This is the story of a great British coachbuilder, told with the aid of meticulous research and with great affection for the grandeur and style that its products still represent. Freestone & Webb was a great name in British coachbuilding for some 35 years, but as demand for coachbuilt car bodies dried up in the 1950s, the company became the first of the Big Five remaining specialists to close down. They had started in the early 1920s, as the motoring scene was settling down after the upheaval of the First World War. Early devotees of lightweight Weymann construction, they soon earned the approval of the nearby Bentley company because their bodies did not unduly hinder the performance of these great sporting chassis. Before long, Rolls-Royce models were also being provided with stylish and well-made Freestone & Webb coachwork, and so were many leading foreign chassis, such as Mercedes-Benz and Packard. Like others, the company struggled to get back into the game after an enforced layoff during the Second World War. But with the aid of good designs and fine workmanship, they survived into the 1950s with their reputation intact. Sadly, their continued survival could only be a matter of time, and Arthur Webb was al-ready looking to sell the company when he died in 1954. Freestone & Webb continued gamely for four more years, experimenting with new designs and going out in a blaze of glory with their extravagant Honeymoon Express for a Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud
James Taylor has been writing about motoring history since the 1970s; he has written well over 100 books and spent ten years as the editor of Land Rover Enthusiast magazine. He has written very widely for both magazines and books on motoring subjects but has specialized in the history of Rover cars and Land Rovers. He has owned four Range Rovers as well as a variety of other cars, and continues to write for the motoring press both at home and abroad. His previous books include Rover V8 - The Story of the Engine, Factory-Original Ford Capri Mk1, Factory-Original Mercedes SL, Factory-Original Aston Martin DB4/5/6 and Factory-Original Mini Mk1 & Mk2. James lives in rural Oxfordshire with his wife and the younger two of his four children, surrounded by books about cars, and usually with something old and interesting in his garage.