Heritage Locations

Daimler Car Hire Garage, London

A multi storey garage of 1931 noteable for its steep ramped access and listed Grade II.


Period of construction:
1900 - 1949

Transport Trust plaque:

Transport Mode:

7-11, Herbrand Street, London WC1N 1EX


Nearest Town:

Heritage Centre:

During the 1930s motor car ownership spread as the price of a car was reduced by mass production methods. The practise of keeping cars in private former stables and servicing them with the help of converted stable lads changed as ownership spread to the middle classes.

Lacking the space and facilities of their own, the new owners needed the services of purpose built garages and petrol stations. These were often converted from buildings which had been in use for instance as a blacksmith's workshop or an iron-mongers' store. Typically there was a workshop for repairs with petrol pumps in front. After World War II these gradually gave way to purpose built petrol stations normally built with an ancillary workshop and a car-wash.

Parallel with these local developments, car parking buildings were constructed in large towns, and elaborate and stylish motor showrooms occupied prestigious parts of the larger towns and cities. Car hire firms needed similarly prestigious buildings though not necessarily in such conspicuous locations.

This important example of art deco architecture as applied to a multi-storey garage was built to serve a prestigious car hire company. It has latterly been converted for use as the London office of what is claimed to be the most powerful advertising agency in the world, McCann Erickson. It has been sensitively adapted to its new use and is now a spectacular workplace which manages to respect its original design.

Aamo, Alv Sogstad, Petrol Station: A Visual History, Norsk Form (Norway) ISBN-10 8245200107 (1995)

Adeney, M., The Motor Makers: The Turbulent History of Britain's Car Industry, Harper Collins, ISBN-10: 0002177870 (1988)

Church, R. A., The Rise and Decline of the British Motor Industry, Cambridge University Press, ISBN-10: 0521557704 (2008)

Demaus, A. B., Motoring in the 20s and 30s. Batsford, ISBN 0 7134 1538 X(1979)

Flower, Michael & Wynn Jones, Raymond
, One Hundred Years of Motoring, RAC, ASIN B00159N2JQ (1981)

Harmsworth, Sir Alfred, Motors and Motor Driving, Longmans, The Badminton Library, (1904)

Jakle, Prof. John, The Gas Station in America, John Hopkins University Press, ISBN-100801847230 (1994)

Pascal, Dominique
, Stations Service, ETAI (France), ISBN 2-7268-8341-9 (1999)

Richardson, K., The British Motor Industry 1896-1939, Macmillan, ISBN-10: 0333219252 (1977)

Rolt, L. T. C., Motoring History, Dutton, ASIN B0010ZXCK4 (1964)

Russell, Tim, Fill 'er Up: The Great American Gas Station, Voyageur, ISBN-10 0760328714 (2007)

Ware, Michael, A Roadside Camera, David & Charles, ISBN 0 7153 6791 9 (1974)

Witzel, Michael, American Gas Station: History and Folklore of Gas Stations in America, MBI, ISBN-10 0760306494 (1998)

Opening Times:
Visible at all times, it is now occupied by McCann Ericson, the advertising agency.

How To Find:
By rail: Just north of Russel Square tube station

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