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Thames 47-HP Motor Stage Coach

A motor coach that strongly resembles a stagecoach, but in this case that was intentional.

The 5.0-litre, six-cylinder engine is placed as far forward as possible to give the impression of a carriage, as do the small front- and large rear wheels.

It is the only surviving example of a fleet of petrol-engined stagecoaches commissioned by Motor Coaches Limited. The coaches were used at the time to carry people to and from the horse races at Ascot and Epsom, all within a 160 km radius of London. It seats nine passengers inside, and sixteen on the roof.

The coach was built by The Thames Ironworks, Shipbuilding & Engineering Company Ltd, established in 1857. In the mid-19th century it was a major shipbuilding firm. In 1902 the company began building steam lorries as a sideline and added motor vehicles in 1906.

The bodywork of this stagecoach was constructed by Thrupp & Maberly, a company that would later build coachwork for luxurious cars such as the Rolls-Royce and Mercedes-Benz.

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