Daimler motor car
Two of the reasons that the car industry first came to Coventry was the existence of the cycle industry and of the growing machine tool industry.
Many cycle firms in Coventry moved into car manufacture. There were 29 firms making cars in 1905, many of whom had previously been making cycles.
The first motor cars to be made in Britain were made by the Daimler Motor Company in Coventry in 1897. The company was set up by Harry Lawson in a disused cotton mill, which had itself been built in 1861 to provide work for unemployed ribbon weavers.
Car production was only really made possible after the repeal of the 'Red Flag' act in 1896, which had forced horseless vehicles to travel at no more than 4 m.p.h. with a man with a red flag in front.