c.1919 CARROW 11.9hp FOUR SEATER TOURER
Registration No. Not known
Chassis No. C109
Engine No. 13550
Engine: four cylinder, side-valve, 1,496cc; Gearbox: three speed manual; Suspension: front and rear, quarter elliptic leaf-spring; Brakes: two wheel drum. Right hand drive
Even in a gathering of motoring historians, few will have heard of the Carrow light car, and, until today, far fewer still ever have seen one. Almost certainly, this is the sole example extant. The make existed briefly, launched in the euphoria following the 'War to end wars', when the market was viewed as limitless and men returned to civilian life with new engineering skills and understanding of motor vehicles, and saw a bright future for such an enterprise.
The Carrow car initially was advertised in 1920 from Whitley Bay, the coastal resort just north of Newcastle-on Tyne, an unlikely site for a motor factory. Recent research by Mike Worthington-Williams has revealed a strong connection between the Carrow and the near-identical PM car, a Belgian make from Liège, current 1921 - 6, and it seems probable that the Carrows were PMs imported in partially-built form. After the first 12 cars, the engine used was the Belgian Peters, or a copy thereof. In 1921, the company moved to Hanwell, London NW7, and exhibited at Olympia, but with nothing to distinguish it, the Carrow could not be sold at a price that allowed it to compete with the products of better-organised makers, and very shortly declined into obscurity.
This is an example of the latter, built in Grosvenor Road, Hanwell, according to the plaque on its dash. The car has resided with the Sharpe family for many years and was almost certainly acquired in keeping with their premise of collecting the unique and rare marques, it also fits another of their apparent criteria being of local origins. Given the condition of this particular car, they may well have saved it from the scrap-yard, since it is heavily corroded throughout.
In the current ownership no work has been attempted and it therefore is left to the next custodian to return what is almost certainly the only Carrow Car to the road.