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Overview

Job Day & Sons Ltd was formed in 1901, the founder having invented a machine to pack soap. However, packaging machinery was not the only interest. They had just made the world's first bacon slicer and were early manufacturers of motorcycles. A motorcycle engine was used when, in 1912, they produced a prototype car – the "Day Leeds". This was the brainchild of William Henry Day, the son of the founder, who foresaw the need for a small, cheap, economical car appealing to the wider buying public. The chassis was of steel tubing supporting an air-cooled twin cylinder engine. Power was transmitted through a three-speed and reverse gearbox to belts acting through pulleys on the back wheels. Steering was direct and braking was effected by blocks acting on the belt rims. There were, however, four blocks instead of the two as on most cars of the time. The Day Leeds prototype was a two-seater and the price of £120 included the hood, screen and horn.

The prototype did not go into production and a later version of the "Day Leeds" was fitted with a 'proper' four cylinder, water-cooled engine. . The cars final shape and specification were probably influenced to a large degree by a chief designer appointed from Armstrong Whitworth and were considered very much in advance of the car’s mid-Edwardian birth. The bodies were made by the Blackburn Aeroplane Company and it was common practice to apply 14 coats of paint to the coachwork.

A 1,267 cc engine imported from Belgium was used, having a cylinder block with integral cylinder head. Cooling was by thermosiphon action and the suspension was by front and back semi-elliptic springs. The company devised an atomiser, rather like a brass propellor, to fit into the carburettor for fuel economy. It was rumoured that extra up-hill performance was achieved by putting camphor balls in the petrol!

By 1915 over one hundred had been sold but WW1 intervened and production was put on hold for five years. By 1924 output had topped three hundred cars and business appeared to be flourishing. However, larger manufacturers were entering the market and mass production techniques were needed to stay competitive. The company's resources were limited, production of cars eventually ceased and Job Day & Sons began to concentrate their efforts on the development of packaging machines.



Models produced by Day-Leeds

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