Britain By Car - A Motoring History

Patrick Motors Ltd and Patrick Jensen Motors Ltd

An early step in the creation of Jensen Motors and a long-standing Midlands’ motor distributor.

Location
479-481 Bristol Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham, B29 6AU, currently, the site of a Tesco Express Supermarket and Petrol Filling Station

Date
1930 – 1974(?)

Other locations 
West Bromwich, Staffordshire

Commentary
In 1930, Albert Patrick, a director of the Britannic Assurance Company, bought Edgbaston Garage on the Bristol Road in Selly Oak. The purchase was made with an eye to providing long term security for his son Joseph, who already had a keen interest in motoring. 

Joseph effectively took control of the garage later in the year and in 1931 employed Alan and Richard Jensen to improve the servicing side of the business.  They seemed to do this well, and were soon made co-directors, leading to a change of company name to Patrick Jensen Motors Ltd. 

However, the arrangement does not appear to have lasted long, for by the end of the year the relationship had been dissolved, and the business renamed Patrick Motors Ltd.

In fact, the partnership between Joseph Patrick and the Jensen Brothers seems to have been extremely brief.  A feature on Wolseley Hornet Specials published in Motor, as early as the 17th March 1931, includes reference to a car produced by Patrick Motors of Bristol Road.  However, by May of the same year the Jensen Special is listed, described as being  produced at the “recently organised” subsidiary of W J Smith and Sons, West Bromwich, known as Jensen Motors.  Between 1930 and 1934, Patrick Motors built more than a thousand lightweight Specials, most using the Wolseley Hornet and Austin 10 chassis.  During this period, Joseph Patrick was also a successful trials and hill-climb driver, both in his own cars and a 1½-litre Singer.

By 1934, as mainstream manufacturers began to offer more body styles of their own, the demand for Specials declined and Patrick Motors moved their focus to repairs, maintenance, and sales; particularly for Austin Cars, for whom they became a major dealer for more than 50 years.

After the Second World War, the company embarked on a period of rapid growth, acquiring a range of dealerships in Birmingham and elsewhere.  By 1959, they were one    of the leading distributors for Daimler.

In the 1970s, the Patrick Motor Group returned to Motor Sport and in 1978 and 1979, secured victory in the British Saloon Car Championship.  During the 1980s, Patrick Motors began to withdraw from the motor trade and sold its final dealership in 1999. However, the company is still in existence today, as PMG Investments, focussing on the marketing, management and letting of commercial property.

In 1960, Joseph Patrick began to restore and collect private cars.  These now form a small private museum, located in the Kings Norton area of Birmingham.

 Further details 
• Jensen & Jensen-Healey, Keith Anderson, Sutton Publishing Ltd, 1998.

 • The PMG corporate website, www.pmg-i.com.