Roots & Venables
1896 - 1904
This car was made by James Dennis Roots and Cuthbert Edward Venables. Roots was a pioneer among British car builders. He had a 3-wheeler on the road early in 1896, called the Petrocar, it had a 2 1/4hp vertical single-cylinder oil engine and tiller steering. By April 1897, in partnership with Venables, he was advertising three designs of 4-wheeler, 2-and 4-seaters and a delivery van, as well as passenger and van versions of the 3-wheeler. They had 3hp engines, chain drive and tiller steering. Roots was keen to point out that his were the only cars to use oil motors, all other so-called oil motoros were using benzolene spirit.
The 1902 range consisted of the old 3 1/2hp rear-engined model on solid tyres, a 4 1/2hp front-engined car, also on solids and a 7hp front-engined car on pneumatics. Their last year of production was 1904, when two models were made with 5hp single cyclinder and 12hp 2-cylinder engines. J.D. Roots later became a consulting engineer and patent specialist.
Source: Nick Georgano / The Beaulieu Encyclopaedia of the Automobile