Manufactured 1915, registered 28.1.1921

1921 Bedford-Buick CX25 Tourer

Make: Bedford-Buick
Model: CX25 Tourer
Year: 1921
Registration Number: LD 4164
Chassis Number: 52550
Engine Number: 144675
Transmission: Manual
Steering: Right Hand Drive
MOT Test Expiry: Exempt
Road Tax Exempt

Lot No: 229

Buicks were considered by the British to be one of the better built American motor cars; it is amongst the oldest of motor manufacturers and indeed, under Durant, was a major player in the formation of General Motors USA in 1908. By 1915, Buick offered a powerful 4/5 seat tourer, known as the ‘Domestic’ model, which was capable of covering the vast distances in the States and over roads which were barely discernible at times. It had to be robust and it has to be simple as it may have needed to travel over and be repaired on terrains as diverse as frozen mountains or scorching deserts. These durable models were marketed in the US, then shipped to England in crates and were assembled at the Bedford Works factory, known as the Panelling Shop, where the English Coachwork was fitted. They were known as Bedford-Buicks, thus escaping the rigours of the MacKenna Duties imposed to protect the burgeoning British motor industry, and were seen in this country in fair numbers, with only 931 exported out of a total of 20,011.

Powered by a four cylinder, 15/18 horse power engine of 2698cc, this exceedingly rare CX25 Tourer has a superb social history. It belonged to a well-known magistrate, Squire Carter, a colliery owner who before the 1914 Great War had travelled south to purchase a country estate for his retirement. When Carter died, the motor car passed to his daughters and was subsequently laid up in a coach house for many years before it found its way to a boat repairers’ yard on the south coast. It was re-discovered in 1956 at the yard; apparently ‘Jalopy’ as it was soon known, was in a sorry state buried in rubbish and old oil drums. It was resting with the wheels removed, but the motor car was amazingly complete and the owner wished to sell!

A full restoration commenced, with attention to the originality and detail. On completion, the Jalopy was ready for its first VCC event, the 1956 Plymouth to Paignton Rally which apart from tyre problems, was a great success and the Bedford-Buick apparently provided ample power on the hills!

The motor car successfully participated in further VCC rallies in the intervening years before ownership passed to the late Stephen Pettifer, and another refurbishment then took place, assisted by the current custodian. It now appears to be the only survivor of the model range and remains in good order, with a very smart and original interior. After a period of storage, a recommissioning service will be required before returning the motor car to the road, but it will be a welcome competitor in appropriate VCC and VSCC events and rallies, should the new owner so wish.

The large history file supplied with LD 4164 contains a framed photograph of a 1915 Buick Model C25, a VCC of Great Britain Certificate of Dating, the V5C registration certificate, an RF60 registration book, a 1959 VCC souvenir programme of the Scottish Rally (the Bedford-Buick Tourer was car number 88), a collection of interesting black and white photographs, a photocopy Buick reference book for models C24 and C25, data, and a photocopy of ‘Instructions for the care of 1915 Delco Systems’.