H. J. Mulliner & Co. was a well-known British coachbuilder operating at Chiswick in West London.
The Mulliner family can trace their coachbuilding history back to 1760, building coaches for the Royal Mail in Northampton.
Mulliner now is the personal commissioning department for Bentley.
There were at one time four separate businesses trading with the name Mulliner, all seem to have belonged to people descended from the original family:
- Arthur Mulliner based in Northampton;
- Mulliner based in Liverpool which also opened a showroom in Brook Street, Mayfair, London jointly with Arthur Mulliner trading as Mulliner (London) Ltd.;
- H.J. Mulliner who bought the Mayfair showroom;
- Mulliners of Birmingham.
Arthur H Mulliner was the son of F Mulliner who set up the original Mulliner company making mail coaches in Northampton. Arthur H's son Arthur Felton Mulliner (born 1859) took the company into the construction of motor car bodies and by 1900 they had built over 150 mainly on Daimler cars. In 1907, as well as the Northampton works, a new sales office and factory was opened in Long Acre, London. Business boomed during the 1920s with orders for bodies on Armstrong Siddeley and Vauxhall cars being exhibited at the 1920 London Motor Show.
In the 1930s although orders for the more traditional makers such as Rolls-Royce and Bentley continued, large production runs from the middle market makers were proving harder to get and in 1939 the business was sold to the car distributor Henlys which closed the coachbuilding business but kept the sales and marketing operation which lasted until 1976.
H J Mulliner & Co
Henry Jervis Mulliner founded H.J. Mulliner & Co. a coachbuilding business in 1900 in Brook Street, Mayfair, London. These were probably the premises previously occupied by Mulliners (London) Ltd. The location was convenient for his clients. One of the early clients was C.S. Rolls who had a body built on a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost for his own use.
In 1906 the works moved out of Mayfair to Chiswick and shortly afterwards H.J. Mulliner sold his interest in the company to John Croall and retired. A family connection was maintained as Croall employed H. J. Mulliner's brother in law Frank Piesse to run the company.
Although bodies were fitted to other chassis, by the 1930s virtually the entire output was being fitted to Rolls-Royce and Bentleys.
Rolls-Royce acquired Mulliner in 1959 and merged it with Park Ward which they had owned since 1939 forming Mulliner Park Ward in 1961.