Paramount Car manufacturer
|Manufacturer||Paramount Cars Ltd|
|Production||1950-1956 production - 72 approx|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||saloon sports|
|Engine||1172 cc later 1500 cc Straight-4|
|Transmission||Three speed manual|
|Wheelbase||96 in (2,438 mm) later 102 in (2,591 mm)|
|Length||166 in (4,216 mm)|
|Width||66 in (1,676 mm)|
|Curb weight||2,040 lb (930 kg) to 2,350 lb (1,070 kg).|
Paramount Cars was a British car made between 1950 and 1956. It was initially manufactured in Swadlincote, moving shortly after to Melbourne (again in Derbyshire) and then to Leighton Buzzard.
Although there was only one basic type of Paramount four-seater touring car, it had a singularly complicated conception and birth. It was designed by one company in the Midlands, the first few production cars were built by another company, and what amounted to the 'series production' models were built by yet another concern, this time near Leighton Buzzard, north of London.
The prototype Paramount, built in 1950, was to have had the sidevalve Ford 1172cc engine, either with twin SU carburettor or with supercharging. By the time it eventually became available to the public, the supercharged option had disappeared. The design centred around a simple ladder-style chassis frame with tubular side members, along with transverse leaf independent front suspension, and conventional half-elliptic leaf springs for the rear suspension. The sidevalve Ford engine was matched by a Ford three-speed gearbox. It was originally proposed to offer four-seater open tourers, or coupes, but the coupe option also disappeared at the prototype stage. The body style was not unlike that of contemporary open Healeys, and was built up on a traditional wooden framework with light-alloy skin panels. Prototype work was by Paramount Cars (Derbyshire), but the Meynell Motor Co. Paramount, 1953 of Swadlincote then took over the preparation for manufacture. After only about six cars had been started, however, they sold out to a new company in Linslade, Leighton Buzzard, which was actually controlled by Camden Motors.
True production cars went on sale in 1953, and compared with the prototype the lines of the body had been tidied up slightly, and the original idea of offering wind-down windows was discarded. The problem was not only the price of the cars, but the fact that performance was none-too-brisk due to the limited power output of the engine and the substantial weight. An engine option, of the larger 1508cc Ford Consul unit, Before became available, but even in this guise a Paramount could only achieve 70mph. A few closed versions of the car, somewhat reminiscent of the Austin A90 Atlantic, were also produced, but by the beginning of 1956 it was clear that no big demand existed for this car.
Welbeck Motors of London took over all remaining stocks at knock-down price, and eventually sold them off, heavily discounted,
Engine and transmission: Choice of four-cylinder, in-line engines, from Ford, either sidevalve 63.5 x 92.5mm., 1172cc unit, or overhead valve, 79.37 x 76.2mm., 1508cc unit. Maximum power of 1172cc unit 36bhp (gross) at 4400rpm.; maximum torque 521b.ft. at 2500rpm. 1508cc unit, maximum power 47bhp at 4400rpm.; maximum torque 721b.ft. at 2000rpm. Three-speed manual gearbox, in unit with engine. Spiral bevel final drive.
Chassis: Front engine, rear drive. Separate steel chassis frame, with tubular side- members. Independent front suspension, by transverse leaf spring and wishbones. Worm-type steering gear. Suspension of rear live axle by half-elliptic leaf springs. Front and rear drum brakes.
Bodywork: Coachbuilt bodyshell, in two-door close-coupled four-seater tourer style, with wood framing and light-alloy skin panels, by Paramount. Length 14ft. Oin.; width 5ft. 6in.; height 4ft. 8in. Unladen weight (1172cc) 20751b. , (1508cc) 24651b.
Performance: (1508cc engine): Maximum speed 70mph. 0-60mph 30.6sec. Standing 1/4-mile 24.4sec. Typical fuel consumption 27mpg.
After the end of car production the remaining chassis were sold off and several were fitted with Rochdale glass fibre bodies.
There was no connection with the two separate American Paramount Car companies of Azusa, California (1923-1924) and New York (1927-1931).