A bicycle brand that became a classic car marque

Jowett Javelin And Jupiters
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The Jowett following has always been strong. There is quite a market for anything Jowett related, from memorabilia as small as advertising cards right up to fully restored cars. With cars fetching tens of thousands of pounds - a rather nice Jowett Jupiter recently reached £26,000 - the Jowett is definitely a respected vintage brand.

Which is no surprise; imagine one of these gleaming cars rolling through the Yorkshire Dales, roof down on a warm summers day, catching everyone’s eye.

Jowett Hood Ornament

Since production of the Jowett ceased the cars have gained the status of a classic car and the following of many enthusiasts.

The Jowett Car Club claims to be the oldest one-make car club in the world. The first meeting was advertised in the Bradford Telegraph in May 1922 and the Southern Jowett Car Club formed on 26th August 1923.

There are now affiliated clubs across the globe including America, Australia and New Zealand, with devoted websites to the Jowett Jupiter and Jowett owners. The clubs celebrate the cars made in Bradford between 1906 and 1954; they encourage the maintenance, running and preservation of all Jowett vehicles. They provide drivers with technical help, finding spare parts and offer a community with mutual interests.

They also run regular meetings, rallies and organise to attend larger events across the country, such as the one in Peebles where many of the featured photos were taken.

Jowett Blackbird

One thing that catches the eye are the detailed and sometimes ornate hood ornaments on the cars. After contacting various Jowett enthusiasts, I found that the Jowett's did not originally have hood ornaments when leaving the factory but they were widely available in most auto-shops and most are of substantial age themselves. Some owners accessorised their cars with striking metal animal ornaments, making them more personalised to the driver and more unique.

I rather like the lamb ornaments, and wonder whether they're a subtle allusion to the third founder of Jowett. The original Jowett company - which made bicycles before moving into engines - was founded by brothers William and Benjamin Jowett and Arthur Lamb.

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By Beate Kubitz at 13 Jul 2017, 00:00 AM