- A unique collection of veteran motor vehicles
1902 MMC rear-entrance
tonneau 10 hp

The MMC on the 1988 Brighton run


The dominant figure at the beginning of the British motorcar industry was Harry J Lawson. He had made his money from the cycle industry and the promotion of companies - in some cases by somewhat dubious means. Lawson and his associates sought to continue in the same vein with motorcars. The English Daimler Company was acquired early in 1896 and a disused factory in which to make cars was bought. This four-storey property near the centre of Coventry was named the Motor Mills. Realising that it was too large for Daimler alone, Lawson floated another business called the Great Horseless Carriage Company to make cars on the top floor, whilst other makes in which he also had financial interest rented space. In 1898 the GHCC was reformed as the Motor Manufacturing Company. This had a similar relationship with Daimler to that which Daimler was to have with Jaguar from 1960.

It was often difficult to distinguish between early Daimler and MMC vehicles, particularly so since the latter used all Daimler mechanical components. After the appointment of George Iden as works manager - formerly foreman engineer at the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway works at Brighton - distinctive MMC models began to emerge but these were never as successful as the Daimler based vehicles. A large number of motor tricycles of De Dion Bouton concept were also made by MMC and engines were sold to other markets. In the summer of 1902 the firm was reorganised and it was considered that the previous poor financial performance had largely been due to the diversity of vehicles offered. Output was rationalised with only three car models being made: a single cylinder, a twin and a four, all of the same engine bore and stroke and with interchangeable components. These were good cars and for the next two years production was some 350 cars per annum. However, Iden resigned in December 1903 to make cars under his own name at Parkside, Coventry. These were similar to MMC's but prospered no better than MMC itself since this was declared bankrupt at the end of 1904, Iden being one of the petitioners.

MMC cars continued to be available in 1905 but at the end of the year its space at the Motor Mills was sold to Daimler. A factory at Parkside was bought, but this served no useful purpose, nor did yet another reorganisation and a move to London in 1907. Daimler survived similar stormy financial waters and went on to prosper, the Motor Manufacturing Company after hitting many rocks finally foundered around 1912.

De Dion Bouton
Georges Richard
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