J.A. Prestwich Industries- History of the J.A.P. — 16 Comments

  1. It was great to read and article so well researched.
    I was an apprentice at “JAP Motors” as it was known affectionatly from 1957 to 1962 the factory Front Offices were in Tarriff road Tottenham . Whilst there I was involved in the manufacturing of the Lotus Cortina Engine Head which took some 500 machining operations to produce.
    As a first year apprentice I was paid the princely sum of 1 shilling and 10 pence per hour (that’s old money) for a 48 hour week.

    • Hi,
      I was also an apprentice at JAP’s during the time you mentioned. I had 6months to go when they moved to Wolverhampton and my apprenticeship was transferred to another company for the last 6 months. I also worked on the Lotus engine making jigs and fixtures whilst in the tool room. I have a picture of all the tool room staff taken outside of the gates. I have since worked as a design engineer in the medical and aerospace industries but none came close to the precision and innovation to be found at J.A.P’s. I was paid 2 pounds 17 shillings and sixpence in my first year and we received 6 pence a week if we clocked in 2 minutes early all week which they saved and then paid during the holiday period.

  2. Great website.

    My father always told me that my Grandfather, Ex Royal Marine from WW1, Charles Newton (Or William Charles Newton) was Works Manager for JAP in Tottenham. I think during the 1930’s/1940’s. He spent a lot of time at Brooklands.

    Any info gratefully received.

    Thanks Very Much

  3. Hello to all,

    I have an jap-engine 2-stroke from 1937 (according to the enginenumbers..) but can’t find ANY information about it. The cylinder says 85.2, its a 2-stroke engine with 3 gears and 2 spark plugs but only one is capped.

    Who knows anything about this engine???????????

    Best regards//Jaap (Netherlands.

  4. Industrial espionage would be very difficult before spy cameras and duplicators,it would also be totally out of character of the gentleman in question who was obviously his own man from a very early age. As far as I know Vivian and Arthur were the keen racers rather than Teddy. We certainly have Arthur’s silver cups starting from his school days.Arthur was my father.

    • I don’t understand what “Industrial espionage” you’re referring to, but people were certainly stealing rival’s blueprints and designs long before “spy cameras and duplicators” were invented. That, in fact, is why the legal principle of Patent Law was issued in Venice as far back as 1450.

    • Iam Doreen Prestwich s niece Douglas was her Husband and this week we went to Stowe school where I knew Douglas was at school but his elder brothers went to Harrow ,do you know why he didn’t ?would love to know his impression of the place but too late now

  5. My father, Harold Cyril Lock (nicknamed Joe) worked at the JAP in Northumberland Park, Tottenham from the 1930’s and was involved in the move in the early sixties up to Wolverhampton. Sadly he developed mobility problems and quit to join Lotus Cars, then at De La Mare Road Cheshunt.He and my mother moved to Norfolk with Lotus in 1966 and he finally retired around 1972. I know he did visit the JAP Southgate factory in the early fifties.
    He always had warm memories of the JAP and in the late forties they seemed to be making kiddies tricycles mainly for export but I was fortunate to get one! It was, I think, called Gresham Flyer.
    I live about 40 minutes drive from the Motorcycle Museum close to Birmingham Airport and I must pay a visit after reading the above article and comments.

  6. Hi everybody,
    thank you for the opportunity to tell you my story about motorcycles JAP.
    In the early 1950s in a small town in Bulgaria there were 2 motorcycles of the JAP family:
    the big JAP -2 cylinders 4 stroke about 550cc and,
    the small JAP /my father’s motorcycle/ which was 1 cylinder 4 stroke ,350cc’ made in 1936
    I’m going to talk about the “small JAP” which impressed me when I saw it for the first time.
    There was actually 2 sport motorcycles on the one frame: one for “cross competition”
    and another mode for “dirt track”. The bike had a frame with rear shocks and front fork suspension.
    The front wheel was 28″,and the rear was 19″. It has a small 1 person seat,and 2 gas tanks 1 gallon for mix of alcohol and ether and one for 5 gallons for 96 octane gasoline .
    On the cylinder head there were 2 holes for spark plugs and for decompression. The motorcycle had engines from JAP and a gear box separately. It had to be pushed by 1 or 2 people to get it to start. To stop the engine you had to use the decompression.
    The interesting thing is that in “dirt track” mode you have to take out the 9 mm spacer ring under the cylinder to reduce the volume over the piston with 9 mm. In this case you will put the small gas tank on the frame, fill it with a mixture of alcohol/ether and for lubrication you will use castor oil. This gives the motor 25 HP, and up to 9000 RPM……
    Pretty impressive….. I still remember the smell.

  7. Hello
    We have a car in our workshop at the moment a1954 R Type Bentley Continental, purchased new by J.A.Prestwich Industries Ltd on the 14/04/1954.
    I was wondering if anyone knew anything about this car , maybe who it was bought for or any contemporary photographs?
    In it’s day it was a very expensive motorcar and reputedly the fastest four seat car in the world.
    Any information would be much appreciated

  8. Hello. In the early 1970’s on the North Norfolk Railway there were Wickham rail trolleys that used JAP engines. At the same time Hugh Willins was involved as a mechanical engineer, from recollection he had previously worked for J A Prestwick -am I correct and if so what was his function there? Thank you.

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