History of Davenport Cars

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David driving his father and cousins in an ex-army Ford truck that they used on their family farm.

The interest in SS cars runs deep in the Davenport family…

David Davenport can vividly remember travelling as a young boy to Belle Vue Speedway, Manchester in a 1936 SS 2.5 Litre Saloon every Saturday evening. David’s father was an avid supporter of speedway racing and his chosen mode of transport was the SS. Mr Davenport Senior always managed to be late leaving so the SS was never driven slowly. David, although only 6 years old can remember the beautiful dashboard with all the instruments, the long bonnet that seemed to go on forever, the gargantuan headlights and defeating every thing away from numerous traffic lights en route. This carried on until David was 11 years old, although by this time David’s father had upgraded to a 2.5 litre of 1947.

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Edward ‘Teddy’ Davenport, David’s Father standing in front of a Talbot. He tried it but didn’t like it and went back to SS Jaguars!

In 1952 the family moved from Cheshire to a family run farm on the Bedfordshire/Cambridgeshire border. Mr Davenport Senior was a threshing contractor by trade and had owned a car garage back in the North of England in which David was born! David never forgot the impression the SS cars made on him, he restored his first car when he was only 15 years old. Albeit not an SS but over the years he kept restoring until he could buy various SS and Jaguar cars, some for as little as £20 and by 1979 Davenport Cars was formed. To help his finances David professionally drove a Stock Car for Spedeworth International, winning many titles and trophy’s, even winning the yearly televised ITV World of Sport Championship twice. Very different than restoration but it payed for the business to take off and almost 40 years later, it’s still thriving.

Photo clockwise from top left: David Davenport after winning a Stockcar race. Winning the Suffolk Stockcar Championship in Ipswich in the 1970’s. David’s first ever Stockcar that he hand built in 1969.

The 1980’s saw Davenport Cars flourish and since this time we have restored cars for many customers all over the world. Numerous 1st prizes have been won  in the renowned ‘Concours d’Elegance’ along the way. We have also been heavily involved with the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust, building up their collection and restoring SS cars to original condition so they can be used as a reference piece for anyone restoring the same model. Last year (2017) an SS 100 restored by us won the prestigious ‘Appleyard’ trophy for the best SS100 at the national Jaguar day, and the ‘SS Register Challenge’ trophy the same day. This was a credit to all the hard work and passion that David and his workforce put into every car they restore.

Davenport Cars have been very fortunate in having a very loyal, long serving, small team of skilled employees. Carrying out full restorations, regular servicing and offering advice if needed. An interest in SS certainly continues to run in the veins of the Davenport family with David’s eldest son Mark running an SS100 among other classics and Matthew working within the company today.

Long may it continue.

 

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