H. J. Mulliner & Co.
H. J. Mulliner & Co. was a well-known British coachbuilder operating from Bedford Park, Chiswick, West London. The company which owned it was formed by H J Mulliner in 1897 but the business was a continuing branch of a family business founded in Northampton in the 1760s to hire out carriages. In December 1909 the controlling interest in this company passed to John Croall & Sons of Edinburgh. Croall sold that interest to Rolls-Royce in 1959.
“Mulliner” is now the personal commissioning department for Bentley.
Henry Jervis Mulliner
Henry Jervis Mulliner (1870-1967), born in Liverpool but raised in Chiswick, was the second son of Robert Bouverie Mulliner (1830-1902) from Northampton, third son of Francis Mulliner (1789-1841) of Leamington Spa and Northampton. Robert Bouverie Mulliner had first established a thriving coachbuilding business in Liverpool in the mid 1850s then sold that to his brother and in the early 1870s started another in Chiswick on the outskirts of London.
His son H J Mulliner incorporated his own company in 1897 while with Mulliner London Limited. He found a special interest in the automobile side of that business and expanded in 1900 by buying from Mulliner London Limited the Mulliner showroom in Brook Street, Mayfair, London. The location was more convenient for his clients than Chiswick. One of the early clients was C.S. Rolls who had a body built on a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost for his own use.
John Croall & Sons Edinburgh
In 1906 the London works were moved from Mayfair to Chiswick and in December 1909 H J Mulliner sold a controlling interest in the company to John Croall & Sons of Edinburgh. A family connection was maintained as Croall employed H J Mulliner’s wife’s brother, Frank Piesse (1885-1960), to run the company.
Although bodies were fitted to other chassis, by the 1930s virtually the entire output was being fitted to Rolls-Royce and Bentleys.
Rolls-Royce acquired Mulliner in July 1959 and merged it with Park Ward which they had owned since 1939 forming Mulliner Park Ward in 1961. A financial columnist noted that the (cash) outlay for Rolls-Royce was relatively small as the net assets of John Croall were around £250,000. It was noted that Mulliner was one of the last independent coach builders, others being controlled by motor manufacturers or distributors.
Mulliner & Co. (H.J.)
The British Coachbuilding Mulliner family traces back to 1760, when the company was building coaches for the Royal Mail in Northampton.
There were at one time four separate companies trading with the name Mulliner, all seem to have descended from the original family:
– Arthur Mulliner based in Northampton.
Henry Jervis Mulliner founded H.J. Mulliner & Co. in 1900 in the Mayfair area of London where the factory was set up. This was probably the premises previously occupied by Mulliners (London) Ltd. The location was convenient as his clients, the nobility could afford his services. One of the early clients was C.S. Rolls who had a body built on a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost for his own use.
In 1906 the works moved out of Mayfair to Chiswick and shortly afterwards H.J. Mulliner sold his interest in the company to John Croall and retired. The family connection was maintained as Croall employed H. J. Mulliner’s brother in law Frank Piesse to run the company.
Although H.J. Mulliner designed coachwork for C. S. Rolls’ personal two-seater Silver Ghost roadster, it was not until 1928 that the firm began to regularly display its hand-crafted bodies on a Rolls-Royce chassis. From that year on, H.J. Mulliner always exhibited at least one Rolls-Royce chassis graced with their custom coachwork.
Following World War II, Mulliner was one of the few coachbuilders to resume building traditional, bespoke coachwork. By this time, the firm’s reputation was such that it focused primarily on being a supplier to Rolls-Royce and Bentley chassis, crafting the finest, high quality saloons, sedancas, limousines and dropheads for the world’s wealthy and elite. By the 1950s, however, Mulliner moved away from the traditional wood-frame coachbuilding techniques of its past, turning instead to the more modern methods of its competitors using a “stressed skin” all-steel structure.
Rolls-Royce acquired Mulliner in 1959 and merged it with Park Ward which they had owned since 1939 forming Mulliner-Park Ward in 1961. This new entity can hardly be called a coachbuilder, because it was no longer an independant company and they were solely focussing on Rolls-Royce and Bentley.
Today, Mulliner is no more than the personal commissioning department for Bentley, turning the Mulliner name into nothing more than some sort of luxury badge for standard works cars with a personalized interior.
H.J. Mulliner Bentley 3 1/2 & 4 1/4 Litre Drophead Coupe
H.J. Mulliner Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback Coupe
H.J. Mulliner Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur ‘Six Light’
H.J. Mulliner Delaunay Belleville F6 Roi des Belges Tourer
H.J. Mulliner Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Drophead Sedanca Coupe
H.J. Mulliner Rolls-Royce Phantom III Saloon #3AX79
H.J. Mulliner Rolls-Royce Phantom III Sedanca de Ville
H.J. Mulliner Rolls-Royce Phantom V Limousine
H.J. Mulliner Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud dhc 1962
H.J. Mulliner Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupe
H.J. Mulliner Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost “London to Edinburgh” Tourer
H.J. Mulliner Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith Touring Limousine
After the Cars, The Buses:
That’s what i could find.
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