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British Motorcycles

Bert Houlding and Sons




Bert Houlding
Bert Houlding

Bert Houlding and Sons of Cold Bath Street, Preston were carburettor specialists.

They have been listed as the builders of Toreador and Matador motorcycles, however Peter Houlding of New Zealand, grandson of William, writes:

Bert Houlding and Sons did not build these two types of motorbike. (It was not formed as a company until after WWII). They were built by my grandfather, Bert Senior, under the auspices of The Toreador Engineering Company and The Matador Engineering Company respectively. My father Bert Jnr was the older of the two brothers who joined their father in the business which he formed after WWII. That business did no manufacturing - they were known as Carburettor Specialists.

There was no Bert in the family prior to Bert Senior, whose father's name was William (there seems to be a lot of confusion about this). Granddad also had a company which overlapped with his other ventures called Houlding and Co -'The Motorcycle People' - and he is shown sitting ouside its premises in Preston (Lancashire) in 1920 on an Indian machine, for which he had distribution rights in the North-West.


Toreador were motorcycles produced from 1925 to 1928 at works at Ribble Bank Mills, Preston, Lancashire (by William Houlding, not Bert Houlding and Sons)

Matador were motorcycles produced from 1923 to 1927, in Preston by William Houlding

"Matador quoted in 1924 for Blackburne and Bradshaw-engined 350-c.c. models, £59 15s.; and it should be well known to Mr. Bradshaw that even in his home town, Preston, the Toreador Engineering Co. produced, in 1926, motorcycles of 350-c.c. capacity with J.A.P. and with Bradshaw " oil-boilers " . . . "
Motor Sports Magazine, September 1960.

Bert Houlding Junior emigrated to Auckland, New Zealand from Preston, Lancashire in 1956

Notes Sources: Grace's Guide


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