Author Topic: Car Manufacturing in Belfast  (Read 6787 times)

Christopher

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Car Manufacturing in Belfast
« on: July 06, 2006, 10:36:23 PM »
It is interesting to note that there were cars being built both in Belfast and in Holywood, Co. Down .. a few miles from Befast before John DeLorean appeared on the scene. The Clarence Engineering Company of Belfast assembled  Triumph Heralds and John Crosslé manufactured sports / racing cars. Nobel Cars were made by Short and Harland in their factory at Newtownards. Several motor sport's enthusiats built their own cars. Do any of our members have photographs of such cars? Several of my friends drove Lotus Sevens .. David Baird, Pat Hobbs (he worked for Courtaulds. They supplied him with a Ford Consul) and Tony Nilen (he worked for a large paper manufacturer).

Christopher

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Re: Car Manufacturing in Belfast
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2006, 06:48:10 PM »
Would a prototype racing car, built by Castlewellan garage proprietor Patsy Mullen, count as Car Manufacturing ? He didn't go into mass production though :D

There is a Belfast connection with the publication of Patsy's book in 1986.
Eileen Mullen of Belfast and Jill Hutton of Belfast typed Patsy's manuscript.

Source: The In's, Outs and Whereabouts of Castlewellan by Patsy Mullen

Christopher

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Re: Car Manufacturing in Belfast
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2006, 10:05:01 PM »
Some great pictures were taken at the Eurofest 2001 of DeLorean cars at Stormont ... the building where the NI Assembly meets. The Eurofest website also contains pictures of the cars on the test track at the defunct DeLorean factory at Dunmurry. 

giannineo

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Re: Car Manufacturing in Belfast
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2006, 10:24:58 PM »
Christopher-try this link
 http://www.prewarcar.com/read_article.asp?ID=2250
     There may have been a car built by JB Ferguson of Belfast circa 1915-not sure,but may be worth a try.
  Shorts possibly built an armoured car based on a Land Rover around the late 50's early sixties.

giannineo

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Re: Car Manufacturing in Belfast
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2006, 10:28:23 PM »
Christopher,the armoured car was the Shorland.I think the original had a wee gun turret on it .

Keith Campbell

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Re: Car Manufacturing in Belfast
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2006, 12:49:08 PM »
Hi Chris You are right I remember it well it was used by the UDR in the 70,s We had 2 in Antrim they were unpopular with the men difficult to get in and out off in a hurry and the armour wasn't up to much might have stopped a shotgun but that was about it.
today started like any other but then  ...

acheux_rifleman

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Re: Car Manufacturing in Belfast
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2006, 12:45:28 AM »
Any member know anything of Chambers Motor Company of Belfast, circa 1913?

Had a relative who did his apprenticeship with them as a motor mechanic, prior to joining firstly the Royal Naval Air Service armoured cars, then the Motor Machine Gun Corps. He saw service in white Russia then Mesopotamia before succumbing to the infulenza epidemic.

He died in 1919 aged 19 years and is buried in Belfast City Cemetery. He was also a choirister at St. Anne's Cathedral.

Would like some background on Chambers to complete the picture!

Many thanks for taking the time to read my post.

Lest We Forget....

EllCee

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Re: Car Manufacturing in Belfast
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2006, 02:08:07 PM »
Re Chambers:

ARDS - Belfast (GB)



 Type: Road course
Length: 22 km (13.67 Miles)
Location: South-east of Belfast
Used: 1928-1936

The Tourist Trophy had been run at the Isle of Man before the First World War. In 1922 Harry Ferguson and Wallace McLeod managed to get the TT to the Ards track south-east of Belfast. The project was possible because of the fact that unlike in the rest of the United Kingdom the law in Ulster permitted roads to be closed off for motor racing.

      The circuit was circular shaped and went between the towns of Dundonald, Newtownards and Comber. The start was at the Newtownards Road 1 1/2 miles from Dundonald and 300m from the left hand Quarry Corner. The track continued towards Newtownards via Quarry Corner, then up Mill Hill and to Cree's Corner at the top of Bradshaw's Brae and then downhill, including seven bends within half a mile, leading to a railway bridge into Newtownards where it passed the Town Hall at the end of Regent Street and continued into Conway Square and from there to South Street. From there the track led, via its fastest sections, towards Comber, passing the aerodrome at Strangford Lough and going through a S-bend and over a level crossing into the town. There it made a 90 degree right hand turn around McWhinney's butcher shop and followed along the Ballystockart Road past the farm to Dundonald, where a hairpin led it back to the start section. Parts of the course were extremely narrow making passing almost impossible and visibility was also bad along several sections because of tall banks bordering the road. The track also crossed the railroad at a level crossing once and three times on bridges.

