Argyll were at one time an extremely successful Scottish car maker; one of the famous 3 ‘A’s (others being Albion and Arrol Johnston). Under the direction of Alex Govan the company expanded rapidly and moved from Bridgeton, Glasgow, into a palatial new factory in Alexandria in 1906.
Alex Govan died in 1907 and the company began to loose its way. This coupled to the cost of the new factory began a slow decline for Argyll and the first of several financial collapses in 1914.
The 14/16hp car displayed was made at Alexandria in the company’s heyday. It was sold new by a Lincoln Garage to Sir Luke White, MP for Buckrose (hence the name on the bulkhead), who used it for electioneering, covering 500 miles per week. By the 1950s Sir Luke’s grandson, Ossie White, had it at his home near Leeds and took it to some of the first old car rallies in the North of England.
In 1958 the car went to America to be owned by the Noble family at their farm in Connecticut. They used it very occasionally but kept it as it had been delivered from England. This 14/16hp Argyll is remarkable for being complete in every detail with its lights, horn and Stepney Rim. It must have been ‘freshened up’ at some early stage as much of the paintwork is not up to the Argyll standard. The car is currently having its engine overhauled to allow it to be safely demonstrated in future.
The museum acquired the car in August 2007 with help from the Heritage Lottery Fund, National Fund for Acquisitions and numerous local donors.