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Freestone & Webb | Alfa Romeo Register

Freestone & Webb

1923 - 1958

In 1923, the British company V. E. Freestone and A. J. Webb founded the bodybuilder Freestone & Webb in the Willesden district of London. Freestone had previously worked for Crossley Motors and, like Webb, for the English subsidiary of the French car manufacturer Sizaire-Berwick. The first models of the young coachbuilders included several Bentleys. The excellent craftsmanship and tasteful style ensured that the company quickly gained a good reputation. All in all, the designers designed 230 Bentley bodies until the late 1920s.
After Bentley filed for bankruptcy in 1929, the business focused on Rolls-Royce. Some of the superstructures were created using the Weymann process, a wooden superstructure with leather covering. Designed in 1925, the Packard chassis-based Six Series 333 was particularly innovative, allowing the roof of this sedan to be lifted in the front section and pushed over the rear section. Freestone & Webb became famous for its elegant bodywork based on Delage. The so-called Razor Edge look, which the designers used for the first time on a Bentey chassis in 1935, developed into the trademark of the English coachwork manufacturer.
In contrast to most British car body manufacturers, Freestone & Webb did not focus solely on domestic car brands. In the 1930s, for example, the designers developed a large number of bodies for Mercedes-Benz chassis. From 1929 to 1932 Alfa Romeo produced 2579 chassis of the 6C 1750. In 1933, a Captain E. G. Altenborogh had the British design the body for his Alfa Romeo 6C. The result was a unique specimen called Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GTC Freestone & Webb. Altenborough drove the beautiful two-seater roadster into the 1950s. The car then went to the USA and did not return to Europe until 1995. Today, this valuable classic car is owned by the Austrian Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, who presents it to the public at Classic meetings.
During the Second World War, Freestone & Webb worked for the War Department, and after the end of the war the company resumed production of bodies for civilian vehicles. When demand for special superstructures declined in the 1950s, the company ran into financial difficulties. After the death of A. J. Webbs in 1957, the bodyshop was sold to the Swain Group, and in 1958 Freestone & Webb stopped car body production. As a result of the association with Rolls-Royce dealer H. R. Owen, the formerly successful car body manufacturer was transformed into a pure car dealership. In 1963 Harold Radford Coachbuilders bought the name rights. With the closure of Radford’s company in 1975, the name Freestone & Webb disappeared.

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