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Overview

George Henry Wait was a pioneer cyclist who set up in Leicester as a cycle maker in 1890. As early as 1899 he dabbled in four wheelers when he advertised the Clyde Pennington Victoria, an unwise involvement with the notorious Edward J. Pennington, as well as an M.M.C. tricycle. The first car of his own make appeared in 1901, having a front-mounted 3.5hp Simms engine, with 2-speed gearbox and belt drive to a countershaft which was geared to the rear axle. For 1902 a 5hp Aster or 6hp De Dion-Bouton engine was used, and by 1905 power was provided by 8hp White & Poppe or 12hp Aster engines. Motorcycles were also made from the turn of the century; a Clyde is said to have given Winston Churchill his first motorcycle ride, although whether he owned one is not so certain.

The original firm was would up in 1905, the assets being disposed of including 25 bicycles, 60 motorcycles frames, 12 motorcycles and one 2-cylinder car. This would indicate that cars were always a minority in George Wait’s activities. By the time production ended he is said to have made only 245 cars and 25 commercial vehicles, but 470 motorcycles and about 4,000 bicycles. He concentrated on garage work from 1906, although cars were made from time to time. A few Clydes were made in the 1920s but Waits main business was in agencies for various makes, including Humber. Models listed included 2-cylinder car of 995 and 1003cc. Said to be of Wait’s own manufacture, and various fours of 1196, 1496, and 1550cc which were almost certainly proprietary units. George Wait drove his 1906 12/14 until well into his 80s, taking part in Veteran Car Club events in the 1950s.

Models produced by Clyde

1901-1930

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