Today in Motorcycle History

Harding of Bath

Invalid carriages, 1920s-1970s

Founded in 1921 by Messrs. Gordon and Loxley, the R.A Harding company of 19 Lower Bristol Road, Bath, produced hand-propelled tricycles before introducing their first motor models in 1926. In pre-war years, the powered Harding range included the 122cc Villiers-engined De Luxe models A & B, the 200cc or 300cc JAP-powered Pultney and 24-volt or 36-volt electric machines. In 1930 they offered 8 different models, and during WWII they built machines to government contract.

In 1945, the company was renamed R.A Harding (Bath) Ltd, and the Pultney was discontinued. In December 1948, the "New" Harding De Luxe Models A & D were announced with larger rear wheels, a new petrol tank, and a fan-cooled Villiers 147cc unit in place of the 122cc engine. Around this time AC entered the market, and Harding found it difficult to compete.

In 1956, Harding introduced the unsuccessful full-bodied Consort model, of which only twelve examples were made. In 1966 the entire range of powered machines was discontinued, but hand-propelled machines continued to be offered until 1973.

After a period of serving as a Ministry Repairer, R.A. Harding (Bath) Ltd finally closed their doors in 1988.

Sources: History of R A Harding - courtesy of The Invalid Car Register; Graces Guide

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