Britain By Car - A Motoring History

Clark

Lightbox Image An early example of one-off car production.

Location
Charles Clark & Sons, The Retford Motor Garage, 48 Bridgegate, Retford

Date
c1901

Commentary
Charles Clark had the first garage in Retford and the first licence to sell petrol.  His first premises, it is believed, was a cycle business on Moorgate, which he established in 1895.  About five years later, he moved to the south side of nearby Bridgegate, where Trinity Place now stands; and in 1901 built a four-wheel car, converted from a De Dion Bouton tricycle, and powered by a 2.7 h.p De Dion Bouton engine. 

The vehicle almost certainly did not go into production, but Charles Clark remained for many years closely connected with the automobile trade in Retford; running a taxi and coach service, along with a petrol station, garage and car dealership.  The garage building, built around 1910 and located at 48 Bridgegate, opposite his earlier premises, is still standing, although now in a rather neglected state.

There is a picture of Charlie Clark and his car in Brian Waters' and Richard English's book, below.

Further details
• Made in Nottinghamshire: the motor manufacturing heritage, Brian Waters and Richard English, Nottinghamshire County Council, 2013.