Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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W. R. M. Motors

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Car manufacturer of Cowley, near Oxford.

1912 Company founded by William Morris, with support from the Earl of Macclesfield, to manufacture Morris's design of car, buying in components from other suppliers. This reduced the initial capital costs very considerably, and allowed him to buy supplies from the most competitive contractor in order to keep the costs low. Delays in producing the engine forced Morris to sell his car from blueprints at the 1912 Motor Show. 400 were sold; the first was produced in April 1913. That year Morris produced 1300(?) cars, among the top British car makers. Arthur Edward Johnson bought the third car that Morris produced.

1912 October. Details of the Morris-Oxford 10hp light car. Advertisement. Morris-Oxford Light Car. 10hp with 4-cylinder White and Poppe engine. £175.[1]

1913 A factory was opened in Cowley, Oxford after a London car dealer (Gordon Stewart) placed an order for 400 cars, the Morris Oxford.

1913 April. Details of the Morris-Oxford light car.[2]

1913 October. Details of the Morris-Oxford light car with wider track, longer wheelbase and other changes.[3]

1913 There were 393 cars were manufactured. Engines and gearboxes from White and Poppe; axles and steering from E. G. Wrigley and Co; frames from Redpath, Brown and Co; lamps from Powell and Hanmer; wheels from Joseph Sankey and Sons; bodies from Hollick and Pratt; and tyres from Dunlop.

WWI Car production ceased and the factory was given over to the production of munitions.

1914-18 Became part of the Trench Warfare Department and produced Stoke's Trench Howitzers and 50,000 mine-sinkers for the North Sea minefields under the Mine Sinker Assembly Station.

Morris rented a disused military training college at Temple Cowley on the outskirts of Oxford. There he began to plan production of a second car to be manufactured from cheap American components but instead he produced an assortment of military products.

1919 W. R. M. Motors was liquidated and replaced by Morris Motors.

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