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Jowett Company History

Published: 24th Mar 2011 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!


Jowett Archive

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Ben and William Jowett were brothers who set up a bicycle making business in Bradford in 1902, and were soon building engines for cars and motorcycles. The first Jowett car appeared in 1906, propelled by a two- cylinder, horizontally-opposed engine. Quantity production of cars commenced in 1910, and continued after the First World War, during which Jowett-built munitions. The firm’s famous ‘flat twin’ motor was built from 1910 until 1953, and proved to be a willing, economical and reliable little performer (especially considering its diminutive capacity of just 816cc, later increased to a heady 907cc). Jowetts were developed through the 1920s, and by 1930 the company’s cars featured detachable cylinder heads and four-wheel brakes. Twin- cylinder models of the 1930s included the 1934 Kestrel and the twin carb Weasel, but the company’s first four-cylinder model was the 1936 Ten, with a ‘flat four’ 1166cc engine. The two-cylinder engines were enlarged to 946cc in 1937, for use in the new Jowett Eight. Vehicle production ceased in 1939, but when the War was over, the new, 25bhp, 1000cc twincylinder Bradford van proved to be a popular little commercial vehicle for many small businesses.

The ahead-of-their-time Javelin and Jupiter models arrived in 1947; both employed horizontallyopposed four-cylinder engines. The Jupiter’s space frame construction was designed by Dr. Eberan von Eberhorst, of Auto-Union fame. These new models were excellent performers with inherently good handling, and were very successful in both racing and rallying. D i fficulties in obtaining supplies of bodywork (produced by Briggs at Doncaster) eventually brought about the final cessation of Jowett production, in 1953. Jowetts have always been well respected vehicles, and the post- War Javelins and Jupiters were especially advanced for their time.

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