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The Hampton was a British car made by the Hampton Engineering Company which was based in Kings Norton, Birmingham from 1912 to 1918 and at Dudbridge in Stroud, Gloucestershire from 1918 to 1933.

Early history

The company was founded by William Paddon who lived in Hampton-in-Arden, Warwickshire where he sold cars and also offered to manufacture light cars and motorcycles. It is not known how many were actually made. In 1912 the Crowdy car company of Birmingham failed and the remains of that company was merged with Hampton Engineering and production moved to Kings Norton. The Crowdy 12/14 was fitted with a larger 1726 cc engine to become the Hampton 12/16. A belt driven cyclecar, apparently designed by Paddon, the Hampton 8 with 968 cc V-twin-cylinder air-cooled engine joined the range in 1913 followed in 1914 by the Hampton 10, a 1244 cc water-cooled version with shaft drive.

Production stopped with the outbreak of World War I and the company went into receivership in 1915.

Post war

In 1919 the company was re-established as a joint venture between William Paddon and Charles Apperley of the Stroud Metal and Plating Company and production was transferred to Dudbridge, Stroud. The first post war car was the Hampton 11.9 with either a 1496 cc or 1795 cc Dorman four-cylinder engine but only a few were made before the money ran out and the company was bought by a major shareholder John Daniel and re-registered as Hampton Engineering Co (1920) Ltd. William Paddon left to join the Autocrat car company of Birmingham.

William Millward who had been with Charron-Laycock joined as Works manager and designer in 1923 and John Leno, son of music hall star Dan Leno became sales manager. In spite of sales of around 300 cars a year, Hampton failed again in 1924 but was reformed by Millward and Leno as the Stroud Motor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. A new, larger, model the Hampton 14, still with a 1496 cc engine, but now from Henry Meadows, was announced.

In 1925 a receiver was appointed yet again but Hampton bounced back again as Hampton Cars (London) Ltd with finance from businessman John Hatton-Hall.

The company moved to smaller premises at Selsley Hill and introduced a more up-market three-litre car with Meadows six-cylinder engine alongside the old 14 which was now called the 12/40 or with smaller 1247 cc engine, the Nine. This did not help finances and the receiver was in again in 1930.

Miraculously, Hampton rose again now registered as the Safety Suspension Car Co. Fifty Straight 8 2496 cc engines and 100 chassis were ordered from Rohr of Germany  to make the Empire Sportsman model. The spare 50 chassis were to be fitted with Continental 2414 cc six-cylinder engines. One or two at most were made before the company failed for the last time and closed in 1933.

During its history, Hampton made about 1100 cars. Five cars are thought to survive.

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