Mulliners of Birmingham was a British coachbuilding company.
Although not financially connected with the other coachbuilding companies having Mulliner in their name – Arthur Mulliner based in Northampton, Mulliner based in Liverpool who also opened a showroom in Brook Street, Mayfair, London and H.J. Mulliner who later bought the Mayfair showroom – they seem to have been descended from the same Northampton family.
The company seems to have originated around 1896 and built a few bodies for Daimler before deciding the future lay in making large production runs for motor companies that did not have their own facilities. An early contract was gained from Calthorpe, then a booming company, leading to probably the entire output going to them and eventual close financial and corporate links between the two.
After Calthorpe failed in 1924, the managing director of Mulliners, Louis Antweiler, who was also on the Calthorpe managing board, arranged to buy the coachbuilding company which he renamed Mulliners Ltd. He obtained contracts with Clyno and Austin for whom he made many Weymann style fabric bodies for the Austin 7. When the fashion for fabric bodies declined, the business with Austin went but was replaced by orders from Hillman, Humber, Standard and Lanchester.
In 1929 the company went public. The main business was now with Daimler and Lanchester making the bodies for the cheaper range of cars with, confusingly, Arthur Mulliner of Northampton making the up-market models. Alvis was added to the list of customers.
During World War II they made bodies for military vehicles and troop carrying gliders.
After the war body making for cars resumed with Aston Martin, Armstrong Siddeley and Triumph joining the list of customers. Standard-Triumph had by then a shortage of body making capacity and this led them to buy the company in 1958. The name disappeared in 1962.
- Alvis Cars
- Armstrong Siddeley
- Aston Martin
- Calthorpe Cars
- Daimler Motor Company
- Humber Cars
- Lanchester Motor Company
- Standard Motor Company
- Triumph Motor Company
References / sources
- A-Z of British Coachbuilders. Nick Walker. Bay View Books 1997. ISBN 1-870979-93-1
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