Coventry Motette Tricars

Manufactured 1898-1903 by the Coventry Motor Company, 61 Hertford Street, Coventry.

Used 2½ & 3½ h.p. engines based on a Leon Bollée design.

First announced in 1897, the Coventry Motette entered production in 1899. It was developed by the Coventry Motor Company and the Humber company and was produced at both plants. CEO of the operation was Charles McRobie Turrell, secretary to H.J. Lawson [1]. A modified version of the Bollée tricar, it had belt drive and its cylinder alongside the rear wheel, and the crank-shaft and reduction gear ahead of it. The passenger seat went between the front wheels and the driver sat behind.

The company also built a ladies' model that had the engine ahead of the rear wheel, which was driven by a wooden pulley pressed against the tyre. The rider was seated above the petrol tank and hot-tube ignition burner, but despite this, the machine travelled safely from Coventry to London.

It is believed that quite a number of these machines were manufactured and sold to the well-heeled.

Lawson also produced the Beeston motorcycle from 1896 to 1901.

N.B. 1. Harry J. Lawson had a dubious reputation. He was involved with Lawson tricars and other firms.

The Coventry Motor Co., Ltd., have the enviable distinction of being the first " English " company to manufacture a successful and practical autocar. The " Coventry Motette" is not an experiment; in France and abroad it has made many enthusiasts, and at no time has the supply equalled the demand. Many valuable improvements have now been effected, notably toward the reduction of noise and vibration. It offers numerous advantages when compared with the average motor car, is easy to house, simple in the extreme, and absolutely safe, for to overturn it is impossible. In addition it is an autocar, not a motor cycle.

The Coventry Motor Co. also submit for the careful consideration of tradesmen the "Coventry Carriette." With this method of delivery one boy can easily do the work of a man and two horses. At an extremely small estimate this should effect a saving of at least seventy-five per cent, from present expenditure

"The Coventry Motette" renders the city man independent of rail services, and enables hundreds of men to live far away from smoky cities. Length}" tours can be undertaken into districts where the cheap tripper is unknown. As a pleasure instrument it is unrivalled.

The Coventry Motor Co. do not deal directly with customers or the trade, their factors being the British Motor Syndicate, Ltd.. Coventry, to whom enquiries should be addressed.

Arrangements have been made with the Syndicate to enable intending purchasers to become thoroughly conversant with the machine.

Coventry, March, 1897.

Sources: Graces Guide,, Wikipedia.

This article delves further into the history:

If you have further information or a query related to this page, please contact us