Archive for January, 2019


Benjamin B Hotchkiss (1826 – 1885) was born in the USA and moved to France after the American Civil war.

In 1867 , he founded the company Hotchkiss et Cie specializing in the manufacture of military equipment especially cannons and guns. One of the famous unit was the Hotchkiss revolving gun

A Hotchkiss Revolving Gun


 Around 1900 , Hotchkiss entered automotive business by manufacturing and supplying engine components to car companies like Panhard-Levassor and De Dion-Bouton.

Prodded by a few car dealers , Hotchkiss started manufacturing their own cars in 1903. The first car was a Hotchkiss 17 CV.

An early version of the Hotchkiss car  –


Hotchkiss followed the “one model” policy till 1929 when they introduced multiple models.

In 1948, Hotchkiss bough the license of a front wheel drive technology from Gregoire and the luxury car Hotchkiss-Gregoire was introduced.


In 1955 , another Luxury model Hotchkiss Anjou was introduced.

Dwindling volumes and teething problem led to the downfall of the Hotchkiss cars.

In 1954 , Hotchkiss merged with Delahaye to form Societe Hotchliss-Delahaye. By 1995,, Hotchkiss was taken over by Brandt and was making Jeeps under license.

In 1966 , the Hotchkiss brand was taken over by Thomson – Houston.

However , Hotchkiss is known for major invention – the Hotchkiss drive.

The driveline construction of a Rear Wheel Drive vehicle design with 2 Universal joint fitted propeller shaft and the rear axle mounted on semi-elliptic leaf springs is credited to Hotchkiss and even now known as Hotchkiss drive.  The Hotchkiss drive was simpler and less costly than the torque tube (De Dion Axle) of that time.


The Hotchkiss Logo – crossed cannons from the early years when they were making guns and cannons.


Scottish Engineer Alexander Wilson founded the Alex Wilson and Company in 1857 to manufacture pumps and marine engines. In 1897, the company was renamed as Vauxhall Iron Works after the city of Vauxhall where it was located.

In 1903 , Vauxhall Iron Works started manufacturing cars and the first car was a 4-seater with the driver seated behind the passengers and steering through a tiller mechanism.

A 1903 Vauxhall

In 1907 the company was renamed as Vauxhall Motors.

In 1908, Vauxhall developed the famous Y-Type Y1 car for the RAC Scottish reliability trials which spawned a new series of successful cars named as A-type.

Some of the famous Vauxhall cars –

A 1912 Vauxhall A-type  –

A 1912 Prince Henry

A 1920 Vauxhall Velox
In 1925 Vauxhall Motors was acquired by General Motors of USA. Post the takeover, Vauxhall was integrated in to the European operations of General Motors along with Opel.
A 1950 Post War Vauxhall Velox
A 1975 Vauxhall Chevette related to Chevrolet –
A modern speedster Vauxhall VX220
The Vauxhall logo –
The logo was derived from the coat of arms of Fulk le Breant