Leeds nostalgia: City should bring back 1950s Scootacar

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On Tuesday May 5 you mentioned the Scootacar and asked for more information from readers.

Your article mentioned that this vehicle was produced in the 1970s, but this statement is incorrect, as it was actually in production in the late 1950s and early 1960s.



The Hunslet Engine Company (which was situated on Jack Lane in Hunslet, Leeds) manufactured railway locomotives but in the 1950s the company decided to diversify and in 1958 a subsidiary company was formed, Scootacars Limited, to produce the scootacar.

The vehicle was produced for only a few years and Scootacars Limited was wound up in the mid 1960s.

My late father, Harry Spence, worked at the Hunslet Engine Company for 47 years. In 1964 a book was produced to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the company and my father was given a copy of the book (which I now own).

The book, A Hunslet Hundred, details the history of the company and it mentions the scootacar.

According to the book, the vehicle was produced “in the belief that there would be a market waiting for a light, simple, low-priced three-wheeler runabout not competing with the miniature car, but offering a practical weatherproof alternative to the motor cycle or motor scooter for commuting or shopping purposes’’.

Andrew Spence, email: andrew@spence055.plus.com

I enjoyed your recent article about Scootacars, the tiny car which was manufactured in Leeds. It’s a shame that they were discontinued but I suppose that was the trend at the time.

The irony is that if this car were produced today, given our current preoccupation with all things economical and ‘green’, it would probably do quite well.

Duncan Huddlesford, Leeds