      The first Ulster TT was run in 1928 as a sports car handicap and was won by Kaye Don in a Lea Francis. Next year Rudi Caracciola dominated the event in rainy conditions in his big Mercedes-Benz SS and the year after that it was Nuvolari's turn for Alfa Romeo. By then the TT had proved highly popular with spectators counted in hundreds of thousands. Black won with a MG Midget in 1931, Whitcroft in a Riley the next year and Nuvolari was back to win in 1933. For 1934 the organizers decided to ban superchargers to move the cars from semi-GP types towards more normal street cars. Charles Dodson won that year with a works MG Magnette, a car rapidly produced to fit the new rules, and the next year Fred Dixon won with a Riley after the whole favourite Singer team had to retire with steering problems. In pair with Dodson, Dixon then repeated his victory the next year. However that year a serious accident happened that moved the TT from the Ards track forever. Jack Chambers in a Riley lost control at Regent Street, Newtownards, and crashed into the crowd killing 8 spectators and injuring 40 others, 18 of them seriously.

      The TT was moved to Donington Park for 1937-38, then reappeared at Dundrod after the war and then moved via Goodwood and Oulton Park to Silverstone in 1970.

http://www.kolumbus.fi/leif.snellman/t4.htm

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Christopher

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Re: Car Manufacturing in Belfast
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2006, 04:41:29 PM »
1960 street directory Donegall Pass, Belfast

104     Mrs Isobel D. Chambers Ladies and childrenswear
196-8  W. J. Chambers and Co., Automobile Engineers, Dealers for Sunbeam, BSA, Norton and AJS Motor cycles. Service Depot for above. W. J. Chambers also serviced the little three wheel invalid cars. I'm almost certain Jack Chambers was connected with this business. I can't recall the name of Mrs Chambers assistant in her shop. I'm not sure that this family built the Chambers car. The Ulster Transport Museum may be able to tell us the answer to this question.

Mary very kindly had a look in her directories for information about the Chambers Motor Company.

1910
under Trades
Motor Car Agents and Hirers
Chambers' Motors Ltd. (manufacturers), 11 to 23 Cuba Street

Chambers, J. H. (of Chambers & Co., Cuba Street) 20 Cyprus Gardens
Chambers, R. (Robert) M. (of Chambers & Co., Cuba Street) 40 Cyprus Gardens

1918
Limited Liability Co.'s
Chambers Motors Limited, Engineers and Motor Car Manufacturers, Motor Body Builders, etc., 106 University Street, Works, Belfast. Private Company.
Directors -
R. M. Chambers (Robert, 61 Botanic Avenue)
J. H. Chambers (John, St. George's Villa, Holland Park)
C. E. Chambers (Chas., 1 Glandore Villas, King's Road)
T. H. McEwen.
   
Cuba Street was in East Belfast. It ran from 196 Newtownards Road to Convention Street.


giannineo

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Re: Car Manufacturing in Belfast
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2006, 12:42:13 AM »
Christopher,I think there was a Chambers Garage in Florenceville Avenue off Ormeau Road.

Christopher

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Re: Car Manufacturing in Belfast
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2006, 11:40:51 AM »
1960 Directory

Chambers and Johnston, Ltd., Automobile Engineers, 14-24, Agincourt Avenue

In the Limited Liability Company section of the directory the names of directors are not shown.

Chambers and Johnston, Ltd., Motor Agents and Garage Proprietors,
6a, Agincourt Avenue, Belfast 7. Capital £10,000 Private Company.

Bamzooki

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Re: Car Manufacturing in Belfast
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2007, 11:26:19 PM »
Here's an oldie,I didnt know they made cars in May Street. Not sure what the model is or how long the place was in existence.
Bamz
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bt12

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Re: Car Manufacturing in Belfast
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2007, 03:46:14 AM »
Some great pictures were taken at the Eurofest 2001 of DeLorean cars at Stormont ... the building where the NI Assembly meets. The Eurofest website also contains pictures of the cars on the test track at the defunct DeLorean factory at Dunmurry. 

did the cars leave dunmurry with their flux capacitors or where they put in later  :)

Rosemary Joan

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Re: Car Manufacturing in Belfast
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2007, 11:21:44 AM »
I have a few photos of cars taking part in the TT in the 1930s taken by my father.  If anyone is interested I will try to attach them.  RosemaryJoan
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Christopher

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Re: Car Manufacturing in Belfast
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2007, 03:56:12 AM »
I have a few photos of cars taking part in the TT in the 1930s taken by my father.  If anyone is interested I will try to attach them.  RosemaryJoan

I doubt many of them were made in Belfast, RosemaryJoan. I think there's a thread for the Ards TT which would be a better place to post the photos. There are also some motoring threads on the Sports board.

I've spotted a car called the Devin S/S. Bill started the S/S Program in 1957 when he commissioned the rolling chassis to be manufactured in Belfast, NI and and had it shipped to his El Monte, California facility to be fitted with the engine, drive train, body work, trim, etc. The finished cars were then sold through Bill's dealer network.
I've just discovered that the man who made the chassis for the Devins in Belfast was called Noel Hillis.