The Hazelcar: Britain’s First Minicar
The Hazelcar. Produced by the Hazeldine family of Rottingdean at a garage in Peacehaven.
After service in The Great War, Thomas Hazeldine founded Hazeldine Motors at premises off Rottingdean High Street in 1925. After World War Two , his sons, Ray and Eric, used the garage as a base to develop the Hazelcar.
The car had a rear 933 cc Ford 8hp engine which could achieve 50 miles per gallon and reach a speed of 50 mph.
It was 9 feet 3 inches long and 4 feet 5 inches wide, compared with a modern Mini which is 13 feet long and almost 6 feet wide!
In 1947 the brothers bought Morris’ Garage at Telscombe Cliffs in order to start production of the car. In 1952 the Telscombe garage was sold and the outstanding models completed at Rottingdean.
The cars were very reliable, a fact evidenced by Roy and Eric successfully entering KUF 959 in the Daily Express 1,000- mile rally from London to Torquay via Scotland.
The downfall of the vehicle was the cost of £535, as much as a proper saloon!
The final picture below shows a model bought by Sir Roderick Jones for his son Dominick outside North End House in 1951.
Click on any image below to view