The National Motor Museum Trust has acquired a unique collection of historic photographs and postcards featuring charabancs, the forerunner to the long distance coach. The acquisition of this collection was made possible through the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of our First World War Commemorative project ‘Caravans and Charabancs – Leisure Motoring after the First World War’.
The collection contains over 400 images comprising charabancs from 1904 to the late 1920s and covers a wide variety of chassis manufacturers and locations throughout the United Kingdom. These images provide a fascinating insight into the world of social travel before mass ownership of the motor car became widespread in the 1930s. A charabanc outing was to many an annual event and the commercial use of First World War surplus lorry chassis fitted with charabanc bodies became big business in the post war years.
The collection has been put together over the last 40 years by Richard Peskett, a historian of early road transport. As one of the first collectors of such images, this collection contains some of the best and rarest examples available. These images will be integral in telling the little-known story of the First World War’s influence on post-war leisure motoring.
You can view images from the charabanc collection on our dedicated Caravans and Charabancs flickr page.
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