Quite remarkably, a one-off car of a previously unheard of make has returned to where it was first built, in County Durham. It is called the Shew, so named after Lord Londonderry’s Seaham Harbour Engineering Works, Dudley. This company had made steam waggons since 1903, and continued to do so until 1908, but in 1906 it tried making petrol vehicles.
It is thought that a Thomas Perker designed a car for them, built by the Sedan Autocar Company at Dudley. Seahams altered much of the design and the car was used until 1912, when it was put into a shed on the estate.
It was discovered in 1957, and then appeared at a Cambridge auction in ’67, its engine having been last run in ’61. Beamish Museum was keen to acquire the car and, with help from the Lottery Fund, the Museums Council and Friends of Beamish, it was last year able to return this rare find to its place of origin.
Restoration has begun and it is on exhibition to museum visitors. It has a wooden chassis, a twin-cylinder engine, a gilled-tube radiator with a large Shew badge, and a touring body.