British Motor Heritage

 

 

The British Motor Heritage Brand encompasses a collection of classic car marques representing the golden era of British car manufacturing. The British Motor Heritage collection of licensed products utilising the approved marques is targeted at men over 21 who may have fond sentimental memories of owning their own MGs, Morris Minors or Austin-Healeys in their youth. We believe that collectors of fine wine, memorabilia and classic cars would be a key target for this Brand. The BMH Brand offers a prime opportunity for gift giving.

 

 

Over the years, the Heritage trademarks have become the sign for quality of service and manufacture. The use of the logos has been identified with Specialist Approval which is the Quality Benchmark for the Classic Car Industry and with Quality Original Equipment product.

 

 

◊ Elegant
◊ Refined
◊ Sophisticated
◊ Masculine
◊ A rich British legacy and roots
◊ Traditional
◊ Adventurous
◊ Classic
◊ Nostalgic/Vintage
◊ Attention to detail
◊ Style

Vintage Car Marques

Registered in 1909, the Austin Word form was used on cars and literature well into the late 1930s. The last appearance was probably the cast-in feature on the side of the crankcase on the Austin 3.5 litre (later 4 litre) petrol engine used in trucks from 1939, in the A125/A135 Austin Princess models and Jensen cars of the 1950s.

An elaborate scrolling form of the badge, ‘Austin of England’ was used on various models in the 1950s, either on the scuttle areas or the boot lid.

This was Lord Austin’s personal coat of arms, created for him when he became Baron Austin of Longbridge in 1936, in recognition of his support of Lord Rutherford’s atomic research at the Cavendish Laboratory. Although he was disinclined to flaunt the coat of arms himself, the company was proud to use it after his death in 1941. It appeared on the radiator and bonnet badges and steering wheel bosses of many Austins in the 1950s and 1960s.

Over time, it slowly evolved and modernised, making its last appearances in a highly stylised form on the A40 Somerset and A70 Hereford models up to 1954.

Donald Healey displayed his new 100 model. Leonard Lord of Austin, on seeing the car, signed an overnight deal with Healey to mass produce the car.  The next day the display signage was re-written to advertise the car as the new Austin-Healey 100.

The winged badge was used on the prototype model displayed at the show without the Austin name – which there had not been an opportunity to revise. Afterwards it was applied to subsequent Austin-Healey 100 and 3000 models with subtle variations on the original.

Appearing on the Austin-Healey Sprite at its introduction in 1958, this special version of the Austin Coat of Arms appeared on the bonnet of one of the world’s best loved little sports cars. With the introduction of the Mk II Sprite, the badge gained wings before reverting to its former style when the badge was moved to the grille on 1970 model year cars. At the end of 1970 the Healey name was discontinued and a revised Austin badge was applied to the grille – this too disappeared when, in June 1971, the remaining stocks of Austin Sprites were sold.

Brussels coach builder Henri Vanden Plas established a workshop in London in 1913. The assets of the Belgian company were liquidated in WW1, but Edwin Fox re-established the UK operation at Kingsbury, North London in 1923.

Vanden Plas became a respected maker of bespoke bodies for chassis from Bentley, Daimler, Lagonda and Alvis between the wars. Austin bought the company in 1946 to build the big Austin Princess saloons and Limousines.

A successful batch of Vanden Plas-trimmed Austin A105 models in 1958 led to the launch of a ‘Princess 3-litre’ version of the Farina-styled Austin Westminster in October 1959; in May 1960 the ‘coronet’ badge and Vanden Plas marque name were applied to both the 3 litre saloon and the big 7-seater Limousine. Subsequent Vanden Plas models included the 4 litre R, the exquisite 1100/1300 derivatives and the 1500, an upmarket Allegro. Some Jaguar/Daimler models were also given the Vanden Plas trim treatment.

The Kingsbury works closed in 1979, but the Vanden Plas name has since been used for various top of the range Austin and Rover derivatives .

