Britain By Car - A Motoring History

Marendaz

The sports car manufacturer moves out of London.

Location
Marendaz Special Cars Ltd., Cordwallis Works, Clivemont Road, Maidenhead 

Date
1932 – 1937

Commentary
In 1932, Capt DMK Marendaz transferred production from Camberwell, in London, to a factory in Maidenhead, shared with car manufacturers, GWK, Streamline Cars (makers of the radical Burney) and the Belgian Imperia company (although it is believed that no cars were actually produced).

Often described as a ‘little Bentley’, Marendaz cars were further developed in Maidenhead, with the introduction of a drophead coupé and a long chassis model, with a larger 2½ litre engine. 

A racing programme was also established by the company, but with mixed results.  Gregor Grant, in British Sports Cars, describes the Marendaz as ‘temperamental’ and ‘not quite to everyone’s taste’.  However, Capt Marendaz had a number of successes in his own car, as did Aileen Moss, mother of racing driver, Sir Stirling Moss.

Car production ceased in 1937; and in the same year Donald Marendaz set up a flying school in Bedford.  It also appears that, around this time, he became a supporter of Sir Oswald Moseley and a member of the British Union of Fascists.  For a short while, in the summer of 1940, he was detained by the British authorities in connection with this.

After the War, Donald Marendaz moved to South Africa to work on the manufacture stationary Diesel engines.  In 1971 he returned to England, and died in November 1988, aged 91.

The Cordwallis Works were late occupied by St Martin Preserves Company, and are today still known as the ‘jam factory’.

Other locations  
Camberwell
, London

Further details 
• The Thoroughbred Motor Car 1930-40, David Scot-Moncrieff, Batsford, 1963  
• British Sports Cars, Gregor Grant, Foulis, 1958.