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The Michael Sedgwick Memorial Trust are delighted to have supported two new books published by the well=known specialists, Herridge & Sons. Both books fill gaps in motoring history and will be welcomed by enthusiasts and historians.
Freestone & Webb were one of the "big five" of English coachbuilders, and are credited with single-handedly starting the "razor-edge" style when they exhibited a Bentley. They were based in that hotbed of coachbuilders in the quadrant of London from the Great West Road where the U.S. importers were based from Chiswick out to Brentford, round to Bentley at Cricklewood. Near-neighbours in this hallowed area included Park Ward, Coachcraft and Thrupp & Maberly amongst others. In the prewar period many chassis were used, from Alvis to Voisin and many in-between, but as the choices narrowed in the 1950s, like most coachbuilders they were left with only Rolls=Royce and Bentley.
The Austin Heavy Twelve-Four must have been well-built, as its survival rate has been above-average for its era. It is solid and dependable rather than flashy and racy but these qualities have endeared it to enthusiasts down the years. It has also become an unlikely celebrity with Val Biro's "Gumdrop" known to successive generations of children and parents.
The books are available from the publishers via the link: Herridge and Sons