1926 JOWETT 7/17 FOUR DOOR TOURER
Registration No. TW 3655
Chassis No. 66947 D
Engine No. 66947
Black with black interior
Engine: two-cylinder, side valve, horizontally-opposed, 907cc; Gearbox: three speed manual with right hand change; Suspension: front and rear, semi-elliptic leaf springs; Brakes: two wheel drum. Right hand drive
The Jowett light car was idiosyncratic. The factory, in Idle, Bradford, was distant from the great centres of motor manufacture, but thanks to the quality of construction and the elegant simplicity of its common-sense design, is quickly gained and retained a keen following: this devotion is perpetuated by vintage and classic Jowett enthusiasts today.
The first prototype ran in 1906, and further experiments led to limited production from 1910. The Jowett brothers were committed to the superb balance and torque of the horizontally-opposed twin, remaining faithful to this layout until the company's much-lamented end in 1954, although four-cylinders appeared from 1935.
Coming from a hilly area, ability to conquer gradients was a prime consideration, and 'the little engine with the big pull' was very popular in the 1920s, assisted by Jowett's clever publicity - their advertisements were as idiosyncratic as their cars. In 1926, the price of the 'Long' tourer was reduced to a very competitive £167, and over 2,000 cars were made, increasing to over 3,400 the following year.
This Jowett was no doubt purchased by the Sharpe family because of its early local origins which are confirmed by a plaque on its dash stating 'Supplied E.H. Hora of Chelmsford', similarly this is supported by the local Essex County Council registration number that the car wears 'TW 3655'.
The car would appear to retain all of the original features with which it was supplied, most notably including Lucas self-dipping headlights and matched side-lights, a Lucas bulb horn that works through the dash panel, 'Easy-fit' spring bumpers, a luggage rack, foot step plates to the running boards and a storage cupboard in the back of the fixed front bench seat. Much of the interior has remained unspoilt owing to the sensible decision many years ago to leave the hood up and enclosed by the sidescreens.
The Jowett is an absolute 'time-warp' barn-discovery example of the model, and although lacking documentation, is nevertheless one of the most complete and restorable finds in the collection.