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Homepage. This page: A motor sales company in Glasgow replies to a potential customer in this 1907 letter.

The Western Motor Company, Buchanan Street, Glasgow.

There are many items of original paperwork in this section relating to early motoring-related businesses, this two-page letter issued by The Western Motor Company Ltd in 1907 is one of the earliest, and therefore rarest. For its age, it has survived in amazing condition. The Western Motor Company Ltd had their offices and showrooms at 70 Buchanan Street in Glasgow. The building exists to this day, now called Rowan House and sited in a smart pedestrianised area. The Managing Director is given as W.T.R. Shirrefs-Gordon, and the second page of this communication is signed by him. A second address, referred to as the "Garage & Repair Works", is given as 117-127 Berkeley Street in Charing Cross, and was "always open". Looking at the area now, much of it is modern office blocks so the old repair garage is probably long gone. Even the style of staple used is distinctive and very different to anything I've seen on later items of ephemera similar in nature to this.
This letter, of 28th January 1907, was sent following an enquiry about - and a test run of - a French 20hp Delaunay-Belleville motor car, a fine mode of transport of the Edwardian era. Several vintage photographs featuring just such a car can be seen on the Delaunay-Belleville page within this site's extensive image archive. The letter, sent by the M.D. himself, reads as follows. It extends to two pages, but without creasing the page over, I can only scan the first - main - sheet. The recipient was a Mr P.W. Campbell Esq, of 25 Moray Place, Edinburgh.
Delaunay Belleville at the Western Motor Company
Dear Sir,
With reference to run which you recently had on 20hp Delaunay-Belleville, I should be glad to know if I can send you any further particulars in regard to these cars. My reason for writing is that my available chassis are rapidly being booked up, and as the Glasgow Show starts at the end of this week I expect that after the Show I will have no chassis left for early delivery. At present I can offer you a 20hp chassis, delivery in February, or a 40hp chassis delivery same month. I cannot deliver a 28hp chassis until the end of March. In the case of the former two types, you could have the complete car by the middle of April, and in the case of the latter type, about the end of April, that is presuming you were placing your order for the chassis at once, and at the same time giving your specification to the coachbuilders.
I am sure that should you purchase a Belleville you will have the same satisfaction with it as all the other Belleville owners in Scotland (are having). If you wish it I can send you a list of some of the owners, and I am sure that they would be glad to give you their opinion on the car.
Assuring you of my best attention, and anticipating a favourable reply.
I am, Yours faithfully,
W.T.R. Shirrefs-Gordon.
Did Mr Campbell take up Mr Shirrefs-Gordon on his offer, and if so which chassis did he specify - 20hp, 28hp, or 40hp? A little while ago, a Delaunay-Belleville of 1911 sold on prewarcar.com and was originally supplied by The Western Motor Company, so at least one example of this French marque, sold by this Glasgow-based dealer, is still in existence.
This letter is another reminder of how smartly illustrated many items of early 20th Century paperwork were. Many more similar examples can be found in the Motoring Collectables section here at Old Classic Car.

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