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This car is one of the first purpose- built petrol driven vehicles to run on public roads in Britain. John Henry Knight of Farnham, Surrey had this experimental car built by local engineer George Parfitt in 1895. It originally had three wheels. In 1896 the car was fitted with a revised engine and converted to four wheels. It was demonstrated at the Crystal Palace Motor Exhibition organised by the Self-Propelled Traffic Association.

The 1865 and 1878 Locomotive Acts imposed many restrictions upon the use of powered vehicles on Britain’s roads. These included the four miles per hour speed limit (two mph in town). In October 1895 Knight and his assistant James Pullinger were stopped in Farnham’s main street for breaking these laws. He was fined a half crown plus 10 shillings costs – the first motoring offence in Britain.

Price newNot marketed
ManufacturerJ.H. Knight
Loaned byScience Museum, London


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