Only 3,000 built: With no experience in mass production, British automaker went out of business in 1925
During the early days of car manufacturing it was usually carriage builders, blacksmiths and bicycle manufacturers who transitioned into building motor cars.
The manufacturer of the pictured 1925 Cubitt Model K was a subsidiary of Holland, Hannen and Cubitt Ltd., a civil engineering and construction company which built a large part of central London, including the new east-wing of Buckingham Palace, Covent Garden Market and Queen Victoria’s summer retreat Osborne House on the Isle of Wight.
They decided to branch out into car manufacturing in 1919 and set up a factory in Aylesbury, just outside London.
The old Great Southern Works was an empty ex-munitions factory and was selected as a perfect facility for such a new venture.
The first Cubitt offered for sale was a 16/20-horsepower car priced at £298, which turned out to be too inexpensive. Consequently the price rose by a £100 within the first year.
The original production target was to build 5,000 cars per year but the 1,000 strong workforce was struggling to produce between 60 and 70 cars a week. The company lacked the experience in applying American mass production techniques to their production line.
S.F. Edge, the Managing Director of AC Cars, and John Napier had a financial interest in Cubitt and stepped in to direct the struggling company and to update the technical aspects of manufacturing.
In an attempt to speed up the production, which was being hampered by the lack of a steady supply of components from outside manufacturers, Edge decided to cancel the engine order from Anzai and to build engines in-house. The plan was to simply copy the Anzai engine.
Despite the efforts of the two knowledgeable automotive legends Edge and Napier the company continued to hemorrhage and could not be saved.
A receiver was appointed in 1925 and Cubitt went bankrupt. Of the approximately 3,000 cars built, less than five (in running order) are known to exist in the world today.
Despite being extremely rare the last Cubitt known to sell at an auction in 2006, only commanded a figure of $15,000.