The ‘Rover’ name first appeared on a tricycle made by the Coventry firm of Starley & Sutton in 1884, but soon became the company name, with car production starting in 1904. As the Scandinavian Vikings were amongst the most famous ‘rovers’ of history, the company began to use a Viking Warrior talisman as a mascot in 1922.

In 1929, the first version of the Viking Ship badge appeared on the radiator shell of cars like the Light Six, and Rover also offered a Viking Head mascot for the radiator cap.

It is unlikely that any other car marque badge in the world has had so many different interpretations and renderings as Rover’s Viking Ship. Until fairly recently, it was common to find three or more quite different versions of the badge around the same car, and variations in printed material, dealer signage etc. were legion. However, some ‘corporate identity’ discipline was introduced in from 1989 onwards. The latest re-design of the badge took place only in 2003, ready for the centenary year of Rover cars.

When W.R. Morris launched his car building business with the 1913 Morris Oxford, he did not have to look too hard for a marque logo – he adopted and adapted the Oxford City Arms, which show an Ox above a ford.

The basic logo was used with remarkably little change, albeit in many different settings, on the front of Morris cars right up until 1971, with the last of the Farina Morris Oxfords, and its removal from the Morris 1100, 1300 and 1800 models. It did not appear on the subsequent Morris Marina and Ital models, as these carried the relevant corporate identifiers, such as the Leyland roundel or the Austin Morris ‘wing’.

The Morris marque lapsed with the end of Ital production in 1983/4.

The Coventry-based Standard Motor Company was formed in 1903 by Reginald Maudslay, whose cousins already ran the Maudslay Motor Company. Standard grew to become one of the UK’s major car makers mainly through its light and medium cars, beginning with the 1913 9.5hp Model S.

Standard used a variety of different logos and trademarks over the years. From 1908 to 1930, the Standard radiator badge was circular, incorporating a Union Flag.  Maudslay saw a Roman Standard of the IXth Legion at a Sothebys auction, and was inspired to adopt this device as an additional trademark in 1921. There was also a very mixed chronology motif which had a simplified Roman Standard used as a flagpole for a British Naval Ensign flag. In the early 1930s, the Union Flag radiator badge was scaled down and sprouted ‘feathered wings’. When the famous ‘Flying Standard’ saloons adopted the waterfall grille style in 1936/37, the radiator badge became a vertical upstanding Union Flag.

When Morris Garages became known as MG, the original double shield device was dropped in favour of this simple and bold design. Still used today, it is one of the most emotive images in motoring.

Used on all company paperwork and advertising since the late 1920s the car badges have incorporated red and cream, brown and cream, even black and white without losing any of its apparent strength or identity. A variation of the Octagon has been created to differentiate the modern aims and aspirations of current MG cars.

Starting life as a manufacturer of sheep shearing machinery, Wolseley developed to become a respected and popular car maker renowned for technical excellence.
Following the First World War Wolseley’s fortunes wavered, the company going bankrupt in 1926 whereupon it was purchased, following a bitter battle with Austin, by William Morris. Instead of the factories being merged, the Wolseley name remained, the badge in particular became a symbol of pride.
Used on radiators since the late 1920s and illuminated since 1933, this classic logo continued to be used (as seen on Police vehicles in countless British films) until the last Wolseley 2200 was produced in 1975.

When Sir William Morris was granted his peerage in 1938, he was residing at his estate in Nuffield , South East of Oxford, and so took the title of Viscount Nuffield. He celebrated by re-organising Morris Motors and all its associated companies under the mantle of The Nuffield Organisation in 1940.
Nuffield became a trademark in its own right, being applied to everything from tractors to the in-house printer, Nuffield Press, which still trades today outside of the motor industry.
Lord Nuffield’s substantial philanthropic activities are still witnessed today by many Nuffield Hospitals around Britain, and Nuffield College at Oxford University.

Licensing Opportunities

  • Apparel & Accessories
  • Watches
  • Giftware
  • Desktop and Office Gifts
  • Luggage & Travel Gear
  • Stationery
  • Posters
  • Diecast
  • Computer Games
  • Furniture and Home Decor
  • Personal Care
  • Publishing
  • Promotional Partnerships