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Brocklebank

Overview

Described as ‘Birmingham’s answer to the US Challenge’, the Brocklebank was planned by Major John Brocklebank and designed by R.W. Richards. Both men were enthusiasts for the flexible American 6-cylinder engine, and Richards had worked at the Essex factory in Detroit in the early 1920s. Admittedly the Essex at that time was a four, but he would have been familiar with the 6-cylinder Hudson made by the parent firm, and Brocklebank was a Hudson owner. The pushrod ohv engine Richards designed was smaller than any American six, having a capacity of 2051cc. Axles and 3-speed gearbox were made by Warner in the Us and the rather angular 4-door saloon body came from P.W. Watson & Sons Ltd of Lowestoft, Suffolk. An advanced feature was the use of Lockheed hydraulic brakes.

The company was formed and a specification published in 1925, but the Brocklebank’s first appearance at a show was in October 1927. Production began earlier that year, and quite a number were sold in Australia and New Zealand. A repeat order for 100 cars was reported from those countries in June 1927. At the 1928 Olympia Show more attractive bodies were exhibited, an aluminium-panelled saloon by Gordon England and a fabric saloon by Weymann. Open 2 and 4/5 seater models were also listed, but it is not known how many were made. The company failed in 1929; Sir Henry Austin considered buying the factory but thought the price asked by the liquidators was too high. Spares were bought by Smith’s Garage of Birmingham who ordered one Meadows 6-cylinder engine, indicating that they contemplated restarting manufacture. However this never happened. Estimates of Brocklebank production vary between 350 and 600.

Models produced by Brocklebank

1927-1929

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