Worthington Motor Tours Part One

I have long lamented the exclusion of Worthington Motor Tours from your offerings and attach some photos of the early days as a Company, they existed from 1920 to 1973.

Tony Morgan

1935. BRE 417 a Maudslay with an Auto Cellulose 32 seat soft top body.

1935. On tour in Scotland with a Maudslay.

1937. ERF 787 a Dennis Lancet II with an Auto Cellulose 32 seat body.

1938. FRF 777 an Opel Blitz with an Auto Cellulose 14 luxury seats body.

1939. HRE 277 a Leyland Tiger TS8 with an Auto Cellulose 32 seat body at Calais customs.

1939. HRE 277 a Leyland Tiger TS8 with an Auto Cellulose 32 seat body at Brunig Pass Switzerland.

1940's. Wartime Swynerton Staffordshire.


Click here for Part Two




21/10/16 - 16:04

I have this hanging badge in my collection, perhaps you know what it was used for, Tony?

Stephen Howarth

21/10/16 - 20:01

Tony, what a great selection of photographs. It's nice to see those featuring people - especially those depicting company employees, even when they are posed. To my mind it is important to remember that the industry only exists and is the way it is because of the people that created and operate it. They are just as important as the vehicles themselves. I look forward to Part Two.

John Stringer

21/10/16 - 20:01

My word, what very individual and exciting vehicles the Firm had before the War - I must confess that I've never previously heard of Auto Cellulose bodies but they were obviously very competent designers. Another surprise is how many lady drivers were employed in the Conflict. My only experience of Worthingtons' Holidays was a single journey at Her Majesty's expense from RAF Cardington (after the first week's induction) to RAF Hednesford in Staffordshire for eight weeks of November and December purgatory (Squarebashing) in 1954. I'm pretty sure that that particular "All inclusive holiday" did not appear in Worthingtons' publicity. Presumably the coaches came empty from Stafford for each week's fresh intake of holidaymakers - I do remember that they were brand new Bedford SBs with presumably Duple bodies and were they a kind of salmon colour ??

Chris Youhill

22/10/16 - 11:00

Stephen, sorry never seen one before, possibly a pre-war Couriers badge that were sometimes carried on the Continental tours.
John and Chris, glad you like them. Yes another era when Auto Cellulose were coach builders based in Spon Lane Smethwick until the 1950`s. Hence local loyalty which existed in those golden days. I think that Worthingtons Stafford garage had closed by 1954 and operations were from either Wolverhampton or Birmingham Hurst St., Red Warrior base until 1947. (more to follow hopefully)

Tony Morgan

22/10/16 - 11:02

I always associated Worthington Tours with my home town-Birmingham. I learn so much even in my decrepit old age! There is an interesting insight to this Company at this address. https://anthonymorgan297.wordpress.com/

Nigel Edwards

23/10/16 - 05:28

There is a strange 'aura' around the 1938 photpgraph of the Opel Blitz. Was it a premonition of approaching war with its country of origin and the re-definition of the word Blitz ?


24/10/16 - 07:11

My A-Z of British Bus Bodies states that Auto Cellulose was around in 1934, specialising in 14-16 seat bodies for Chevrolets for mainly Midlands operators. It's said that Duple threatened legal acion for infringement of design rights, possibly justifed, since their bodies did have a Duple look about them. The company built its last body in 1963. It's reputed that the erstwhile works manager bought the remaining stock and bodied three more coaches in his home garden over the next five years!

Chris Hebbron

24/10/16 - 16:34

Fascinating photos, looking forward to Part 2.
The bodybuilder Auto-Cellulose was previously discussed here:- www.sct61.org.uk/zzloh854
Chris H, I think 1963 was the date the foreman completed his last body, rather than the date when he started his one man business. Nevertheless, it was still classed as Auto-Cellulose by the PSV Circle.

David Williamson

25/10/16 - 06:33

In the 2nd photo Tony listed the rear view I notice BRE 417 as registration mark but can someone explain the 168 HA plate that's showing.

25/10/16 - 06:33

25/10/16 - 06:36

The Auto Cellulose bodywork business received some discussion on OBP under the item on the Burwell & District Bedford WLB. Here is a link to view.

Roger Cox

25/10/16 - 13:55

168 HA looks like a trade plate to me, so maybe the photo was taken when the coach was brand new and just been delivered?

David Field

25/10/16 - 13:57

168 HA is a trade plate, used by the Dealer/Operator to drive the vehicle on the road before it is road taxed. The colours are Red on White.

Stephen Howarth

25/10/16 - 13:57

I think that the red on white "HA" number plate will be a Birmingham area trade plate to cover the new vehicle on delivery to Worthingtons before being taxed ??

Chris Youhill

25/10/16 - 14:57

The HA registration mark was allocated to Smethwick, so it's more than likely the coach is carrying Auto Cellulose's trade plate.

Stephen Allcroft



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