Bridgwater Museum
The Bridgwater Motor Car
That Bridgwater town at the turn of the century with a population of only 15,000 should have boasted a motor vehicle designed and partly constructed there, but more especially one called the ‘Bridgwater’, may surprise many. To those brought up alongside the Bridgwater Motor Company it is no surprise, but strangely it remains a car which despite research defies total identification. The origin of the ‘Bridgwater’ motor vehicle is no different from the countless other unusual and oddly named cars of the time. Back garden sheds, indeed any building at all with four walls and a roof, proved ideal hideaways where brain and brawn, frequently with more enthusiasm than mechanical knowledge, spent all hours of the day and night producing the invention of all times, a motor car. The prospect of total controlled mobility at speed was a temptation few men could resist. From small origins some large motor companies grew. Others came and went, and although some firms survived, most of the vehicles they produced have long since disappeared. Sadly, it seems this was the fate of the ’Bridgwater’. Indeed if one came to light now, it would be the discovery of a lifetime! Whilst heads today may turn as a customised car roars down the street, we frequently forget that the mass production of identical cars was a later development in the history of the motor vehicle. Previously, if one was considering purchase or construction it was usual to take an engine produced by one company, marry it with a chassis from another, and then have it mounted with a body of one’s design or choice. Thus it was quite usual for a car either to be unique, or one of a small number of the same ‘model’. Whether totally manufactured under one roof, which was rare, or put together from parts from different sources, as was the ‘Bridgwater’, each car had its individual features, to suit the customer.
For a full history of the Bridgwater Motor Car a PDF is available, click here to download. Text and images reproduced by kind permission Rod Fitzhugh.
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