroom, with petrol pumps, and so on.
Automobile engineer in Bruton, Somerset

Order for a new Rover car.

It would appear that Mrs Marchant had instructed Mr White to place an order for a new Rover motor-car, and had even handed over a deposit for it. For whatever reason, she then decided to try and back out of the arrangement, leading to Mr White feeling somewhat aggrieved after having expended time and effort in securing the car for her, as the letter reads:
"Dear Madam,
In reply to your letter of the 22nd inst., I would state that I consider your cancelment of order for new Rover Car to be most unreasonable. You are aware that we have gone to endless expense and trouble, together with a tremendous waste of time helping you to decide on the best and most servicable car, and offered terms to meet your request in every respect, also to finance the whole transation (sic), which has proved so very satisfactory with scores of people in various places. You also paid me the deposit on car and definitely placed order for the particular model, various letters and telephone calls have been sent up to Works pressing for early delivery, therefore placing me in a very awkward position. I would ask you if you consider this fair treatment.
Yours truly,
A.J. White.
Without having any of the other correspondence, from Mrs Marchant or from Mr White, it's impossible some 95 or so years later to know the full story, not least the reasons for the client going along with the purchase of the Rover until a very late stage in proceedings, only to then request that the order be cancelled. Whatever went on, this ancient letter is an interesting item of ephemera from the early days of motoring, and goes to show that disagreements between car sales agents and their customers are nothing new.
More period items relating to old vehicles, and the garages that sold and worked upon them, can be found in the Motoring Collectables section of oldclassiccar.co.uk

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