The first Century vehicles were made by Ralph Jackson, who had started the business in 1885 as a cycle maker. In 1899 he brought out the Century Tandem, a tricar powered by a 2.25hp single-cylinder engine. It had wheel steering at a time when most tricars still had handlebars. He made tricars for a number of years, from 1901 under the name Eagle, although similar designs made in London were still called Century. In May 1901 Century moved to London, coming under the control of Sydney Begbie. He was the first importer of Aster engines into England. Jackson moved back to Altrincham where he started making Eagles. In 1903 Begbie launched the first Century cars, with 8 or 12hp 2-cylinder Aster engines, French transmissions and English built chassis and bodies. There was also a larger model with 22hp 4-cylinder Mutel engine. The tandems used De Dion-Bouton (3.5hp) Aster and M.M.C. (both 5hp) engines. They were improved in 1905 as the New Century Tandem with 2-cylinder engines and double radiators, one on each side of the rear wheel. They also offered a 16hp 4-cylinder car called the Princess.