1949 - 1956
Paramount Cars Ltd. was a motor engineering and garage business set-up by W. A. Hudson and S. Underwood in Swadlincote, Derbyshire.
Their venture into car production was confirmed in 1949, when the Ford engined Paramount was officially unveiled by the Daily Mail Newspaper.
The car had the flexible 1172cc Ford 10 engine fitted with twin carburettors, a ladder type frame and an underslung chassis. A hand-built open four seater aluminium body over an ash frame hid the fuel tanks situated in its bulbous wings. Early Paramounts had a maximum speed of 70mph and either a Wade or a Shorrocks supercharger was offered as an optional extra.
The project was taken over by the Meynell Motor Co. Ltd. of Derbyshire in September 1951 and in 1952, the original company was wound up with liabilities of £15,780 and assets of £4,565. Total cars built by Paramount was twelve and Meynell possibly added six more.
Paramount Cars moved to Leighton Buzzard in 1953 in association with nearby Camden Motors Ltd. and a further hundred cars were built, fitted with 1508cc Ford Consul engines.
In 1956, the last twenty-six Paramounts - 22 dropheads, 3 hardtops and one fitted with a Ford 10 engine - were purchased by Wellbeck Motors of London and sold for £795 each, saving £214 on their list price.
Source: Reg J. Prosser
Founded by WA Hudson and S Underwood from Derbyshire, the Paramount had an aluminium over wood frame body with BMW like grille and was mounted on a separate tubular steel chassis with front transverse and rear semi elliptical leaf springs. It was originally intended to have Alvis engine and suspension but to reduce cost the production versions used Ford 10 components including the 1172 cc side valve engines, but fitted with twin SU carburettors, which resulted in poor performance. The car was however well built and equipped and was listed in both 2 and 4 seat versions.
In 1953, the company was bought by Camden Motors and production moved to Leighton Buzzard and the Ford Consul 1500 cc engine was an option in a longer chassis as also was a Wade or Shorrocks supercharger. The price was now an uncompetitive £1,009 and production ceased in 1956 after about 70 cars had been made. After the end of car production the remaining chassis were sold off and several were fitted with Rochdale glass fibre bodies.
There was no connection with the two separate American Paramount Car companies of Azusa, California (1923-1924) and New York (1927-1931).
100 cars were never built, the plan was to build them, but they did not get done. Only seventy were ever made. They built only one saloon prototype which disappeared. No two seater was ever built for the road, only two rochdale bodied hill climbers were ever built. The mark twos had a 1508 cc engine.
Source: Barry Reece