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SNAPSHOT 92: 1907 Argyll 16/20hp Four-seat Tourer

Quite late for the genre, this image comes from a 1907 photographic postcard titled, ‘How Many Tunes Does It Play Mister’, a silly statement that one does still hear from time to time today. Cartoons of motor-cars in funny situations, some bearing somewhat prosaic statements that were supposed to be funny and pejorative in their day, fall on less sympathetic ears in these more enlightened times. The postcard was published by Bamforth & Co of Huddersfield (the city of the car’s registration) in 1907, and was one of a set of similar ‘comical’ postcards issued by the company. From an artistic point of view, one has to respect the art director for carefully positioning the motor-car at the right angle; taking care to lift both sides of the bonnet to enhance the impression of a troublesome vehicle; carefully positioning the driver in an accentuated position, that modern drivers of crank-started cars will not recognise today, and the local yokel, suitably dressed, with theatre make-up, and positioned in a slovenly stance to give the impression of unworldliness. One can only believe that the two men were company employees, and extracted much amusement from a day’s photography. Thankfully, by 1907, with the significant advance and acceptance of motor vehicles, such scenes of ‘seaside satire’ were becoming humourless. Argyll motor-cars were quite rare, yet a similar 16/20hp belonging to a J. Hilton Crowther was frequently listed in club events in the Huddersfield area at this time. Interestingly, it may well be the Hilton Crowther car featured in this 110-year old photograph.


2 responses to “SNAPSHOT 92: 1907 Argyll 16/20hp Four-seat Tourer”

  1. David Hales says:

    In the earlier years of the twentieth century there were relatively few British built cars that made a major impact on the motoring scene, but one of them was Argyll. They quickly became known throughout the country, continuing their popularity beyond the death of Alex Govan in 1907 up to the Great War, largely through a great range of local agencies. Humber managed to do the same, probably using many of their cycle agencies which had built up a sound customer base to develop motor agencies. Daimler and MMC sold throughout the country gradually increasing numbers even though MMC expired early on. Wolseley also did remarkably well from a blank sheet of paper, and somewhat later on, so did Sunbeam.

  2. P. W. MacDonald-Card says:

    David Hales must be thanked for supplying the registration details of the vehicle, and makes several good points in his text above.

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