I'm known principally for being the published expert on the history of the London taxi. My other claim to fame is that I'm also the author of Carbodies - the Complete Story.
I'm the official historian of the London Electric Vehicle Company Ltd, makers of the TX purpose-built London taxi and its commercial vehicle variant, the VN5. They were originally known as Carbodies Ltd, then London London Taxis International and then The London Taxi Company.
Another of my interests is Ferguson four-wheel drive. I discovered this story in the late 1990s when I wrote Jeep, from Bantam to Wrangler. It prompted further research into the topic and ended up as Traction for Sale.
I continue to write books and magazine articles on the stories that are "hidden in plain sight"; the subjects you know of, but know little about. Below, under special interests you can see the topics I'm researching or am generally interested in.
If you want to ask a question or can help in any way, I'd be very pleased to hear from you, so please contact me.
Consultancy, Film and Television work
If you are an author and you want to make sure you have the details about London Taxis or the London cab trade correct, ask me. I'm happy to help.
I'm also happy to work with film, TV and radio programme makers on a consultancy basis. Please contact me to find out more.
Carbodies - the Complete Story, is about the coachbuilder that is now LEVC - The London Electric Vehicle Company.
Crowood Press published it over twenty years ago and since then, I've received a steady amount of mail from car owners and enthusiasts and I've also found lots more material about the company.
With all this to hand, I had to produce a second edition. That book is Carbodies - Coachbuilder, Body Maker, Taxi Builder.
If you've got a question for me, or can share any information, please contact me. I'll be very pleased to hear from you.
The History of Coachbuilding and Automotive Bodywork
This is another topic that is 'hidden in plain sight'. Very few people are aware of how important the steel body was, and still is in making the car the affordable and durable thing it is today. Pressed steel has come along way from being the material used to make cheaper, more durable bodies, to this bodies being the car itself. This may possibly be the subject of the next Earlswood Press book.
William Beardmore, Field Marshall of Industry
William Beardmore, Baron Invernairn is largely forgotten by today's students of industrial and naval history. He played a pivotal role in the prosperity of late nineteenth and early twentieth century Glasgow, his adopted city. After the Great War, he earned the accolade, "The Field Marshall of Industry". He also was made a peer for his great contribution to the output of munitions.
In 1919 he began developing many different modes of transport. Sadly, his failure to deal with the consequences of the economic climate of the 1920s crippled the company. He was forced out and he died in 1936, in his eightieth year.
If you have
- any new information William Beardmore and his family
- an interest in the company and its products
Please contact me.