Apex Motor Engineering Co. Ltd

Client

The Apex Motor Engineering Co. Ltd was based at 58 Cromwell Street, between Great Western and New City Roads, Glasgow, and was incorporated as a joint-stock company, with capital of 6,500, in February 1910. 1 It had the Glasgow concession for the 15–18 h.p. Bedford, which managed 32 miles per gallon in 1911, when taken 'outside for trial runs'. 2

Early motoring was an expensive pursuit, with multiple small local vehicle-building firms. 3 From 1911, Apex was a regular exhibitor at the Scottish Motor Shows in Edinburgh and Glasgow. 4 It accepted the Austro-Daimler Company's challenge, in 1912, to 'start at the foot of any hill ... and race any car for 20 a-side', driving their 'Bedford Baby Brooklands', but the winner is, apparently, unrecorded! 5

Apex acquired the Glasgow agency for Benz, 'the most efficient cars in the world', by 1913, and the speed of technical innovation produced Benz 'models from 12–20 h.p. to 100 h.p.' one year later. 6 In 1917, Apex became the first firm in the Glasgow Post Office Directory to offer 'motor car tuition', probably responding to the practical necessities of life under wartime conditions. 7 Its managers at this time included Gordon L. Campbell, later an independent mechanic, and R. H. Ferrier. 8

Apex still closed down in 1922 and the business was acquired by Primrose Motor Co. Ltd with the considerable capital of 60,000. Primrose carried on business for just short of a further four decades, closing in 1961. 9

Notes:

1: Scotsman, 5 February 1910, p. 7;Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1910–11, pp. 76, 800.

2: Scotsman, 27 January 1911, p. 12; 17 January 1912, p. 10.

3: M. Worthington-Williams, The Scottish Motor Industry, Aylesbury: Shire Publications, 1989, pp. 23–31; J. Webster, In the Driving Seat, Glasgow: Royal Concert Hall, 1996, pp. 32–7.

4: Scotsman, 14 December 1911, p. 11; 12 January 1912, p. 10; 24 January 1914, p. 12; 1 November 1919, p. 10.

5: Scotsman, 20 January 1912, p. 13.

6: Scotsman, 24 January 1913, p. 10; 24 January 1914, p. 12.

7: Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1917–18, p. 1285.

8: The Times, 24 March 1915, p. 10; Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1917–18, p. 147; 1919–20, p. 233.

9: Edinburgh Gazette, 6 June 1922, p. 986; 11 July 1922, p. 1183; 31 March 1961, p. 202; Scotsman, 18 March 1922, p. 7; Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1922–3, p. 547.