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Park Ward was a British coachbuilder founded by William M. Park and Charles W. Ward in 1919. They had worked together at F.W. Berwick Ltd., the makers of Sizaire-Berwick cars.

Their business operated from Willesden, North London.

History

After producing bodies for a variety of cars in the early 1920s Park Ward became particularly associated with Bentley who manufactured their chassis nearby at Cricklewood. In 1922 they were asked by Rolls-Royce to take part in a scheme to make standard bodies for the small Twenty model but the project was abandoned. But they did build bespoke bodies for Rolls-Royce customers exhibiting a 40-50 model at the British Empire exhibition in 1924. From the mid-1920s the company started to concentrate on Bentley and Rolls-Royce models.

In 1933 Rolls-Royce bought a stake in the company and after the Rolls-Royce take over of Bentley, Park Ward became the first choice of coachwork supplier to Bentley customers.

Bugatti Royale

In the same year, Captain Cuthbert W. Foster, heir to the Bird's Custard fortune, commissioned Park Ward to build a body onto to his newly acquired Bugatti Royale, the fourth car chassis number 41131. Fashioned on a favourite Rolls-Royce he had previously owned, the car is hence known as the Foster car or Limousine Park-Ward. After being acquired in 1963 by Fritz Schlumpf from American Bugatti collector John Shakespeare, the car now resides in the Musée National de l'Automobile de Mulhouse, France alongside Ettore Bugatti's personal Royale, the Coupe Napoleon.

Rolls Royce ownership

All-steel bodies were introduced in 1936 alongside the traditional metal on wood frame coachwork. Rolls-Royce acquired the rest of the shares in 1939 and Park Ward became a wholly owned subsidiary.

After World War II, Park Ward continued to produce special coachwork and the all-steel technology was used by Rolls-Royce to produce a standard body range on its cars starting with the Bentley Mark VI.

In 1961, Rolls-Royce merged the Park-Ward business with their 1959 acquisition, H. J. Mulliner & Co. of Chiswick, to form Mulliner Park Ward. Operations were centralized in the former Park-Ward factory in Willesden.