Britain By Car - A Motoring History
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Welcome to Britain By Car

Britain By Car is a guide to Britain’s motoring history, looking at cars and motoring events primarily through place, rather than by marque, period of manufacture, or category.  Some of the facts and details are well-known, others less so.  Hopefully, there is something here that interests you. 

The site is very much a "work in progress".  There are many signifcant areas to be covered, and some counties have yet to include any entries at all.

Click on a region to get started.

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The Crystal Palace Motor Car Shows

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For a number of years, early motor car exhibitions and shows were held at the Crystal Palace amid the courts and permanent attractions.

Location
The Crystal Palace, Sydenham Hill, London

Date
1896, 1902-1906

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Gamage

Lightbox ImageA famous London store with its own car brand.

Location
A W Gamage Ltd, 116 – 128, High Holborn, London EC1N 2TD.

Date
1903-1904; 1914-1915.

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The Austin Village

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 An estate of some 200 pre-fabricated timber houses, built in 1917, to accommodate the growing workforce at the Austin Works in Longbridge.

Location        
Coney Green Drive, Central Avenue, Hawkesley Crescent, and Hawkesley Drive, Longbridge, B31.

Date 1917 – present.

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Kenilworth Castle

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The location for a new exhibition celebrating the life of motoring and aviation pioneer John Siddeley, founder of Armstrong Siddeley Motors Ltd.

Location
Castle Green, Kenilworth CV8 1NG.

Date
The Castle was bought by John Siddeley in 1937 and immediately handed to the Nation.

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The Grampian Transport Museum

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 A museum of land transport with a collection of historic vehicles which includes cars, commercial vehicles, caravans, bicycles and motorcycles.

Location
Grampian Transport Museum, Alford, Aberdeenshire, AB33 8AE.  

Date
1981 – present.  The current building was opened in 1983.

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Britain’s first petrol station

Lightbox ImageToday, the site of Britain’s first petrol station is a lay-by on the A4 Bath Road, with no indication of its historical significance.

Location    
On the northern side of the Bath Road (A4), close to the junction with Station Road and Grange Lane, and today marked by a lay-by.  The spot lies about two miles from Aldermaston village, and approximately one third of a mile from Aldermaston Wharf.

Date    
From November 1919 until at least 1925.  The station’s official opening is believed to have taken place in March 1920.  

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