In 1912, the All British Engine Company was established in Surrey by Ronald Charteris and operated under the name of ABC Motors Limited until 1919 when it was sold to Sopwith in an attempt to diversify its activities in various manufacturing aspects following World War I. However, they would attempt to diversify too much and by 1921, Sopwith would declare bankruptcy. The ABC name would continue in production until 1951, when Sopwith would finally be absorbed by the Vickers Company.
During the First World War, ABC Motors would develop a name for themselves when they produced a series of radial airplane engines which were considered to be highly advanced in their era. However, there was a series of problems which would continue to plague the line throughout the entire war period. Many aircraft were designed around this engine which would never make its way on to the runway including that of the ill-fated RAF Dragonfly.
Furthermore, much like many auto manufacturers of the time period, due to diversification, the ABC Motors Limited would also produce a series of electrical generators. One of their most noted designs is that of their exhaust-over-inlet valve engine which would be utilised as a means of powering the powerful searchlight mounted upon the Supermarine Nighthawk which had become known as the “Zeppelin killer”.
Other than airplanes and generator engines, the ABC Motors Limited would also release their first car model, in 1920, a light sports car entitled the Supersports, a motor scooter which was named Skootamota as well as a motorcycle.
After the name was absorbed under the Vickers name, the ABC name brand would never be heard from again and much like a great number of other highly personalised auto manufacturers following World War I, they would become nothing more than another page in time in the history of the automotive industry. With this said, it is understood that today there are several of these highly rare automobiles still in existence and are considered to be a quite rare specimen for virtually anyone’s car collection.
Original Authors: Nick (Globel Team)
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 26/08/2008