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Title: Tickford  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Aston Martin, 1982 24 Hours of Le Mans, Automotive industry in the United Kingdom, Ford of Europe, Ford Sierra RS Cosworth
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Tickford is an automobile engineering and testing company with an almost two century-long history of coachbuilding and is now famous for tuning and such products as the 140 mph Tickford Turbo Capri.

History 150 years of coachbuilding

Salmons & Sons

Tickford Limited grew from the very substantial coachbuilding business founded in the 1820s by Joseph Salmons later known as Salmons and Sons based at Tickford Street in Newport Pagnell. Their products bore the brand-name Tickford. With the advent of the internal combustion engine, Salmons & Sons progressed into developing coachbuilt cars as early as 1898 and prospered. In 1925 they announced their Tickford "All Weather" saloon, a convertible with the hood mechanism operated by inserting and turning a handle in the rear quarter-panel.[1] By the late 1930s 450 people were employed producing 30 car bodies a week. Their London showrooms were at 6–9 Upper Saint Martin's Lane WC2. In 1943 following Ian Boswell's purchase of Salmons & Sons Limited the company changed its name to its trademark Tickford Limited.[2]

Since 1949 until 1955 Tickford transformed the Lagonda 2.6 litres Saloon in the "Drophead" (convertible).

1955–1981: Aston Martin Lagonda

In late 1955 Tickford Limited was bought by David Brown,[3] who was already the owner of Aston Martin (since 1947) and Lagonda (since 1948) and an extensive user of Tickford bodies. He soon moved Aston Martin onto the site at Tickford Street where it remained until Ford moved DB7 production to Bloxham and then to Gaydon for the DB9 and DBS. The Tickford name disappeared between the late 1950s and 1981.

History of subsequent diversification

1981–1990: CH Industrials

In 1981 Aston Martin created an engineering service subsidiary and chose the name 'Aston Martin Tickford', rekindling the specialist service available to all vehicle makers, which had been the Tickford philosophy for the first half of the century. With the changing fortunes of Aston Martin, the company moved into a purpose-built facility in Milton Keynes under the separate ownership of CH Industrials plc and despite carrying out a lot of unseen, “back-room” engineering projects for major manufacturers, gained most publicity from adding engineering and tuning to its coachbuilder roots allowing it to develop special products like the 140 mph, turbocharged Tickford Capri for Ford. After the Capri, Tickford worked with among others, MG to create the Maestro Turbo and Ford to create the road-going Sierra Cosworth RS500 and the homologated version of the RS200. These vehicles were made in a factory set up near Coventry and a railway division was set up in Nuneaton to design interiors for underground and mainline train carriages.

The roof of the Jaguar XJS cabriolet was also designed by Tickford. These cars were originally converted by Tickford themselves, but it was so successful that Jaguar set up a convertible production line to cope with demand.

1990–2001: Independence

During the collapse of the CHI Group in 1990, the directors of Tickford executed a buy-out and saved Tickford from going into receivership, partially funded through the sale of the railway division to Babcock International. Tickford was now back in its roots of engine and vehicle engineering and worked on developing new markets. The company won projects in Detroit and the Far East and set up liaison offices in the USA and Germany.

Tickford set up a production line in Daventry to convert the Ford Puma into the limited edition Ford Puma Racing (just 500 were built) and did most of the engineering design and development of the Ford Focus RS at Milton Keynes, also providing a build facility next to Ford's Saarlouis plant.

Tickford Vehicle Engineering & Ford Tickford Experience

After a Worldwide search, Ford Australia selected Tickford as a joint-venture partner, resulting in Tickford Vehicle Engineering Pty Ltd (TVE)being established in 1991 as the high performance car division of Ford in Australia.[4]

TVE is best known for building the Ford Falcon XR6 and XR8 models for Ford. It also engineered a range of higher performance cars, the T-Series[5] with TE50 & TS50 models based on the Ford AU Falcon[6] and the TL50 derived from the Ford AU Fairlane. The T-Series models were launched in October 1999 under the FTE name,[7] FTE being an acronym for Ford Tickford Experience.[8] The "T-Series" was produced in very limited numbers with less than 500 built. The third series, known as the T3 was the final resting place for the Ford Windsor V8 engine and the last model from TVE.

2001–2005: Prodrive

In 2001 the whole Tickford Group in UK, Germany, Australia and USA, was acquired by Prodrive, the British motor sport company and, in 2002, its Australian joint venture with Ford, Tickford Vehicle Engineering, was rebranded as Ford Performance Vehicles. The Tickford name disappeared again.

2006–2012: Tickford Powertrain Test

In December 2006, the management team of Prodrive Test Technology, running the former Tickford site at Milton Keynes, purchased the business from Prodrive, renaming it Tickford Powertrain Test. The company now focuses on independent engine and vehicle testing needs of vehicle manufacturers, component companies and the catalyst and petroleum industries. In June 2007, the company acquired Scott Gibbin Ltd, a Peterborough-based engine test and development company. In the spring of 2009 the Peterborough site was closed and the work transferred to the Milton Keynes facility.

2013– : Intertek Tickford

Intertek Group plc, a leading provider of quality and safety services to a wide range of industries worldwide, acquired Tickford on 31 December 2012 from its management shareholders. Tickford complements similar services already provided by Intertek in the US as well as in Asia and the acquisityion enables both Intertek's US and Asian customers to divert their European based testing requirements to Tickford as well as Tickford's UK customers to Intertek in the US and Asia.


Tickford built on its engine performance heritage with the development of V8 racing engines for Aston Martin. These were raced in Nimrod and EMKA chassis and powered Nimrod to third place in the 1983 World Endurance Championship for Makes. Tickford also developed Cosworth engines for Ray Mallock Racing and Ecurie Ecosse, with the latter gaining second place in the C2 Class of the 1987 World Sports Prototype Championship for Teams.

In the late 1980s Tickford designed, developed and built Formula One engines, including some with unique 5-valve cylinder heads. A Tickford 5v version of the Judd V8 was commissioned by Camel Team Lotus for Nelson Piquet and Satoru Nakajima to use.


  1. ^ Newport Pagnell's finest bodies. Ian Morton, The Times, Saturday, 9 August 1997; pg. 7[S1]; Issue 65964
  2. ^ Dennis C Mynard, Salmons & Sons, The Tickford Coachbuilders, Phillimore, Chichester / Tempus, 2007 ISBN 1860774229 ISBN 978-1860774225
  3. ^ The David Brown Corporation Limited. The Times, Thursday, 19 April 1956; pg. 18; Issue 53509
  4. ^ Tickford in Australia Retrieved from on 28 November 2008
  5. ^ "T-Series" Information Retrieved from on 28 November 2008
  6. ^
  7. ^ Ford Tickford Experience set for Launch in October Retrieved from on 28 November 2008
  8. ^ FTE Questions & Answers Retrieved from on 28 November 2008

External links

  • Tickford Powertrain Test Ltd
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