FOUNDER, DESIGNER AND ENGINEER: William Eric Hands, born 14/03/1895 died 17/07/1986
Educated: King Williams College, Isle of Man
Served as an Officer: Sherwood Forrester’s Regiment during 1914/18 War, awarded Military Cross, wounded out.
Gained Engineering Degree: AMIMECE
Formed The Dunalastair Motor Company circa 1923/4 near to where he lived in Ruddington Park, Nottingham.
Mr WE Hands was probably the first to design concertina-like arms in the folding hood, allowing it to be raised with the least effort in one movement – not unlike the hood of the future Citroen Coupe (with dickie boot seat) c 1930’s.
It is understood that he drove a prototype Registration No. AU9896 (see photographs); and a completed model Registration No.-R 2028 (see photograph).
It is unknown how he acquired the Heron mascot (Hispano Suiza) that can be seen on the completed Dunalastair – it later ended up on a Crossley he owned in 1931.
It is also understood that there were the beginnings in assembly, early stages + tools, jigs, etc. but world economic slump conditions were against further development causing the company to close down 1925/6. Sadly the blue prints have gone missing.
When the company closed down WE Hands worked as an A C Car salesman and, while still driving his Dunalastair car, went to the Earls Court Motor Show. There he met Mr. Shaw, the Chief Motor Claims Assessor of the General Accident Insurance Company, probably October 1928. He was offered and accepted the job as an Engineer Motor Claims Assessor and moved to Perth, Scotland, in 1928/9 later rising to Chief Assessor. He was still driving his Dunalastair car, but changed it for a Crossley, which was better suited to Highland roads and snow. It is not then known what became of the Dunalastair but it probably ended up in the Shields Motor Company, Dunkeld Road, Perth. WE Hands retired from the GA Insurance Company in 1960 and at some time he was President of either the Motor Assessors Association or some position connected with motor engineers for many years.
This information is to the best of knowledge as recounted by the son of Mr WE Hands: Mr CR Hands,