Asquith Motor Company Ltd: ice-cream selling facility

Asquith Motors is an English commercial vehicle manufacturer of hand built replicas since 1981 and originally based in Braintree, Essex. The company was founded by Bruce West, who designed the logo, created the name and designed all the early vehicles. His concept was to create modern vehicles with the potential of mass advertising through the appeal of historic vehicles. In 1984, West sold the moulds to Hunnable Holdings of Yeldham, Great Yeldham, Essex.

Mr West started building “retro-style” delivery vans on the Ford Transit chassis in 1982. In 1991, the company announced production of a 1930s-style taxi cab that would meet the London Public Carriage Office regulations on a purpose-built chassis.

Originally based in Braintree in Essex, Asquith employed 30 full-time craftsmen who handmade over 1,000 vehicles, many exported to countries as far away as Paraguay, Japan and USA, though Germany has always been the biggest export market.

In the late 1990s after the sale to Hunnables, the company experienced some challenges. The cost of manufacture had increased, research and development on new vehicles including the London Taxi had spiralled and a large Japanese order was cancelled due to increases in the exchange rate. The company was forced into receivership.

The company was purchased from the liquidators by Mike Edgar in 1997. He built a team of designers led by Paul Keegan and engineers led by Eddie Parsons. Further investment was required to move the company forward and Edgar soon found that UK manufacture was too expensive and sought partnerships in other countries. At the time, relationships were established with third-party companies in Barcelona (Spain) and Katowice (Poland).

Read more: Tractors and special equipment with Boris Willson ...