Those Magnificent Men in Their Horseless Wagons

...the liverpool self-propelled traffic association motor trials 1898 - 1901

The Liverpool motor trials of 1898 -1901 were pivotal events in the early development of road transport, as significant a global milestone as Rainhill in the evolution of railways. And yet today the world-changing trials are all but forgotten.

The noisy mechanical behemoths caused a commotion in the towns and villages where no one had even seen one of the new-fangled horseless carriages (below).

Rainhill LSPTA Trials 1899

Even at the end of the 19th century it was recognised that Britain was way behind France and Germany in the development of the motor car, but the Liverpool trials showed that the nation’s engineering tradition was in the forefront of design and innovation with regard to heavier vehicles.

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