Motors - a leading MG distributor and spares provider in the 1960s & 70s|
of our "Looking back" series ahead of the 45th Anniversary of the
launch of the MGBGTV8 in August 1973 and the 40th Anniversary of the formation
of the V8 Register in October 1978. Looking
University Motors branches in the 1970s
A sales invoice
from December 1970 for a new MGB Roadster and an invoice for an MOT for Peter
Beadle's MGBGTV8 in November 1979 show clearly from the letter headings the branches
the UM group had. More
Beadle says "thinking of University Motors Balham & Hanwell, I thought
the following snippets might be of interest!
All the UM branches were part
of UMECO University
COmpanies. Something like MOWOG?
Umeco ditched the Motors side in the 1980s. I believe the last motors part to
go was Newbury, a multi-franchise site, as they could see the writing on the wall
regrading British Motor Cars & Leyland Cars in particular! They saw what British
Aerospace were doing and moved into the same business forming Umeco Holdings PLC.
later in 2012 the US group, Cytec Industries Inc, announced
its firm intention to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Umeco plc (Heanor,
UK) in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately US$439m (£274.3m).
The Umeco board of directors unanimously recommend the transaction to Umeco shareholders.
The acquisition of Umeco enabled Cytec to expand its presence in both aerospace
and industrial applications, an area where Cytec could see excellent opportunities
UM bought up the remaining
stock of MGCs (around 200 cars) when the model was dropped from the MG range which
were sold off as University Motors Specials. There were many variations
in the specials' specification - some had bodywork changes, some had grille changes
and some were fitted with Downton
engine tuning parts. The conversion
work was carried out at UM Hanwell by Downton trained mechanics.
Motors was a leading MG distributor in the 1960s and 70s with branches in
Hanwell (west London), Epsom and Kingston in Surrey and Balham (south London).
In the late 1960s they also had a showroom in Conduit Street in Central London
where the V8 webmaster bought an MG Midget in 1968.|
in Church Street in Epsom, Surrey
Fellow V8 Register member Peter
Beadle (a founder member of the V8 Register) was working at UM
Epsom in the 1970s as Parts Manager and has sent in the photo alongside taken
in 1979 outside the branch in Epsom. The photo was taken in late 1979 by Tony
Hilton (now living in Australia) and features Damask 1471 then owned by Nigel
Wagstaff, Harvest Gold 1089 (Victor Smith, a founder member) and Glacier
White 1175 (Tony Hilton). It featured as a UM advert on the back of cover
of issue 2 of the V8 Register Journal released early in the New Year 1980. Printed
journals were produced in the days before the internet! The V8 website was launched
in May 2002.
no MG signage on the UM building, just Austin, Morris, Rover and Triumph,
because sadly by late 1979 MG production had ended and the MG Plant and marque
had closed. UM Epsom continued servicing MGs and had a good MG spares department.
Motors in Balham High Road, SW17|
has tracked down this photo of the UM branch in the High Road in Balham, London
SW17. The Personal Export Delivery (PED) activities were handled by this branch
in 1973. He says "this site was used by Barkers Motors (London) and was ubsequently
taken over by University Motors (date unknown). The UM Balham branch is listed
in the 1972 British Leyland (Austin Morris) Directory of UK Dealers as both a
Franchised Retail Dealer for Austin, Wolseley and MG cars and a Franchised Distributor
for Morris, Wolseley and MG cars. Interestingly in the updated 1973 British Leyland
publication, the Balham branch is no longer listed but the branch at 99 Boston
Road in Hanwell is".
Motors showroom in Piccadilly|
University Motors had a showroom in Central
London in the 1950s and 60s (photo alongside).
University Motors showroom
in Conduit Street
University Motors had a small showroom in Conduit Street
in London's West End the mid/late 1960s. [We would welcome a photo of the Conduit
Street showroom from any member who has a copy for use in this "UM-Looking
University Motors advert on the back of
a bus ticket
Robert Rose found that in the 1950s an advert for University
Motors in Piccadilly was on the back of a bus ticket.