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Homepage. This page: An unusual item of garage paperwork relating to the Second World War era.

Frank Ellis automobile engineers, Didsbury.

Frank Ellis Didsbury Limited (Automobile Engineers) was situated on Wilmslow Road in the town. This particular invoice, printed on the flimsiest of wartime-grade paper, dates to October 1942 and relates to the laying-up of a customer's car during WW2. Credit for finding this goes to Richard Warren, who kindly sent it over to be included on Old Classic Car. The garage business appears to have been a sizeable operation, it was an RAC-authorised repairer, and could supply all manner of new cars (well, maybe prior to the war it could), including Riley, Austin, Humber, Rover, Hillman and Armstrong-Siddeley cars. The 1939/1940 RAC Handbook contains an entry for Frank Ellis, under "Manchester" rather than "Didsbury".
A Mr Thompson, of 11 Priory Gardens, had requested that the garage collect his car, prepare it for laying up for the duration of hostilities, then return it to his house for storage, as the faint pencil-written notes on the invoice record. I grew up just down the road from Didsbury, in Cheadle, so know the area well. Alas the make and model of car isn't specified.
Frank Ellis' garage in Didsbury
"Sending to house & towing in car to garage. Washing & polishing, greasing metal. Oiling & greasing, spraying springs etc & servicing car for storage. Returning car to house, draining radiator & jacking up. (Bricks taken 2/6). Draining battery & filling with water."
This fragile item of garage ephemera sheds light on the type of activities that garage businesses undertook during the war years, countless cars received similar preparations during the early 1940s before being put up on bricks, awaiting a hoped-for return to normality. Some would see the road again, albeit infrequently due to petrol rationing that continued long after the war had ended. Others would remain on blocks for years, before finally being dragged away to the breaker's yard and the scrap man's gas torch. A few, however, I'm sure still sit in cobweb-covered garages, awaiting their turn for attention, generations of families not having the heart to dispose of the ageing, silent, machine now entrusted to them.
Return to the Motoring Collectables section, for lots more unique items of motoring memorabilia. As further examples of garage- and car-related paperwork turn up, I'll add them in here.

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