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Described as ‘Birmingham’s answer to the US Challenge’, the Brocklebank was planned by Major John Brocklebank and designed by R.W. Richards. Both men were enthusiasts for the flexible American 6-cylinder engine, and Richards had worked at the Essex factory in Detroit in the early 1920s. Admittedly the Essex at that time was a four, but he would have been familiar with the 6-cylinder Hudson made by the parent firm, and Brocklebank was a Hudson owner. The pushrod ohv engine Richards designed was smaller than any American six, having a capacity of 2051cc. Axles and 3-speed gearbox were made by Warner in the Us and the rather angular 4-door saloon body came from P.W. Watson & Sons Ltd of Lowestoft, Suffolk. An advanced feature was the use of Lockheed hydraulic brakes.

The company was formed and a specification published in 1925, but the Brocklebank’s first appearance at a show was in October 1927. Production began earlier that year, and quite a number were sold in Australia and New Zealand. A repeat order for 100 cars was reported from those countries in June 1927. At the 1928 Olympia Show more attractive bodies were exhibited, an aluminium-panelled saloon by Gordon England and a fabric saloon by Weymann. Open 2 and 4/5 seater models were also listed, but it is not known how many were made. The company failed in 1929; Sir Henry Austin considered buying the factory but thought the price asked by the liquidators was too high. Spares were bought by Smith’s Garage of Birmingham who ordered one Meadows 6-cylinder engine, indicating that they contemplated restarting manufacture. However this never happened. Estimates of Brocklebank production vary between 350 and 600.

Models produced by Brocklebank


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