Fragments on forgotten makes, No 39

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The Barrington

The Barrington car failed ever to go into production but that was no fault of AE Budd and John Barrington Budd who conceived it, for their enthusiasm for the project was great, and almost undying. With his brother, a noted Scott motorcycle rider, in beach races in the North of England for instance, Barrington Budd produced his own idea of a two-stroke engine in 1929, a three-cylinder water-cooled version of which was manufactured, of 68 x 70 mm (763 cc). It was Budd’s own design, and a crib of the Scott engine, although Scott did make a three-cylinder two-stroke engine in later years, which I tested in a Morgan 4/4, The Barrington Budd engine was put into an Austin Seven Chummy and tested for three years, after which a car was built around it. This Prototype Barrington (the name Budd was presumably thought unsuitable for a car) had a rather unfortunate chassis, which bore no resemblance to that of the Austin Seven in which its engine had been tested. The wheels were made by Rubery Owen and the chassis was a composite structure, Wm Lee & Sons of Dronfield supplying the dumb-irons, the English Steel Co the side-members and springs. Accles & Pollock made the front-axle tubes, ENV the back axle, and Moss the gearbox, of which three were ordered, but the details were somewhat crude, the petrol tank for instance resembling a domestic cistern. In fact, two such frames were made up, one longer than the other. The prototype Barrington used the shorter of these, with a neat two-seater body, a radiator with a deep plated Shell resembling that of a Georges lsat, with overtones of the Vale Special, and fixed cycle-type mudguards. The Reg No was WJ 4270, it had a wheelbase of 7 7″ and it weighed about 12 cwt. The work was done in Sheffield at a rented factory at Meadow Hall, even the Barrington Motor Co’s offices being rented from the Electrode Co. The car was ready by 1932 and there were obvious attempts to give it good publicity. For instance one photograph exists showing the famous aviator Johnson posing with the car — her father came from Hull and Amy went to Sheffield University, and one wonders if there was a hope of finance from that quarter. It was all to no avail, although Mr Budd approached some of the big car manufacturers, offering them his two-stroke engine. The prototype seems to have been run up to the outbreak of war, covering over 100,000 miles.

In 1935 a production prototype was built, with a 9 hp engine of some 1,000 cc in the long-wheelbase chassis. There were components laid down to build half-a-dozen cars but although the second chassis was registered for road use, it was run only about 600 miles before it was abandoned. A body had been ordered for it from Holbrook’s but this never materialised, perhaps because of a lack of capital with which to pay for it. The war killed the Barrington project but even in the late 1940s Mr Budd was getting quite vexed with manufacturers like Citroen to whom he offered his engine design as the best obtainable but had received no reply. . . Although made by Moss the gearbox was apparently of Budd’s own design. The Aurora Gearing Co supplied a flywheel in March 1931. The brakes came from Bendix, six sets of 8″ front brakes being ordered and sent direct to Clayton-Dewandre in Lincoln for assembly. Indeed, six sets of other components were ordered, suggesting plans for that number of Barringtons originally. Other suppliers included Ambrose Shardlow (crankshafts), Brico (piston rings), CMD (pistons), Lucas (special distributor and coil), Skefco (ball-bearings), Zenith (carburetters), Ransome & Marles (probably the steering gear), East London Rubber Co, Dunlop (tyres), etc. Machining was done locally by the Brightside Foundry & Engineering Co.

The factory was at the rear of Wm Griffiths’ premises. Mr AE Budd of Highnam Crescent Road, Sheffield, was Director and Secretary. One day we may yet see a Barrington car in action, if David Filsell fulfils his ambition to assemble one, from the many parts now in his possession.

Incidentally, the Company had been registered as Limited in January 1934 although the fees were not paid until a year later. Years later Piers Blakeney-Edwards acquired the “goodwill” of Barrington Motors, and in 1972 David Filson, to whom I am indebted for the information in this article, acquired the Company from him, re-registering it. He has all the parts from the old Sheffield factory but car manufacture isn’t the intention. What he is doing as Barrington Motors, now situated in Wales, is told on page 1012. — WB 

V-E-V Odds & Ends. — A new history of the AA has been published by this organisation, covering their activities from 1905 to 1980, very artistically. The book costs £14.95 and will duly be reviewed. The sad remains of an Austin-Healey 3000 are keeping the equally-sad remains of a small pre-war Standard saloon company, in a derelict shed at Egham, the latter probably a Nine sunshine-roof model. Both might yield spares and we can disclose the location to those in need of same. There is to be a Concours d’Elegance for old cars, from veteran to classic, at the West Midland Safari Park at Bewdley in Worcestershire on July 19th. Entry forms are available from: The Safari and Leisure Park, Spring Grove, Bewdley (Tel: 0299-4021141. We hear that Roger Howard has his Type 37A Bugatti running. During the period of the Monaco Grand Prix the ex-Forrest Lycett 1914 Alfonso Hispano Suiza, later owned by the Editor of Motor Sport, turned up, restored to pristine condition. The Amilcar Register’s 1918 Rally, opened also to Salmsons and other French sports cars and cyclecars, will be centred on the Skyline Hotel, Morley in Surrey, over the weekend of September 6th/7th.— WB.

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