The History of Phompsonby
From Steam Engines to Supercars
Phompsonby Motor Vehicles Limited, or Phompsonby for short, is a time-tested automotive company based in the United Kingdom that has delivered a range of vehicles for over 100 years.
Phompsonby was first created on the 26th June 1890 under the name of Phompsonby Steam Works, creating a range of small steam engines for use in agricultural and industrial environments. These steam engines were small, cheap to maintain and delivered a small but consistent amount of power.
However, at the turn of the century and the sudden interest in petrol driven combustion engines, Phompsonby turned to developing motor vehicles for use on the road. In 1901, Phompsonby changed their name and unveiled to the public their first motor car, named the Phompsonby Family, though it would be several more years until the car was finally put onto the road.
At the outbreak of WWI, Phompsonby put a hold on developing and building all civilian vehicles in an attempt to help the war effort. Instead of building car and van engines, they started building aircraft engines for the new Royal Flying Corps as well as trying to convert their current vehicles into something they could give to the British Expeditionary Force in France to use. The most successful of these ventures was the ambulance. Taking a base Phompsonby van, fitting some more beefy suspension to it and adding chunkier tyres, thousands of them made their way over to France where they traversed the mud of France to save many servicemen’s lives.
After the war, Phompsonby settled back to their routine of making civilian cars and vans. For the interwar period, they grew into a larger company with many different models on the streets of the United Kingdom and wider Empire. The 1920s were considered to be the ‘Golden Age’ of Phompsonby, when a new car was released nearly every year to massive success. This ‘Golden Age’ lasted until the end of the decade, when a failed car combined with the Great Depression through the company into turmoil with financial problems and low sales figures due to the previously mentioned problems. However, during 1933-34, the UK started to recover the Phompsonby were able to make a slow recovery back to a stable state, producing just a few models with some success.
When WWII rolled around, Phompsonby once again put their vehicles on hold to help the war effort. Not only did they make aircraft engines like in the last war, they also produced tank engines, armaments and also assembled Spitfires and Hurricanes in their vehicle workshops. Also like the last war, they converted many of their spare vans into ambulances for the army to use to ferry wounded around and also supplement their general use vans.
Post-war, Phompsonby once again returned to manufacturing civilian vehicles, though this time at a slower pace, as the country was being rebuild. One of their first cars was the Phompsonby Dart, a sleek sports car. As the time progressed, Phompsonby started producing different car styles to keep up with the changing markets. The 1965 Phompsonby Petite was a small, compact hatchback which had a powerful engine for its size, proving popular with the boy racers of the day!
Rolling into a new century, the 2000s saw a build up towards Phompsonby’s 130th birthday in 2020 and their 100th birthday centenary of producing motor vehicles in 2015. Phompsonby also started experimenting a lot more with creating high performance hyper and supercars, the likes of the Phompsonby Hypercar and the Phompsonby Mach 2.
In 2020/21, the company celebrated their 110th birthday of producing motor vehicles by introducing their ‘retro’ line of vehicles. The most notable of these is the Phompsonby Rocket and the Phompsonby Dynasty. The Rocket is a hypercar built to look like a 1960s performance car, whilst the Dynasty was a return to their roots quite literally. It was the same body as they had first used 110 years ago while the engine was the same size, but with all the modern tools, materials, equipment… and a turbocharger! Phompsonby has withstood the test of time and promises to stay for another 130 years!
Phompsonby Racing Group LTD
Racing from banked track to F1
Phompsonby has always had a history of creating race cars for UK races. It started with the Phompsonby Powermax, a race car producing in the 1910s with mounted a large, loud engine to give it enough speed and torque to stick to the banked tracks of old. During the interwar period they continued to build one-off cars as racing developed, keeping up regular appearances at race tracks such as Brooklands.
After WWII, Phompsonby held back while the country recovered, not rejoining racing until the 1950s. During the late '50s, Phompsonby started to look at building a car to enter the 1960 Le Mans 24 hour race. Over the course of 2-3 years, Phompsonby worked away and finally entered the 1960s Le Mans with the Phompsonby Le Mans Special, a sleek performance car with a powerful Boxer 6 engine, which ran for 4 years until 1964, when it was replaced with a new model for 1965.
Since then, Phompsonby have kept up with race cars, though with the rise of Formula 1 racing, Phompsonby have lost their edge in F1 cars. Despite this, they are not giving up any time soon, since they have continued to build Le Mans cars for the last 60 years and other one off vehicles such as rally cars or other track cars.
1905 Phompsonby Family
1907 Phompsonby Economic
1909 Phompsonby Commercial
1912 Phompsonby Police (a special, more powerful police car)
1914 Phompsonby Ambulance (an ambulance conversion for the army during WWI)
1921 Phompsonby Longstar
1922 Phompsonby Family MKII
1923 Phompsonby Wagoneer
1924 Phompsonby Everyman
1924 Phompsonby Enterprise
1926 Phompsonby Limousine
1927 Phompsonby Standard
1929 Phompsonby Luxury
1939 Phompsonby Utility Van (a light 4x4 utility van created for the RAF)
1946 Phompsonby Dart
1965 Phompsonby Petite
1970 Phompsonby Elematic
1975 Phompsonby Overhauler (their first true off-roader)
2020 Phompsonby Nippy
2020 Phompsonby Superlux
2020 Phompsonby Explorer (new generation SUV)
2020 Phompsonby Family Nova
2020 Phompsonby Hypercar (a one off hypercar)
2020 Phompsonby Rocket (part of the retro line)
2021 Phompsonby Mach 2 (a one off hypercar)
2021 Phompsonby Dynasty (part of the retro line)
2021 Phompsonby Elematic II (part of the retro line)
1920 Phompsonby Powermax
1925 Phompsonby ‘Green Arrow’
1933 Phompsonby Recharging
1960 Phompsonby Le Mans Special MKI
1965 Phompsonby Le Mans Special MKII
1972 Phompsonby Le Mans Special MKIII
1976 Phompsonby Le Mans Special MKIV
Phompsonby’s page on the Automation Wiki(s): Phompsonby Motor Vehicles | Automationverse Wiki | Fandom
Phompsonby Motor Vehicles | Automation Lore Wiki | Fandom