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Britain By Car - A Motoring History


Created Date:

04 August 2013

Last Modified:

27 January 2024
Tunbridge Wells

Showfields

The site of the first motor show in Britain.

Location
The Agricultural Showground, Eridge Road, Tunbridge Wells.

Date
November 1895.

Sir David Salomons at the tiller of his Peugeot during the first British Motor Show in Tunbridge Wells, held in November 1895; source: Grace's Guide to British Industrial History.
Sir David Salomons at the tiller of his Peugeot during the first British Motor Show in Tunbridge Wells, held in November 1895; source: Grace's Guide to British Industrial History.
  • Sir David Salomons at the tiller of his Peugeot during the first British Motor Show in Tunbridge Wells, held in November 1895; source: Grace's Guide to British Industrial History.

Commentary
The first motor show in Britain – known at the time as the Horseless Carriage Exhibition - was opened by Sir David Salomons at Showfields on the 2nd November 1895.  Six exhibits were listed – three using Daimler engines, two De Dion Boutons, and a Gladiator tricycle – although only four vehicles actually appeared at the show.

At the end of the exhibition, in defiance of the law, David Salomons reportedly led a small procession of cars on to the road to Tunbridge Wells where the cars “proceeded smoothly and in perfect control to the pleasure of many spectators…”